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ForestHarvest: non-timber forest products in Scotland

 PRODUCTS

 PRODUCTS | PRODUCTS DIRECTORY | SPECIES DIRECTORY | RECIPES

Recipes

Nettle broth

250g young nettle tops (best from April-June)
1 medium onion
60g butter
30g flour
30g oatmeal
600ml milk
Salt & pepper to taste

Wash the nettles and remove the tougher stems. Boil gently in a little water with the lid on the pan for 15 minutes. Drain and then mash (or liquidise) the nettles. Melt the butter in a pan and fry the onion lightly. Stir in the flour and the oatmeal and cook on a low heat. Add the milk slowly, then the mashed nettles. Season to taste, simmer for a short while and serve.

 

Sloe gin

Pick the berries after the first frosts. Prick each with a fork and then half fill a bottle with them. Add a few spoonfuls of sugar and fill the bottle with gin. Agitate the bottle daily for the first week and then weekly for the next month or two. If you're strong-willed enough, leave it for another year. Otherwise drink it!

 

Rose-hip syrup

Collect the hips when they have just turned red. Mince 1kg in a coarse mincer and drop the mash into 1.7 litres of boiling water. Bring back to the boil and then leave to stand for 15 minutes. Strain through a jelly bag (this is important, as the irritant hairs must be filtered out). Return the residue to the pan, add 800ml of boiling water, stir and allow to stand for 10 minutes before straining as before. Put all the juice into a clean saucepan and boil down to about 800ml. Add 400g of sugar and boil for a further 5 minutes. Then pour into hot sterile bottles and seal at once. Store in a dark cupboard.


Elderflower champagne

4.5 litres of water
700g sugar
7 large elderflower heads (picked at the end of a sunny day)
2 lemons
2 tablespoons of white wine vinegar

Pour the boiling water over the sugar and leave to cool. Add the flowers, lemon juice, grated lemon zest and vinegar and cover with a thick cloth. Leave for 48 hours and then squeeze out the flowers and strain the mixture through a piece of muslin. Bottle it and leave for two to four weeks before drinking. Plastic fizzy drink bottles are best, as they are unlikely to explode if the mixture becomes too gassy.

 

 

Preparing wild food

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Quick index

Nettle broth

Sloe gin

Birch sap wine

Rose-hip syrup

Elderflower champagne

Some external links:

Venison

Lingonberries

Norwegian Blueberry Omelet (and many others)

 
Birch sap wine

To every gallon of the juice from the birch tree, three pounds of sugar, one pound of raisins, half an ounce of crude tartar, and one ounce of almonds are allowed; the juice, sugar and raisins are to be boiled twenty minutes and then put into a tub, together with the tartar; and when it has fermented some days, it is to be strained and put into the cask, and also the almonds, which must be tied in a muslin bag. The fermentation having ceased, the almonds are to be withdrawn, and the cask bunged up, to stand for about five months, when it may be fined and bottled. Keep in a cool cellar. Set the bottles upright or they will fly.

F.M. McNeill, 1929. The Scots Kitchen.

   

 

 

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