Tag Archives: Muscadine

Fall P.E.M.U. Recipes…

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Food, fire, medicine, and cordage. We found it all during a beautiful fall day forage.

Hickory Nut Milk – 1 to 3 nuts to water. Bust them up, throw them in, simmer for a while, strain, and drink.

Papaw (or persimmon) bread – adapted from https://www.hort.purdue.edu/newcrop/ksu-pawpaw/cooking.html#CAKES

Pawpaw Bread d
1 c. melted butter
2 c. sugar
4 eggs
2 c. pawpaw pulp
1 Tbsp. lemon juice
4 c. sifted all-purpose flour
2 tsp. baking powder
3 c. pecan pieces plus 16 pecan halves
Preheat oven to 375°F. Grease two 9x4x2-inch loaf pans. Beat together butter, sugar, and eggs. Add and beat in the pawpaw pulp and lemon juice. Sift the flour and baking powder together, and stir them into the batter. Stir in the pecans and scrape the batter into the loaf pans. Garnish each loaf with 8 pecan halves, and bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes. The top corners of the loaf will burn, but that adds flavor and character.

Sauteed puffballs..

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Tribal nut cracking..

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Groundnut harvest…

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Dogbane cordage..

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Fall P.E.M.U. recipes…

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We had great weather for a great class this past Saturday. Some people are interested in foraging for survival purposes, some for medicinal, and some for culinary. At BigPig Outdoors we try to cater to all the crowds, so we forage and cook over the fire and also dine on stuff I bring from the house.

Among the many plants from the field, we harvested hackberries, groundnut beans and tubers, jerusalem artichokes, hog peanuts, muscadines, wild grapes, black walnuts, cattail, watercress, and hickory nuts. We soothed fire ant bites with plant medicine, made cordage in the cattail swamp, tasted ground cherries, played with pitch glue, and crushed an iPhone.

Hickory nut milk simmering on the fire…

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From the kitchen we ate autumn olive fruit leather, papaw bread, persimmon bread, autumn olive juice, and beautyberry jelly. You may have missed the class, but you don’t have to miss the recipes..

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Papaw (or persimmon) bread – adapted from https://www.hort.purdue.edu/newcrop/ksu-pawpaw/cooking.html#CAKES

Pawpaw Bread d
1 c. melted butter
2 c. sugar
4 eggs
2 c. pawpaw pulp
1 Tbsp. lemon juice
4 c. sifted all-purpose flour
2 tsp. baking powder
3 c. pecan pieces plus 16 pecan halves
Preheat oven to 375°F. Grease two 9x4x2-inch loaf pans. Beat together butter, sugar, and eggs. Add and beat in the pawpaw pulp and lemon juice. Sift the flour and baking powder together, and stir them into the batter. Stir in the pecans and scrape the batter into the loaf pans. Garnish each loaf with 8 pecan halves, and bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes. The top corners of the loaf will burn, but that adds flavor and character.

Beautyberry jelly – https://bigpigblog.com/2013/10/02/beauty-is-in-the-eye-of-the-be-rry-holder/

1 ½ qts. of Beautyberries, washed and clean of green stems and leaves. Cover with 2 qts. water.Boil 20 minutes and strain to make infusion. Use 3 cups of the infusion, bring to boil, add 1 envelope Sure-Jell and 4 ½ cups sugar. Bring to second boil and boil 2 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand until foam forms. Skim off foam, pour into sterilized jars, cap.

Interested in learning more about the plants around us? Check here for upcoming class dates: http://www.bigpigoutdoors.net/poisonous–edible–medicinal—-useful-plants.html

The Sour Grapes of Recall

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What does getting recalled from Fur-“fish & game”-lough and muscadine raisins have in common? They both leave a sour taste in my mouth…

That is were the similarities end. Muscadines (Vitis rotundifolia) are a superfood claiming anti-cancer and other health benefits. One site claims the antioxidant levels surpass pomegranates and blueberries. More health info can be found here: https://www.nccommerce.com/Portals/10/Documents/MD%20News%20June%202008.pdf

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I gathered a gallon the other day and wanted to make some raisins out of them. The only information I could find was a document from 1983 that explored the possibilities for a commercial market.

http://mrec.ifas.ufl.edu/grapes/history/BibliographyChronology/1983_ProcFlaStateHortSoc_96_355to357_ProcessingMuscadineGrapeIntoRaisins_SavoyMorrisPetrucci.pdf

They say there is a lot of good stuff in the skins and seeds, so with fresh ones I usually pop the skin, swallow the seeds, and eat the pulp and skin. With the raisins, after softening up in your mouth, you can cut them with your teeth to get the seeds and then chew the skin. I really like the sourness and the skins are easier to chew when dried.

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Muscadine Blickey

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I hiked up the hill to take a new picture for the website. Every staged picture needs a few props, so I grabbed my axe, knife, and a bark berry basket. After taking some shots, I headed out the ridge and was glad I brought the basket.

Earlier in the summer, I taught my step-daughter and wife how to make poplar bark baskets before a camping trip. We used them to pick blueberries and huckleberries on the island for “Berry” bannock. I used Sam Thayer’s “blickey” concept for mine and liked the two hands free benefit. I will post a tutorial on making these baskets in the future.

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Today, I found out another benefit after loading up with muscadines. I kept it on while hiking back to the house and was able to munch on them the whole way back. Being a good forager, I would pop one in my mouth and then spit the seeds out to start new vines in the future.

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If you have ever sat around a campfire, you know that it becomes a “primitive TV”. Like staring at clouds, you can see animals, shapes, and even faces. Capturing one of those faces on film is always a good surprise.

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