Summer appears to have come early! After such a long, wet and windy winter, we were all yearning for a few rays of sunshine. Now, many of us are wishing for a few drops of rain as the grass begins to turn from vivid green to a pasty yellow in places. Even the mice in Brambly Hedge are being a little cautious at this stage as their reserves of rainfall are beginning to deplete.
For them, the fine weather has many benefits though; the Store Stump has had a good spring clean in preparation for harvests to come, and Primrose and Wilfred have spent many hours playing games out in the hedgerow. They have also been sorting out their bedrooms, giving any toys they no longer play with to Poppy’s babies.
Mrs Apple has been making rose petal jam from the early blooms. The smell of the jam bubbling away in the corner of the kitchen is glorious, and combined with the freshly made bread is almost irresistible to those little paws!
Picnics are a regular occurrence when the weather allows, and the mice take the opportunity to spend time outside, dabbling their paws and tails in the cool water of the stream when the sun is high in the sky. The bluebells have all but gone now, but the honeysuckle, wild roses and kingcups provide plenty of shade in amongst the wispy grasses. Picnics are a great excuse to feast on homemade pies, puddings and cakes which the mice prepare and share between them. Poppy is particularly good at making cheeses. She flavours them with herbs and seeds, and wraps them in oak and sweet chestnut leaves. Some of them are ready to be eaten straight away, and others are stored in the cool of the dairy to use at a later date.
If you need some inspiration for some foraging recipes, have a look at the Brambly Hedge Kitchens section on the website. Do share your favourite picnic creations with us on social media!
The Brambly Hedge Team