Before I begin I need to tell you that none of these photos have been edited. I wanted to show you the true green of the wild garlic. I also want to thank Lucy of Attic 24 for her post on wild garlic pesto which inspired me to try making some of my own.
I love gathering food, whether that’s blackberries in Autumn or runner beans from the garden. It gives me a wonderful sense of fulfilment. Merida and I were on a lovely dog walk through one of my favourite woods which at this time of year is starting to bloom with rhododendrons. We were enjoying a lovely chat and some one-to-one time and when you have three kids this doesn’t happen often. She was asking me about my dream house and was telling me about hers (She wants to live in a massive house in Cornwall by the sea when she’s a popstar). Suddenly we came across a massive patch of wild garlic. After reading Lucy’s post a couple of weeks ago I’d been eager to try the pesto and so was brave enough to pick some. Merida loved it too…except for a few slugs that got in her way. We diligently picked the juiciest, greenest leaves and stuffed them in a spare (clean) poop scoop bag. After Merida had let me indulge in that we went on our way resuming our conversation about dream houses.
Later we began the pesto. Merida wanted to see it through to completion so after I’d thoroughly washed the leaves we both began to chop. The recipe uses a food processor but we don’t own one so we went with chopping (above) and szhooshing (below).
I mixed in the oil a little early to help our szhoosher (yes, it’s a technical term) transform the garlic leaves into a paste. Then the lovely almonds and szhoosh some more. It went a wonderful green very early and I love the colour. We managed to create a fabulous paste as the recipe states, despite not having all the right tools. I was very pleased with our efforts.
Later on we sat down to try some as a family for our dinner. Family mealtimes are important to me. It’s one of the few times a day we don’t have to rush off anywhere and can all sit and talk…that’s the idea anyway. I’m one of those mums who doesn’t let her kids get down from the table until everyone is finished. Some people think I’m mental, others agree. It’s certainly a personal choice. Its not always easy to stay calm at the tired end of the day with a baby crying and kids arguing over who’s sitting where. But, often (not always) we succeed in a nice meal.
During this meal Finn declared he didn’t like the pesto. This was unfortunate as there was nothing else for tea. Now my kids are really good eaters, they will often try new things without being asked, now they’re not perfect and often change their mind on what they like but I’m one of those mean mum’s who says “if you don’t like it then pick it out”. This is how I’ve always been and they’re used to it. This is one reason I think they’re good eaters. (Just my personal opinion) Merida will try almost everything! She loves grownup food. Finn dives on red cabbage like no one I know. I say this to give you an idea that this flat-out “I don’t like it” declaration is quite rare. I’ll admit he often looks at food, says “I don’t like/want that” but once he’s tried it he’s away. Not eating at all, not usual. For some reason I took his slight of my newly made pesto personally. I was offended. I didn’t mean to be just as he didn’t mean to offend. Sometimes it’s hard to not show your disappointment when you’ve worked really hard on something and it’s not liked.
Finn then really surprised me and after we’d talked about it some more said “it’s important, isn’t it?” He meant it was important to me that he liked it. I find it interesting that we always want to please, even children who, let’s be honest, can be fickle. I thought Finn was lovely. He really tried some of the pesto covered pasta, face screwed up in disgust. And when we talked calmly about it I found his attitude was really lovely in that he wanted to make up for his personal taste. He gave me lots of hugs. This sudden understanding was a breakthrough. The fact Finn was really thinking how his actions affect other people. I’ve learned a lot from my children and this is one lesson I’ve always found hard but Finn and I are learning together, well we all are.