Moving house is stressful, moving a house come pizzeria more so. But what better antidote than a stroll in the countryside, particularly if it’s brought to life by a true naturalist (I’m hoping that’s an expert in fauna and flora rather than someone with a liberal attitude to clothing). Cue Chris of Heavenly Hedgerows, we’ve long been a fan of her range of wild produce and keen to expand our foraged toppings she was gracious enough to let us tag along for a walk.
July’s known as the hungry month but there was plenty to see and learn, Chris’ enthusiasm is contagious. It was fascinating to hear the histories, from pineapple weed – yes it really does smell of pineapple – which was introduced to Kew Gardens only to escape around the country on the soles of shoes, to the mallow plant with its edible pink flowers – the origin of marshmallows. It’s fair to say my interest in plants is biased by what’s edible and the culinary highlight was a wild mustard, I’d have mistook it for rapeseed, but the bright yellow flowers with a mustard kick would be the perfect way to finish a white base, sausage pizza.
After our stroll in the sun we returned to Heavenly Hedgerow HQ to cook up what we’d found. I failed miserable to recall the names of our bounty, but I’ll put that down to the volume of information in such a sort period, not my appalling memory. Chris and family share their home – well garden – with 7 hives, close to a million bees on her doorstep and it turns out Chris is afraid of bees. Now that’s dedication, it’d be like me being afraid of flour.