Magnolia Flower Pickle

magnolia flower pickle

I’m on a bit of a Magnolia Flower binge at the moment – it’s understandable, they’re only buds for a short time and our weather is so changeable right now, you’ve got to ‘gather your rosebuds magnolias while you may’! Today’s foodie choice is magnolia flower pickle, which means we can enjoy them well into the year.

There are many different types of magnolia trees, and while all magnolias are considered edible, not all of them have been tested, so people can be a bit weary of trying newer species.  The most common edible magnolias are Magnolia coco, grandiflora, enudata, mhypoleuca,  kobus,  liliflora, mexicana, pterocarpa, and oulangeana. Continue reading “Magnolia Flower Pickle”

Chocolate-Dipped Magnolia Flowers

In our part of the world, Magnolia flowers are among the first signs of spring. Tightly wrapped in their ‘blankets’ – the sepal – they’re just waiting for the warmer weather to open up and show their cheery faces to the sun.

There are many different types of magnolia trees, and while all magnolias are considered edible, not all of them have been tested, so people can be a bit weary of trying newer species.  Some sources say you can’t eat them raw, others say you can… I’ll leave it up to you to make up your mind! Continue reading “Chocolate-Dipped Magnolia Flowers”

Campfire Cheese with Foraged Herbs

Campfire cheese

It sounds a bit odd – making cheese on the campfire. You probably want to manage your expectations on this one – you’re not making a fine camembert, but it’s still a brilliant activity and a tasty spreading cheese to have on crackers or toast.

Campfire cheese uses a basic chemistry concept: irreversable changes. You can read more about making it into a lesson/life lesson/ conversation here. Continue reading “Campfire Cheese with Foraged Herbs”

Sweet Apple Muffins

I took my children apple picking a few weeks ago, and we came home with masses of apples – way more than we needed really, but it was so much fun picking, that we just kept going. Since then we’ve been making a lot of apple dishes, and these apple muffins have come out as a real favourite. My girls request them. Since they only take two apples we decided to freeze some in packs of two for use over the winter months too.


Damson Jam / Damson Jelly Recipe

Damson Jam Recipe

Autumn bounty includes Damsons in the UK, and the trees are laden with them. People can’t get rid of them fast enough. The problem with damsons is that unlike, say, blackberries, you can’t eat them raw, so they often go unappreciated till they fall to the ground.

My daughter came home from a walk in the forest with her pockets bulging with damsons, so I decided to turn it into jam, something I’ve never done before.

Damson Jam / Damson Jelly Recipe
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Use equal parts of fruit to jam sugar, boil and store. Easy peasy Damson Jam. You can of course buy your Damsons, but half the fun is in the foraging!
Serves: 200ml
  • 200g Damsons
  • 250g (9oz) Sugar
  • 1 orange, washed
  1. Wash damsons and drop them into your pot.
  2. Squeeze the juice of the orange out over it.
  3. Cook on medium heat for 20 minutes till the fruit is soft. (20 mins/100C/speed 2).
  4. After 20 minutes, remove from the heat. It's useful at this point to remove all the pips. If you keep the orange in at this point, you'll have a slight marmalade undertone to the damson jam. I'm not a fan of marmalade, so I prefer to remove the orange before adding the jam sugar.
  5. Boil for another 20 minutes at 100C/212F.
  6. Remove from the heat and tip the pot slightly. If the jam looks like it is creating a wrinkle, remove from heat and pour into steriised jars to keep for later, or into a jam jar to start using straight away.
  7. If it doesn't seem to be wrinkly yet, cook for a further five minutes before dispensing into jars. Remember that damsons have a lot of pectin in them and will set as it cools.



Ramson And Cheese Scones

Scones are so quick to make, and they are a great lazy morning breakfast, or tummy filler for toddlers and kids. Getting them to forage for the greens and help in the mixing makes the food a lot more appealing to eat too, so this is a great recipe for getting some greens into little people.

Ramson Scones

Ramsons are also full of vitamin C and iron, so great fortifiers for change of season protection against colds.



Recipe type: Snack, Foraged
  • 175 g self-raising flour
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne
  • 25 g butter
  • 75 g mature cheddar cheese, finely grated
  • 1 large egg
  • 3 tablespoons milk
  • 3 - 4 Ramson (wild garlic) leaves
  1. Preheat the oven to 200C.
  2. Place the flour, salt, cayenne, butter and three quarters of the cheese in a food processor and whiz until well blended.
  3. Beat together the egg and 2 tablespoons of the milk then add to the food processor.
  4. Pulse to form a smooth, soft dough. Chop up the Ramson leaves and mix them in.
  5. Form into six balls, and place on a tray in the oven for 20 mins.
  6. Out the oven, slice, butter, and enjoy!

Reposted from Diary of a First Child