Wednesday 5 May 2010

Weed Weekend

I experimented with oven-dried seaweed this weekend.

On Saturday I collected Gutweed and Green Laver. I rinsed the sand off the seaweed and dried it in the oven at around 60 degrees (Celsius) until it went crispy. I put a little sugar on the Gutweed. I happily munched into the experiments: the Gutweed was certainly crunchy, although mostly because of the sand inside it; the Green Laver had a strong and evocative seashore smell but tasted strongly of iodine at the back of the mouth. The quick rinsing had done nothing to ameliorate the saltiness. My wife wasn't too fond of either of them. However, she conceded that some very finely crumbled Green Laver might work as a seasoning in seafood dishes; so I put some in a jar to save for the right recipe.

We spent most of Sunday weeding the garden. Later in the day, just as the tide was turning, we braved the bracing wind for a stroll along the shore. I, of course, turned it into a seaweed-foraging stroll in my determination to find some more Sugar Kelp. Just as we were about to head home I was rewarded with a few slimy fronds of the prize.

I rinsed the Kelp and tore it into small pieces, then placed them on a baking tray with a little olive oil. The Sugar Kelp crisped up nicely and I presented it to my wife as a snack, along with a glass of sherry. She asked if we were out of Twiglets. I responded that Twiglets were like small, salty pieces of driftwood anyway.

To her credit she tried the "Kelp crisps" and didn't wince too visibly. The sherry must have washed the flavour away. I thought they were good: delicately crunchy, almost sweet at first, then back to salty and iodic. My wife suggested deep-frying them next time, and I agreed that might work better.

I found some more Twiglets in the cupboard and we munched them with the remainder of our sherry.

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