New Foraging Frontiers


We have shared our previous foraging adventures over the last few years - ranging from chanterelles to blaeberries/bilberries - rowanberries - birch sap ...

New Foraging Frontiers

There are a few things that are still on our list and some we ticked off this spring when getting into edible flowers. Woodsorrel and Field sorrel (also known as Sheep Sorrel or Red Sorrel or Sourweed) had been on our menu for a long time and taking visitors around the croft to collect them has been a fun pastime for Corwin over the last few years.

But only after we attended a friend's wedding earlier this spring where a lot of flowers were part of the delicious vegetarian meal did we seriously research what edible flowers we had on our croft. We even tasted gorse flowers (not really our thing - they are said to taste of bitter almond and bitter they were indeed).

After all of those adventures, I had a sudden recollection that I read about using spruce tips in vinegar and baking so I set out to read more about as all around us the trees started to show their bright green growths. And indeed I found plenty of recipes for spruce tip shortbread.

So we set out to harvest some - going on an extended trip on the croft to see how many trees we had which could afford to donate some of their tips to our culinary experiments. The answer was LOADS! We reserved some of our collection for the baking and froze some more for later. And then we set off to have a go at making shortbread. The smell when finely cutting them is amazing and gives an idea of the fragrance to expect in the baking. I slightly overdid the first batch in the oven but got the second one perfectly right and absolutely loved the taste of forest it added to the shortbread.

That's another foraging success story for us ... our next target on the foraging frontier is seaweed!

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About the Author

Monika Strell

Monika Strell

About Me & Mine

Monika (an Austrian in Scotland), Stewart (a true Highlander) and Corwin (8), plus 2 dogs and 5 cats.  We live on a woodland croft in the parish of Assynt, in the far North West Highlands of Scotland.

Favourite place in the world:

Home - we are lucky to have mountains and beaches on our doorstep and Scotland generally; but we also love the mountains in my native Austria and have a soft spot for California, where we spent our honeymoon.

Favourite things to do outdoors:

Explovering (our personal term for exploring and discovering) mountains, lochs and beaches, camping, foraging, star gazing, Geocaching, developing our already wonderful woodlands into a magic place to share with family, friends and neighbours and fishing.

Comments (2)

  • Jay Greengrass

    Jay Greengrass

    23 May 2017 at 11:07 | #

    Ooooo, yum yum yum! I love shortbread and I love the smell of spruce, so this must be a marriage made in heaven. Maxi's tried gorse flowers but I'm too busy sticking my nose in them and enjoying that incredible scent instead. Would you share your recipe for the spruce shortbread? It looks lovely!


  • Ruth Lively-Masters

    Ruth Lively-Masters

    05 June 2017 at 23:04 | #

    Yum! Spruce tips - now that's a new one for me! Yes, recipe please! Hmm, then I'll have to track down what passes for spruce out here... ;)


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