Hello, hello, hello! How are you all today? I have had a day where I felt positively useless, and unproductive, despite all my efforts to the contrary, so there was nothing for it but to crack out some potatoes and make something comforting, to soothe my addled brain, and start again.
Earlier this week I re-enacted a near annual tradition. I met a bald man from Essex in a random part of town to make an illicit exchange. Something that I have that I am willing to part with, for something fragrant. He had in his hand a heavy grey plastic bag with green muddy tentacles peeking out. His name is Danny (Food Urchin), and he has brought me some wild garlic. Hurrah!
The tradition is thus. Danny has a garden full of wild garlic, and when I am in town in the season, I meet him and get a plant. In exchange he gets something random. In fact, that is how I first met Danny. I wandered to Borough Market to meet a strange man with a wild garlic plant, and it was him. Not so strange at all, and now a friend, if a wild garlic yielding one. This year, I gave him some of my Japanese SPF130 (yes!), for he is ginger, and is as a-feared of the sun as I am with my pale Irish skin.
Wild garlic is glorious. Ample and clumsy and generous, it has a fragrant sourness, and is pungent with garlic aroma. It loves cream and all things dairy, which really suits my mood today. While I sat freaking out about my to do list, it was peering out at me from its grey sarcophagus, tentacles waving (ok, maybe not) on my kitchen floor. I must plant it (with the hope of having lots more in my garden next year, it likes to take over), but before then, I want to use some.
Today, I needed something decadent but also perky, so as I stare at my wild garlic plant, hoping that it will reveal the secrets of the universe I think – got it! – wild garlic and chorizo potato gratin. Done. Continue reading