Author: Rachel Lambert

Look what the storm threw up!

Look what the storm threw up!

Mingled amongst the debri of Sea Spaghetti (Himanthalia elongata) and its own roots I found Sea Grass. Looking a little like washed up wild leeks, or green strands of sea weed, this plant is rather unique and important. What is Sea Grass? I first read […]

Spring Dessert: Nettle and Honey Cake with Gorse Flower Syrup

Spring Dessert: Nettle and Honey Cake with Gorse Flower Syrup

Five years ago I wrote a blog about my Nettle and Honey Cake – it went down a treat. Named as; ‘the best I’ve ever had’ by one enthusiastic forager, it was one of my many ideas I was actually able to follow through with […]

Why I love Stinging Nettles  (A little film footage!)

Why I love Stinging Nettles (A little film footage!)

I’ve been teaching foraging for a while now (over 10 years), and I’ve just come across some old film footage of me introducing stinging nettles (Urtica dioica). Oooh, we were all younger then, weren’t we!

Nettles remains one of my favourite wild greens, especially in spring, and as I write this (in April), I’m enjoying nettles most days, in soup, cake, pakoras, tea or doughnuts – yes doughnuts, more on that later!

For ideas of how else to use nettles, do have a look at my Stinging Nettle blog, in particular you want to read this one; A Dozen Ways to Eat Nettles, or come along on a wild food foraging course where I share all this and more.

As you can imagine, I’ve learnt a fair amount over the years, and love to share what I know. There is plenty to say and learn about the humble nettle, from recipe ideas to health benefits, to worldwide uses.

Making Nettle Pakoras

Making Nettle Pakoras

Stinging Nettles (Urtica dioica) are one of my favourite spring greens, and this was a recipe I shared with Graham Pullen of St Ives Screen Printing at Tom’s Yard. Graham is keen on making art affordable and accessible, and has incorporated the recipe into one […]

It’s Cornish Nettle Soup Time!

It’s Cornish Nettle Soup Time!

It is spring, the time for going nettling!   I wait and wait for this moment in spring. Last week I passed a huge patch of stinging nettles (urtica dioica), looking all lovely and ready to pick. It’s hard to explain, but when they’re really […]

Learn to Forage through Songs

Learn to Forage through Songs

Song, verse, sound and rhyme have been used by humans for thousands of years to communicate, respond and express. Sound is an integral part of our daily landscape. It has been used functionally (to explain things) as well as for fun and as an essential part of celebrations across the world. Rachel Lambert is a foraging teacher who has sung all her life. She sings on her own on the moor, with friends, with family, to mourn and to celebrate life. Since childhood she has learnt songs and made up songs, feeling happy to hit the right or wrong note and just enjoy singing!

Why wild singing

There is much scientific evidence to suggest that singing is good for the brain, heart, gets creative juices running, sends feel good endorphins round the body and can help counter anxiety and loneliness. Coupled with the great outdoors, which can legitimately claim similar health and well-being benefits, wild singing is a pretty good boost for the body and soul.

The benefits of using song to learn about plants

Singing about plants and nature is also part of our historical tapestry. When Rachel Lambert (Wild Walks South West) has researched past uses of plants she’s often come across poems and songs. Songs tell of plant their uses, claims of curing ills, bringing love and old traditions. Rachel has taken this idea and created new songs to tell of plant qualities she often shares with participants on her foraging courses. Songs can be a great way to remember things, as well as just enjoying the moment.

If you’d like to see snippets of other songs, or read more about this experience, you may want to view my other Wild Singing blogs. I run The Singing Forager Experience for anyone who’d like to listen to, hum along or join in. Dates for these are here; The Singing Forager Experience and details of how to book is here.

The Lessons of Making Gorse Flower Fudge

The Lessons of Making Gorse Flower Fudge

Gorse Flower Fudge Oh my god, I had such hopes with this recipe, I really thought I’d clinched it first time (which happens occasionally, though is definitely not a given). Heating it slowly, the smell of the gorse flowers was divine and the flavour of […]

Gorse Flower Rice Pudding

Gorse Flower Rice Pudding

It’s raining and cold and I’ve just put the heating back on. Time for comfort food, something that will warm me from the inside out. Rice pudding has childhood memories for me, to be honest not brilliant ones. A blob of jam on top of […]

Drying Dulse Seaweed at Home

Drying Dulse Seaweed at Home

Palmata palmaria

I’m at artist at heart. An optimistic, awed by the natural world kind-of-one. As an artist, seaweed does it for me. I can spend hours looking in a rock pool at the beautiful colours and textures, how the water moves the weeds and the play of light on the water.

As a forager, being able to harvest and eat these works of art is an added bonus. Last week was the first good spring tide of the year, which was a wonderful opportunity to hand pick a few seaweeds for personal use. Dulse (Palmaria palmata) is one of my favourite snacks when I’m working at home, it’s nutritious, salty and tasty. There’s lots I could tell you about it, and indeed I do in my seaweed book, and can on my seaweed courses.

How and why to dry seaweeds

Traditionally, seaweeds are dried to preserve them. I like to taste dulse fresh on the beach, though if I’m picking more than a few fronds I dry them at home. There are many ways to dry seaweeds, which I discuss on my courses and in my book, though my preferred way is; naturally. Energy is a big topic these days. This is a great way to reduce and be efficient with our energy consumption in order to respect and take care of our one and precious earth. Instead, using the natural energy of the sun.

So, I dry dulse over clothes racks and on tea towels in my sunny, warm kitchen. It only takes a day.

Palmata palmaria

This morning, as I descended into my kitchen and opened the curtains to enter another artist’s heaven.

I loved how the light played on this beautiful red seaweed as it was drying on tea towels. Every stage of seaweeds I love. The carefully harvesting of them (just enough and only half of each dulse plant), rinsing and patting them dry, laying them out on tea towels and hanging them on clothes racks. Watching them shrink and dry, checking there’s no damp clumps. Then storing them in clean jars for snacks or to incorporate into potato dishes, quiche, dukka, and chapatis, recipes which you can see in my seaweed book. I also have a blog for a more-ish Dulse Soda Bread (gluten-free) which comes with several recommendations!

Palmata palmaria  Palmata palmaria

Palmata palmaria  Palmata palmaria

Tips for drying seaweeds at home

  • If you can, dry them naturally in a warm room or airing cupboard
  • First rinse and pat dry the seaweeds, removing as much liquid as you can. You can also use a salad spinner for this
  • For small seaweeds, lay them out over tea towels with enough space around them to let them breathe
  • For larger seaweeds hang over clothes racks
  • Check the seaweeds regularly to make sure no wet clumps are forming
  • Once dried, store in clean jars, open bowls or containers
What’s Wild, Yellow and Subtle?

What’s Wild, Yellow and Subtle?

I warn you, this might be a blog with questions. I did wonder what to make the title, it could have been; what’s yellow, subtle with a crisp outer and soft centre? Though it sounded too much like a chocolate advert. Here’s the answer, a […]