Wild unbreakable bonds

Blossom Cordial
Use edible blossoms and leaves, for example: cherry blossom, primrose petals, rose petals, a small amount of redcurrant flower petals, or, choose leaves like lemon balm and creeping charlie. Whatever you choose though, remember to make sure you have checked its identity and that it is edible!

Create this delicious cordial and add it to smoothies and even ice cream for a naturally fresh flavour.

You will need:
• 200g freshly picked blossoms and leaves
• 1kg granulated sugar
• 10 tbsp lemon juice
• Zest of 1 lemon or a good handful of lemon balm
• 500ml water
• Sterile glass bottles with tops, either screw or cork (or a cool glass and ice if you’re going to sample it straight way!)

• Carefully wash your tender leaves and petals.
• Add the sugar to the water and bring to the boil, simmering until dissolved.
• Stir in the leaves and petals and lemon zest, or lemon balm and steep in the hot liquid until it has cooled.
• Once cooled, drain the liquid through a sieve or muslin cloth.
• Pour the liquid through a funnel into clean jars or bottles.
• Add water to taste or serve with your favourite tipple with ice and a slice, or pour a drizzle over ice cream – whatever takes your fancy. This will add a flurry of flavour and fragrance for sure!

Words by:
Nikki Bawn
Featured in:
March 2024

Nikki Bawn of Boggle Lane Foods highlights foraging treasures to look out for as nature begins to wake up for spring.

Spring in Lincolnshire paints a mesmerising picture, as it weaves together undulating hills, quaint villages, and patchwork fields with a vibrant kaleidoscope of scents and colours.

Stone cottages nestled among hedgerows stand as silent witnesses to a bygone era, and market towns offer glimpses into the county’s rich past.

As nature awakens, the landscape is transformed and one of the most rewarding ways to immerse yourself in this glorious seasonal shift is through foraging. Lincolnshire’s diverse landscapes unveil a treasure trove of wild edibles waiting to be discovered, by those who want to venture into the great outdoors.

As winter loosens its grip, the emergence of tender wild greens, pastel, petalled blossoms and newly dressed canopies becomes a signal to foragers. Spring leaves are plentiful and many are rich in nutrients, making them a versatile ingredient for soups, teas, or sautéed side dishes. Nettles and dandelion leaves are the most obvious but the perfect candidates for a unique touch and a vast choice of uses.

Nature’s tasty tapestry
A spring highlight is of course the arrival of wild garlic, known as ramsons. Woodlands and riverbanks come alive with the pungent aroma of these vibrant green leaves.

From pesto to soups, or a simple addition to butter, wild garlic offers a flavoursome ingredient for culinary creations, provided foragers gather responsibly to ensure the plants survive for future picking.

The floral delights of spring add another layer to Lincolnshire’s natural tapestry. Elderflowers, with their delicate fragrance, become key ingredients for refreshing cordials and sparkling beverages. Gorse flowers, found in coastal areas, provide a hint of coconut, perfect for infusing syrups or enhancing baked goods with a unique twist. As spring progresses into summer, the landscape reveals berries and fruits ready for harvest. Enjoying fresh, wild strawberries found in meadows and along woodland edges offers a burst of sweetness in every mouthful for weary wanderers.

For those eager to embark on a foraging adventure, there are essential tips to keep in mind. Accurate identification is crucial, so it is worth investing the time in learning about local flora and fauna or joining guided foraging groups.

Sustainability is key, and a focus on harvesting responsibly to leave enough for wildlife and future foragers alike. Seasonal awareness ensures maximum enjoyment of your foraging experiences, and helps to protect wildlife and habitats too.

Amidst foraging exploits, the culinary journey extends into delightful, sweet treats such as sugared primroses, gathered in various shades, to add visual splendour to all manner of desserts and cakes.

As the days turn warmer, the focus shifts to the hedgerows and gardens of Lincolnshire – a treasure trove for all your senses.

Life’s simple and delicious moments are often found in the wild, where each foraged find tells a story of resilience, adaptation, and the enduring, unbreakable bond between people and the land.

For more information visit: www.bogglelane.co.uk or email nikki@bogglelane.co.uk

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