Tag Archives: black walnuts

Foraging season ramps up…

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Ramps..spring beauties..trout lilies..toothwort..curly dock..chickweed..dandelion..redbud flowers..watercress..violets..wild onions..It is that time of year.

As my neighbor was mowing his yard, one of my buddies joked with me this afternoon as I was gathering tonight’s salad.. “Why you picking weeds when you have lettuce in the garden?

He knows why, because he is the same way, shunning regular produce if he can go gather some greens.

There is something deep inside my primitive DNA that makes foraging for “wild” salads feel natural. No pesticides, no genetic modification, and they are loaded with tons of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Starting this time of year, my focus shifts to my chlorophyll laden friends.

Thankfully, my hunting and gathering forays are counter-balanced by my gifted wife that loves to cook.

Tonight’s meal was fresh caught crappie, pan seared, with lemon basil butter, over sauteed ramps with shallots, on a bed of wild rice and quinoa pilaf. Chickweed, curly  dock, dandelion greens and buds, plantain, wild onions, wild lettuce, and redbud flowers, made up the “wild” salad and was topped with some crushed black walnuts.

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Fresh, free food that is popping up everywhere. Stay tuned as we are finalizing the dates on our foraging classes.

Wild About My Dinner…

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I love my wife for more reasons than I can count..

She puts up with me skinning and butchering critters on the front porch, even though she is a vegetarian/animal lover. She doesn’t mind the goldenrod and mint hanging from the curtain rods to dry out in the living room right now. Sometimes, she kindly reminds me that I need to hit the showers after a few days running around in the woods. This week, when I came home with a couple squirrels and some foraged edibles, she broke out her culinary prowess for a delicious wild meal.

I am probably butchering the description, but the above is honey and balsamic glazed squirrel on a bed of wilted chickweed and chicken of the woods mushrooms. The side is jerusalem artichoke and evening primrose “mashed potatoes”.

Truth be told, my foraging has picked up tenfold since I met her. My lack of kitchen skills had led me down the path of a meat and cereal diet for a few years until she rescued me. I still eat plenty of meat, but my diet is more varied now and it has opened up a new level for foraging.

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Desert… Two days ago, I had gathered forty pounds of pears from a “feral” tree growing wild by the lake and used my frog gig to knock down some persimmons that were out of reach. Freezing the pears and persimmons, she broke out the Vita-mix , some coconut sugar, and added some frozen pawpaws to make a sorbet topped with candied black walnuts for another home run. The walnuts by themselves would be a treat.

So thanks to my wife for a great “wild” meal and for everything she does for me.

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I ran out of bags to fill from this tree!!

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