“Adam Rennie’s Schottische” ~ with appreciation ~ & for Ramsons / Wild Garlic
This came about after working through a load of Adam Rennie’s tunes and selecting from those which one’s to submit here over the last week. I really can’t lay claim to this as it is really Adam Rennie’s, with the primary influence being his "John Donald of Coullie". I personally didn’t want it to be 64 measures, but I didn’t seem to have a lot of say in what it wanted to do. I’d started out trying to Irishize "John Donald" into an Irish style polka, 2/4, unswung, and 32 bars total, with ‘agreement’. That’s not where I was taken by it. It could be played without repetition ~ AB?… Despite it fighting with me for its own identity, it’s a fun tune and has had me dancing about the house while preparing pasta, as well as accompanying us for a walk to collect wild garlic leaves and flowers, Ramsons, Allium ursinum, for our culinary pleasures… :-)
"It looks a bit like spinach and it’s got iron and good vitamins in it. You’ll find it by the canals and in woodland areas where it’s slightly damp with deciduous trees round it. And you’ll notice it because the smell is pungent and it hits you straight away. It’s very cheap and very good for you.
"We go out and pick the Wild Garlic, bring it back, wash it off three or four times and then put it in our cooking. It’s just the leaves that we use because the bulb on wild garlic is very small and you can actually use the flowers too as a garnish on salads."
Wild Garlic ~ Omelette / Pesto / Soup / Bubble and Squeak
We love it just torn into salads and pasta, etc., but blanching for other uses is another way to go. It is a favourite of ours and is found all over Europe. When we were in the Alps recently, Austria and Germany, there huge expanses of it, carpets of the stuff under the trees and stretching up mountainsides, lovely, with a mild garlic scent on the air… If you don’t generally like garlic this is a very gentle introduction and alternative, but please, leave the bulbs in the ground, which are really a bit small to fuss with anyway, and illegal to dig up in many places. If you want to collect seed or the bulblets that can form at the top of the flower spike, for your own garden, well, that’s the reasonable and respectable choice. We have successfully seeded the plant in our little heavily shaded northern strip, between two walls… YES! ~ it is a shade loving plant, but some people consider it a weed tobe eradicated… We don’t, we love it, and the star-like white flowers too…