As I noted in my latest article for http://awalkinthegarden.co.uk/ February, with it's 2 "r's" in the month, must surely empirically offer itself as the perfect time for a spot of sea shore foraging.
If you take yourself out on the coast between Minnis Bay and around east past Margate, with a sturdy pair of boots, an ebbing tide, and a bucket, you too can find yourself a free bounty of wild pacific oysters.
They're actually a foreign import - which have escaped from the Whitstable oyteries - and by that fact - means they are fair game to the forager. but for safety's sake - don't eat them raw, better still, give them a good old braise in a beef stew.
a dozen will do just fine for this recipe.
A slab of stewing Beef
shucked oysters and the juice from them
A bottle of Marston's Oyster Stout
carrots, onions, mushrooms
bit of flour to thicken
splosh of worcestershire sauce
roll the cut beef in the flour
fry the beef till browned
add the onions and carrots
add the mushrooms
add the stout and raise to the boil
pop in the worcestershire sauce and oyster juice
give the beef an hour and a half of slow simmering (on hob or in oven at gas mark 4)
then add the oysters for the last half hour
season to taste
as you're out on the beach, also worth grabbing a bowl full of sea-kale/sea beet to go with it as a wilted green
serve with some lovely mash, or herby crushed new potatoes, or just a good old fashioned slab of fresh crusty bread, and another bottle of the stout!