A foragers’ freezer

IN

Foraging first claimed my food cupboards, one by one jars of preserved foraged finds replaced packets of pasta, rice & tins. You never know when you’ll need to infuse a handful of peach scented agrimony stems into a milk pudding, or sprinkle powdered meadowsweet over a wood pigeon breast…

Quite soon my cupboards resembled a slightly unhinged version of a Beatrix Potter characterstree root pantry. One day cupboards couldn’t close for the bulge of the wild, so I started filling my freezer with my finds & something magic happened. The flavours I had plucked months before hand came out of their deep freeze exactly as good, sometime even better as the moment I gathered them.

Flowers, herbs, unripe seeds, roots, berries, hips, haws, if it grew I started freezing it. The freezer in my house is full of jars of foraged treats – my family have long given up on hoping there may be anything for them in there. Now I’ve moved into my shed & I have 3 freezers lined up stuffed with goodies. If you’re of a certain age, you might imagine I’m a female, foragy version of Mr Trebus and give me a few years I may well turn into her, but for now my freezer hoarding fixation has a very important plus side, one which you might like to discover – Freezing Flowers.

At the core of my little preserving business are edible flowers & most of my products I make play host to flowers gathered in their prime, full of perfume & promise. Flowers delicate appearances give nothing away of their ability to hold their own against the ‘biggest’ of flavours – add a handful of honeysuckle flowers to a pan of damsons & you’ll end up with a flavour that stretches up, down & sideways.  And in my experience, their flavours survive well in the freezer.

Notes

  • There is a caveat to this article – I bear no responsibility if you get the freezing bug, and as a result your fish fingers lose any home, resulting in your children resenting you & your relationshipsbreaking down…
  • Take note, strongly scented ingredients pass their scent onto other more delicate plants so I’d always recommend freezing your wild ingredients, especially flowers in glass jars/ lidded Pyrex dishes. The good news about this is that you can infuse cocktails in the freezer in jars to make pre-made wild slush puppies [recipe here >]

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