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Foraged Spring Picnic

Beltane is the halfway point between spring and summer. A time for renewing vitality and blossoming hope, the potency of fertility is palpable. Acts of weaving the male and female energy ensures a successful harvest.


One form of "maying" is the act of picnicking on May Day. Take your lover to a meadow or the forest to frolic with fairies and feast on a meal bursting with vibrant spring energy such a hawthorne, dandelion and wild greens. Serve May Wine, a white wine touched with sweet woodruff, or Milk and Honey cocktail, my ode to Flora the goddess of flowers. Delight in a romp amongst nature to embody the essence of the day.


Escorting little ones on this adventure? Make merry by weaving flower crowns and building fairy houses while enjoying your refreshments.


However you sojourn, be sure to leave a few bits of your fare behind as an offering to the fairies to protect your home, garden and animals.


Here are three recipes to take on your excursion:

-Hawthorne Strawberry Jam

-Dandelion Honey Butter

-Wild Greens Pesto


Accompanied by a hunk of cheese and crusty bread, you have a lovely spring basket to savor the plants of the season. To keep it authentic, try the gluten free bannock bread recipe from https://moonandspoonandyum.com/gluten-free-bannock-bread/




Hawthorne Strawberry Jam by Flora's Feast Botanicals

Hawthorne Strawberry Jam

1 tbsp dried hawthorne berries

1 c finely chopped strawberries

1 tbsp honey or to taste

1/2 tsp gelatin, optional


Decoct the hawthorne berries in 2 cups of water by bringing the liquid almost to a boil and reducing to low-medium heat for about 20 minutes until it reduces to 1/3 cup.

Strain berries. Add decoction back to the saucepan. Add strawberries. Cook on medium heat for 5-10 minutes.

Reduce heat and add honey.

The jam will be loose and will firm up once cooled in the refrigerator. If you before a thicker jam, add a 1/2 tsp of gelatin while the mixture is still warm and stir well.

Store in the fridge.


Note: if you have access to hawthorne flowers, you can replace the decoction with a strongly brewed tea.




Dandelion Honey Butter by Flora's Feast Botanicals


Dandelion Honey Butter

1 stick unsalted butter, softened

2 tbsp honey

1 c dandelion petals, green parts and stems removed

1/8 tsp salt


Blend all ingredients together in a food processor.

Store in the fridge.



Wild Greens pesto , foraged pesto by Flora's Feast Botanicals


Wild Greens Pesto

2 tbsp pine nuts, lightly roasted

1/4 c parmesan, grated

1 small clove garlic or pinch of garlic powder

1/2 tsp salt

1 1/2 c foraged greens (such as dandelion leaves, violet leaves, chickweed, cleavers, blanched nettles)

3 tbsp or more extra virgin olive oil


In a food processor, blend pine nuts, parmesan, garlic and salt into a paste.

Add greens and blend until broken down.

Drizzle in olive oil until you reach your desired texture preference.





Milk and Honey Cocktail

Floral Vodka

2 tbsp rose

5 tsp chamomile

1 tbsp dandelion flowers

1 tsp lavender


If you are feeling spicy and sultry, add:

1/2 tsp ginger pieces

1/4 tsp cinnamon chips


Top herbs with 4 oz of vodka.

Steep for 24 hours.

Strain.


Cocktail

1.5 oz (3 tbsp) floral vodka

4 oz (1/2 c) whole milk

1 tbsp honey or to taste


Stir to combine all ingredients.


Notes:

*If you have trouble dispersing the honey, gently warm it with some water to create a simple syrup.

*For a fruity floral element, add fresh squeezed orange juice.