Friday, 4 July 2008

A Bit Like...

Walking from Dudley to Gornalwood

In an earlier blog I wrote about eating Hawthorn flowers. These have now disappeared from the hedgerows to be replaced by the beginnings of bunches of berries. However, the Elder is now in flower across most of the country, and the blossoms are equally edible.

Elders are often found making up the numbers in hedgerows, or standing alone as small trees whose twisting branches appear old and gnarled even in relatively young specimens. Elderflowers come in bunches about the size of a fist, each one composed of hundreds of tiny white blossoms.

Even though I used to do a great deal of hitch-hiking and am therefore used to being gawped at by passing motorists, I still find myself feeling self-conscious about being seen to be plucking flowers from trees and then eating them, to the point where I have to wait until there are no vehicles near enough to me for their occupants to be able to make out what I'm doing.

The blossoms taste pleasant, and I have an instinctive feeling that they are good for me, as opposed to say a Mcdonalds meal or a kebab, which are equally capable of tasting nice, but which are always accompanied by an awareness that it is only your taste buds that are going to benefit.

I described Hawthorn flowers as tasting 'a bit like raw cabbage,' and it turns out that Elderflowers do as well. However, it feels like rather lazy writing to use the same description for these as well, so I have come up with a new one - they taste a bit like Hawthorn flowers.

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