wild abandon

1 06 2008

Sometimes we forget some of the bounty the Earth gives us. Instead we do our darnedest to control the plant life around us. We coax seedlings along – stressing about water and light levels – we build garden beds, we carefully measure the space between each plant before it goes in, and then we mulch, weed, water, and pray that the weather will work in our favour. But regardless of what we do, plants will always grow. And sometimes we need to appreciate them and their wildness.

This past Thursday, I had the pleasure of indulging in a foraged dinner, produced and prepared by Matthew and Jen at Castlegarth Restaurant. I’ve mentioned Castlegarth before. As far as I’m concerned, Matthew and Jen were doing local food before the phrase existed. And that’s exactly why it’s so fantastic. For me, Castlegarth is a relationship and an experience – not just a trendy meal. Matthew and Jen are masters at bringing me closer to my food, and they do that through carefully-produced, prepared and divinely good dishes.

When I asked Matthew and Jen if they would be willing to do a vegetarian version for their foraging dinner, they happily obliged. And not just happily – from the moment I arrived I didn’t feel like an outsider, as I so often do, for not having partaken in the meat-eating version. The service and my dinner was seamless, complete and scrumptious. Have a look at my menu – but be forewarned, you WILL drool:

So, as much as I love my garden, I realize it is just one source of food. And that the Earth is very generous in providing us food without all our gardening attempts.

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3 responses

5 06 2008
ginger up « hit pay dirt

[…] 5 06 2008 HURRY!!! After discovering the flavour of wild ginger during my scrumptious foraged dinner, I have JUST learned that we are at the tail end of its season for the whole year! Wild ginger is […]

8 06 2008
Freya

As a carnivore who was also in attendance, I have to also give props to the rabbit sausage, the local lamb and the lobster ravioli (likely not local, but incredibly rich and delicious)… In line with your wild ginger quest, we actually found a morel and some leeks 2 days after the dinner and made a delicious pasta from them. I was also inspired, and educated as is so often the case when I eat at Castlegarth. I have yet to find a place more worthy of my money in this part of the world.

Love the blog, you’ve been added to my favs.

8 06 2008
gillian

Freya, thanks so much for stopping by! I had wanted to comment on the other menu, but in my revelry over my own dishes, I forgot what other dinner options had been served. I vaguely remember my dinner date in his own state of ecstasy across the table but it is all a little bit hazy now. 😛

That’s so cool about the morel and the wild leeks. I have been looking for wild leeks ever since and haven’t had the same luck. Maybe soon…

Hope to see you at Castelgarth – or perhaps foraging in the woods! – sometime soon! 🙂

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