Spoon carving from a Bushcraft perspective with Jon Mac...
I am a spoon carver who lives and works on Dartmoor in Devon.
I carve spoons and Kuksa from green wood, using the three principal bushcraft tools. The knife, Axe and hook knife. I find spoon carving gives me a greater understanding of these tools as I can demonstrate a precision of craft in the finished spoon. I have developed my own spoon carving knife 'The MaChris' which is made by 'Chris Grant' a fantastically talented bladesmith.

Monday, 11 April 2011

Jons' Spring Time Pique Nique


This is a story I have cut and pasted from my other blog. You may have read it a while ago but I am re posting a couple of relevant stories for those that missed them previously...


Yesterday I packed a few things in my rucksack and went for a walk...
I wanted to find out how the woods are getting on after a long cold winter.
The leaf canopy seems to be a little late this year. I  didn't expect to find many plants showing through the leaf litter. I was thrilled to find some of my favourite salad plants have made an appearance...
The first and most obvious being the lovely....
Beech ...
( Fagus Sylvatica ).
You can eat the leaves early in the season when they are brand new.... 


I quickly gathered a good amount, popped them in my pocket and carried on through the forest.
On one of the lower tracks I encountered a very tasty plant.
We call it...
Jack-by-the-hedge....
( Alliaria Petiolata )
It has a rather nice garlic taste, very mild and perfect for a salad...




There are quite a lot out at the moment so I will pop back for a few more soon...
The next plant I came across is rather special.
The Pig Nut
( Conopodium Majus )




They are very small at the moment, I will post some more pictures later in the season...
What you have to do is very carefully follow the stem down to the ground, and with your fingers dig down...following the stem. The stem turns through 90 degrees as it nears the tuba. If you are successful you will find a tasty morsel in the form of a soft skinned nut. These can be eaten raw, as I like them, or lightly roasted on the embers of a fire...


They taste to me like a peppery chestnut...
You can quite clearly see the delicate stem turn before it meets the tuba...


And washed in the stream...


I found plenty of young

Goose Grass...
( Galium Aparine )
Quite a hairy little blighter, you will have to cook it, by boiling or steaming.
I have in the past eaten quite a lot of this plant, but to be quite honest it isn't a clear favourite.
Chopped and added to a stew to mask the taste is the way to go....


The next plant I found will have to be treated in the same manner.
But after steaming or a light boil this plant is a more palatable option...
Black Berry
( Rubus Fructicosus )
Pick and cook the young shoots...


A nice treat on a sunny day is the
Navel Wort...
( Umbilicus Sylvestris )
A succulent addition to your salad ...


So some of these little, green, round gems were picked and put carefully in my rucksack for later...
With my thoughts turning toward a super pique nique I wanted a hot drink to go with it...
Finding a suitable pine tree I took some young needles.
These will make a fine tea to go with lunch...


And just to give my taste buds a final tweak I picked a few leaves of
Wood Sorrel
( Oxalis Acetosella )


Now you don't want to go eating a lot of these tasty morceaux as they are full of Oxalates, which are not good for you, but gives this plant an apple peel citric taste...



And so once I had found my salad I repaired to the nearby stream and set about making my pique nique...




Boiling water for the Pine Needle Tea...








I had a splendid walk and a great Pique nique...





Enjoy....

5 comments:

  1. That looks good and tasty, off to do the same soon.

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  2. Love those Opinel knives, too. I've got a couple.

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  3. Hi Jon,
    Just makes you want to get 'out there', thanks for sharing..
    Regards,
    John

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  4. Glad you enjoyed it fellas... A great thing to be able to do this time of year...J

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