Cleaver. A sticky little weed.

It's pretty bleak out there at the moment. The wet, cold fug this January has made me hibernate more than ever before. I do however pop out very quickly and very occasionally for one little wild essential that is both at its peak & is at its most needed right now - I'm talking about Cleavers - you might call it Sticky Weed, Sticky Willy, (snigger) or Goosegrass - I call them Magic. Young Cleavers provide a pretty amazing boost to your system helping to support your lymphatic system - which with all this hibernation is at a low ebb right now. 

In January they are tender, not sticky and very tasty. My favorite way to eat them is in a warm carrot salad, spiced with Rose el Hanout (you can use Ras el Hanout or Harissa. Toast the spices, add some good oil, toss grated carrots in the spicy mix & add a handful of cleavers & finely diced onion, maybe a squeeze & zest of orange - chickweed & bittercress also go rather well in this salad and both are in season right now as well. (and even better for you than kale. seriously) 

I've also been drinking my way through the winter & not just with gin. If you have an leftover peel from marmalade making, dry it out, mix it with pine needles, cleavers, nettle and dandelion leaf & brew up a tea so cleansing you'd think you were on a New Year Detox. 


Now back to my blanket on the sofa...