Amid the news that the UK plant growing season is a month longer now, I bring you a special Easter-themed edition of Tendrils, my (mostly) weekly round-up of the best plant matter on the internet. We’re still at the mercy of the weather, so we have to sow seeds while we can 🙂
So if the weather is dismal outside, pop the kettle on and make the perfect cup of tea and enjoy a spot of armchair plant hunting.
There’s a lot of information about at the moment about natural plant dyes, with the Herbal Academy showing us how to dye Easter eggs naturally, and the Botanist in the Kitchen persuading us that the Easter bunny is a botanist. Food52 have moved beyond eggs, with a piece on how to make all-natural food dyes from ingredients in your kitchen generally.
Of course, Easter has a chocolate theme, and Kew Gardens have been exploring the flavours of chocolate as part of their Chocolate Sensations festival.
Over the years I have explored the options that might allow you to grow your own chocolate, in a blog post and an episode of the Alternative Kitchen Garden Show. Sadly growing the real deal is not an option in our climate, which is a shame because it would be nice to avoid Peak Chocolate.
One of my favourite seasonal pages has all but disappeared from the internet, rescued by inclusion in the Wayback Machine. Easter-Ledge (Dock) Pudding Recipe tells the story of a traditional Cumberland, Lake District and Yorkshire dish served at this time of year. Sometimes also known as Passion Pudding, Herb Pudding or Bistort Pudding, this savoury pudding is made using the young leaves of the bistort plant (Persicaria bistorta), are commonly cooked with onion, oats, barley, butter and eggs. Some regional variations also use other hedgerow leaves and ingredients.
And if you’re pondering what to do with wild garlic, Fore Adventure are sharing a recipe for wild garlic hummus that also links to wild garlic butter and wild salsa verde.
Whether you get a chance to garden or not, have a lovely weekend and I’ll be back with you next week! Don’t forget that it’s all in the soil, which is the topic for my latest blog column for Gabriel Ash.