Recce to the Rec
I'd planned on going with a friend to the Rec(reation) ground today. Before going I took a look through some of my books, realizing I needed to brush up on my tree-identifying skills. When I was a member of 1st Hove Brownies a hundred years ago, our Brown Owl taught us how to recognize an elm, showing us the mismatched edges at the leaf-stem, which she likened to having to alter lop-sided curtains. Years later a local storyteller, at the same Rec & taught us how to identify Aspens - by listening. They were the ones that whispered in the slightest breeze. It helps to have such memory-hooks. Other than that: books! I was surprised to see a recipe for 'Ash Key Pickle' in 'Food from the Wild' by Judy Urquhart & decided that's what I'd forage for. Hmmm. Thing about living in the city and not yet being fully conversant in the way of trees, is that it was too early to harvest any! I'm learning....
I left my friend to watch a local cricket match while I set off in search of Ash trees. What I came back with was a big harvest of elderflowers, which I'd like to make into cordial, if I can; some nettle tops & rosemary to make a hair tonic & some young sorrel leaves to add to my dinner.
I used to make the nettle & rosemary hair tonic years ago for my follicly-challenged male friends; they're the best ingredients to help prevent hair loss & promote hair growth since ancient times. I gently boiled them, let the concoction cool, then added cider vinegar & poured into 2 squiffy bottles, now kept in the fridge. A quick spritz & brush with a bobbly brush (to stimulate the follicles) should do the trick. Thyroid conditions can compromise hair growth for women, as well as stress which tightens the scalp and deprives it of oxygen.
Popped across to Goldstone Park to get tea from the lovely (& busy) Café to have with our sandwiches. Good to see families out for the afternoon, and great to see the wilder approach to planting - that meadow-like effect, rather than the more formal municipal park displays of years ago. saw lots of happy bees! We were pretty pleased ourselves.
Tomorrow I'll look for recipes to make elderflower cordial & what I can do with sorrel. I've known for a long time the French Love sorrel, but only discovered today that theirs is less bitter than ours.