What a great, busy year I have had in The Studio. Meeting wonderful people - all with a love of creating and the motivation to give something new a go. With new classes set for the beginning of February, I'm excited to share new ways of thinking and doing.
May 2016 bring more of the same....
Part of The Studio is also the surrounds - the gardens and plants - we use them in still life, printmaking, clay and eco dyeing. I feel a real link to earth through my garden and look forward to posting some botanical bits and pieces to the blog.
Meanwhile - here's the journey of the nasturtiums which grow in abundance in The Studio gardens in the winter each year. Full of mustard oils, they have active antibiotic, antifungal, antiviral, and antibacterial properties, making nasturtiums a natural remedy for everything from skin infections to sinus colds. The leaves are also rich in vitamin C and iron, and anthocyanins in the red and orange flowers make them highly antioxidant.
Anyway I harvested last year and...I made pickles! Poor Man's Capers they are sometimes called, but i think they are nicer than capers....more peppery. The vinegar has a lovely sweetness, which compliments nicely.
The flower petals of the plant - amazingly sweet at first bite, yet mustardy, and when dry, are soooooo concentrated.
The amount of mustard-type oils in the flowers meant the first time I undid the lid to have a whiff, the household was gripped in a mind-numbing sensory overload...to say it smelled liked the bowels of hell, would be an understatement. I can only suggest the cause of said odour are the oils which are found in mustard seeds, horseradish root, and wasabi.
Even after 3 weeks drying, the plants just keep on flowering...
Ready for pickling....