Monday, 15 April 2013

Gigs and Garlic

Well, the weather 'turned' just in time! Despite a howling, gale -force wind, the sun shone and the temperature got up to 21 degrees in our neck of the woods - it didn't feel like that because of the wind, but how astounding for it to change like that overnight!

The Ouse Washes Molly Dancers danced out at the Haverhill Arts Centre before the Spiers and Boden gig; or, as we like to say, we opened for Spiers and Boden! We had quite a good crowd which gathered to watch and listen, we played from 7pm until about 7.40. Halfway through I noticed John Spiers standing on the steps grinning across at us, fortunately for my fiddle playing I didn't spot Jon Boden!

Three of the OWM musos, Jan, Nicky Stockman (head girl!) and me. The bilious coloured walls were actually greener than that, sorry, it looks a bit alarming! The unfinished jacket passed muster.

We got several mentions throughout the concert - and a few strange glances from those in the audience who hadn't seen the dancing, as we were still more or less in Molly kit when we sat down - minus the blackened faces and hats, of course! It was a great gig, though fairly restrained as it is an all-seated venue - nothing like those rowdy Bellowhead gigs!

 I managed to sneak a couple of photos - John Spiers did say not to take photos while he was playing difficult tunes as he pulled strange faces! Nice to know even the best of us do the feared 'Melodeon Face'. (I am training myself not to do it but you never know!)

So there you are, that's my latest claim to fame.I've just noticed on the back of my ticket where the price should be it says "Complimentary Artist List". Phew, tuppence to talk to me now, folks! I don't know, Andy Cutting, John Spiers, I'm becoming a veritable Melodeon Stalker! Two very different box players, playing very different types of music.

I like garlic. I like it a lot. I use it a lot. I just can't grow it. I have tried, but with little success, which is a great blow to me, as I do grow many herbs with no problems. Over the past year or so I've been having a garlicky conversation via face book with my Burwell Bash fiddle friend Thelma. Thelma lives in Yorkshire and grows oodles of garlic, and she's given me a few few tips here and there. This year she even sent me - by first class mail - some garlic shoots for me to transplant I've no idea how well I will do with them, but I've given it my best shot. We did also talk about wild garlic - also known as Ramsons, and by coincidence I read an article in a magazine recently all about wild garlic.

 Suddenly I remembered local folk-lore about a lane where wild garlic grows in such profusion you can smell it before you see it.

This lane is about a mile away, and though it is called something else on the maps, it is known as Onion Corner. I was on my way to visit my mum today, and thought I would take a slight detour to find some wild garlic. You really couldn't miss it. The aroma is quite pungent, and the plants grow in abundance; I felt no guilt about chopping a good handful of the aromatic green leaves.

                                                            Swathes of the stuff!

 I shall go back when they are in flower and gather some seed - I just know they will do well in our garden.

So I shall be preserving ramsons leaves in oil, as herb butter in the freezer, and as wild garlic pesto.

You can forage for wild garlic in damp, woodland areas. You can't mistake the leaves, the smell will tell you pretty quickly. Once the flowers are out the leaves become 'older' and slightly bitter, so pick now before the flowers appear. I hope the weather continues mild and sunny for your foraging!


  1. The coat and hat look the part, as do you! Glad the day was good for you, in all ways.
    I grow garlic in a raised bed, but have to keep it covered with netting as the pesky pigeons seem to like nibbling at it, and my shallots. No wonder they seem to spend time getting away from each other!

    1. Thanks Maggie. Jim grows good onions, leeks and, occasionally, shallots, but we haven't had much success with garlic. I'm hoping the ramsons will prove hardier and naturalise themselves. About to start processing the leaves I this space! Lx

  2. Remember me won't you when you are famous! Good luck with the garlic, I tried onions last year, it was a disaster! :) x

    1. Hi Ada, yes of course I will remember all those 'little people' who knew me before I was famous!!!!

      I'm terrible at growing anything but herbs - so I am full of hope for the ramsons. We would have nothing unless Jim grew them! Lx

  3. Hi Lynne, oh my goodness, are you doing signed photographs yet?! Love the 'melodeon face' comment, Vince does a fantastic guitar face when he's playing one of his complicated blues pieces. I want to get a photo of him now!
    I manage to grow garlic on my allotment, tho it's always rather small, and yes, we have tons of the lovely wild garlic down here in the woods. Hey, if I get hold of some bulbs (I know where they are growing in someone's garden) would you like me to send you some?

    1. I think I shall try and remain my usual humble (ahem) self!

      And yes, that would be great if you would, Nina. You can email me from the profile thingy and we can get in touch.Thank you! Lx

  4. I've never tried them but must go and find some. I know they are supposed to be quite nice stir fried.

    1. If I knew where you were, Dc I'd be able to head you in the right direction! In fact, if you think about Black Horses, castles, and alms houses you would be heading in the right direction. From the sound of some of your walks you could be there quite easily.Lx

    2. Know where you mean I think, is it down towards the river? I'm thinking walk down the small road to the left of the tea room?

    3. If you stand with your back to the tea rooms, turn left, you walk past the alms houses and keep going there is a barrier across the lane to stop cars. Walk about 500 yards and where the wood starts - or the fenced land ends -on your right you will see swathes and swathes of ramsons. Smell them too! Good hunting!

  5. Looks like you had a super night last night, maybe John Spiers was eyeing you up for the next Bellowhead line up lol blimey you would be fit then! The hat and jacket look fab!!

    We tried to grow garlic once but the rabbits ate it! We don't really grow much but can manage to be self sufficient with salad stuff through the summer. I hope you are more successful with the wild garlic, I have never seen any growing round here. I love garlic but hubby doesn't, if he only knew how much of it he eats lol

  6. Ha! Karen I don't think so! We did have a brilliant time though.
    I'm sure the rabbits have loads of our bulbs too. But I just think I have never got the growing right with the garlic, left the bulbs in too long, or planted at the wrong time of year etc etc. Hoping I might have more luck this year with the garlic and that the wild garlic takes off too. LOL I love the bit about your husband eating garlic and not knowing it!

  7. you look lovley in that pic Mum lives near Haveril! there is a place near here where wild garlic grows and it is so strong, quite amazing stuff, I've never eaten it though.
    I really loved your stitching on your last post, you are so clever, its quite nice hand stitching I think, my mind just wanders, its nice :-)

    1. Thanks Sophie!

      Pick some wild garlic leaves and use them like chives - you will love them! And the stitching - yes, pure meditative, mindful activity.Lx

  8. Hi Ciao Morning Lynne....
    Thankyou for visiting my Blog, and your lovely comment...!
    In answer to your question...I was given my first PC in Nov
    2008. Young lady friend, who had been to school with my daughter,
    set it all up...And, she said, l should have a Blog....Blog? Blog?
    She suggested a personal Blog, a few photos, and Richard, her brother,
    would sort some music out...So! She interviewed me, l got the photos
    ...In three hours, it was put together....!
    I don't Blog, don't know how to...Never learnt...! Naughty really.
    I had thought of doing a food Blog...Cooking....Game....Even thought of a title 'Road Kill..Is it really necessary'. all with a comical slant.
    Never got round to it....!
    But, l enjoy the few l follow, and even had 66,500 viewings, so far,
    on mine...! Goodness knows who..!:).
    Anyway, hope you don't mind me explaining this on your Blog....There
    was no e-mail add. on your profile....Thanks so very much again....!

    1. Well Hi Willie, you old fraud! There was I expecting a great blog ....and it ain't there! never mind, it's great tbat you visit other blogs and regularly comment - I hope you'll come back here now and then; you know comments are the best bit!

      But it's never too late, know, and Blogland could do with a bit more humour! Catch you again sometime, I hope .....

  9. Goodness! Yes! I'm certainly full of humour...! :0).
    Perhaps l'll get round to it one day.....It's just
    that family and friends have'nt allowed me to slow down.
    Still running around on the ceiling....HeHe! Love it really!

    Oh! l meant to say....There is a lovely Blog, one of my must
    favourite...Shopie etc....Do follow it, if you have'nt, well
    worth a look....!

    Have Fun....Be Good....Think Pink....! :)
    Oh! By the way....Love the bucket....

    1. Just checked out Maria's blog and left a comment; very nice too, I shall visit again for sure. Thanks for the hint!

  10. Wild garlic pesto, oh yummy Lynne. I am salivating at the thought.

    You look fabulous in that photo and yes please remember us humble little people when your name is in lights! xxx Penny

    1. Ah, thank you, Penny! And of COURSE I shall remember my roots! ( :) ! )

      Putting some wild garlic photos on next post!

  11. Good morning! Lynne...Thanks for popping in on me and leaving the kindest words...April showers (Bambi tune) has been put away till another time...although I must also add...We have those April Showers here in the real today! hehe..~ Love that you play live music, as my daughter sings and plays acoustic guitar! YOU do look the 'bees knees' on your photo's! I have just read the issue of the 'simple things' about wild Garlic...A great mag! LOVE the feature on the 'Milk Man' too....I have gone back to having mine delivered! Puts a smile on me face to see some thing from my past on my door step each morning! ~ Even if it is only the humble milk bottle... I am easily pleased, I know!...~ Leaving YOU with a smile :) and wishing your day to be as fun as you are! Love Maria x

    1. Hello MAria, lovely of you to pop in for a chat!
      Yes, the milk article gave me pause for thought. I'm not sure we even have a local milk-man any more - we did when we first came to live here. However once the boys left home we used less and less milk, and it started to go off regularly, so we now buy skimmed UHT which is not a good drink but then we don't drink straight milk anymore. I do agree with the use it or lose it ethos, but for the amount of milk we use it wouldn't be worth having a delivery.
      Ah, so your daughter sings and plays - does she do gigs/folk clubs/etc ? I played guitar as a teenager (it was mandatory, growing up in Liverpool in the 60's!!) but I wish I'd learned fiddle and melodeon many years ago - I'd be blummin' marvellous by now!!

    2. Best way to drink milk...Is straight from the
      cow....! Make sure it's standing up of course,
      and make sure you put yer head on a pillow....!
      HeHe! I jest of course....But, if you squeeze it
      into a mug or glass, it tastes really nice, bit
      warm but very dairy tasting...! Try it!

      And, garlic....oooooO! die for it...! Naturally,
      l was brought up on it, not only ate it, but, had
      it rubbed on my chest....Brilliant!
      And, olive oil....Used to rub it on my legs, before
      a run, at school...Quite a slippery customer really!!
      HeHe! And, do try that milk....From a cow, or a goat
      even.....! :>).

    3. By gum, you must have ponged good and proper! Heard of people having onions rubbed on their chests to ward of chesty colds...but not garlic - I didn't think most Brits knew what it was in er.......the Olden Days!

  12. Hi Lynne, I've replied to your comment on my blog (thanks again for the visit and comment) and have popped over to read about the wild garlic :-) I've looked at a few other posts too, so many delicious things! I'm a few years off retirement yet but a bit more time would be nice to fit in all the things I want to do, maybe I'd be able to get organised too! Hope to see you over at mine again soon as I'm sure I'll be visiting here, Rowen x

    1. Hi Rowan, lovely to see you here - this organisation thing is a lark isn't it? Are some people born knowing how to keep things on track?

      And you know, you always do find time somehow to do the things you really want to - most of them anyway! Thanks for visiting and I'll be back at yours soon.Lx


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