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Monday, June 18, 2018

Picky eaters

I remember working with juvenile delinquents when I was younger.  There were a few dare devil kids who I loved to take into the woods around the home where I worked as a resident counselor.  They were always game to experiment with wild foods that we could gather together.  I think that is a powerful tool when trying to get kids to eat healthy.  If they learn about it, gather it, and learn to cook it in a flavorful way, it is something they are more likely to taste and eat and hopefully, carry with them into the future.  I have talked to parents who without prompting, told me that after reading the book with their child, the child asked to do research on wild things they could eat from their back yard.  They told me that they found that redbud blossoms ( and seed pods ) were both edible and they had already gathered and eaten some.  Kids are curious by nature.  Cash in on that curiosity and join them in the wilds of your own back yard!

Foraging.... well kind of... Water melon rind pickles

Well if foraging is finding and using the often over looked.... maybe this will qualify.  I remember these from my childhood.  Mom was never one to let something go to waste... a hold over from the depression era... and watermelon rind was one of those useful things the people often threw out after eating the melon.  All I had to do was google a couple recipes and I was on my way.  I took out some of the sugar, added a little stevia and some heat ( red pepper ), and a bit more turmeric than called for, and I had a pickle that I loved.  Very pretty too.

Saturday, June 9, 2018

Keep Picking the Poke!

I just keep snipping off the new shoots from my poke plants and bringing them in.  That way they produce well into the summer and I do love poke greens  Please remember to boil 2x and pour off the water each time.  or you may be sorry ... pictured here too are my purslane plants that look as big as cultured purslane.  I kept seeds back last year and threw them into a planter and garden  and have beautiful plants this year.  They are super high in nutrients.  Add to salads, soups, greens.

Elderberry Flower Fritters

I went outside this morning and was greeted by a sweet smell that I traced to the pretty elderberry flowers in the corner of my yard.  I know the birds are going to get most of the elderberries ( they usually do) but I remembered that you can make delish fritters ( pancakes ) using the flowers.  So I picked some that were fully blossoming and then my husband was late coming home so they kind of lost their flat selves but I decided to make us a desert w them anyways and they were very good!  Basically I just threw together some pancakes using some coconut flour and wheat flour... basically pancake batter, dipped the blossom ends in and there you have it.  If I were doing it again I think I would strip off the flowers and throw them in the mix as we didn't eat the stems.  Oh, sprinkle w confectioners sugar when hot.

Sunday, May 27, 2018

Making Wine and Service Berries

I went to sweep off the stairs for the garage apartment and noticed that the mulberries have started to drop and so decided to make some wine. I intended to make more dandelion wine this year but never quite got around to it. I threw a few dandelions blossoms in for good measure. I also thought it might be an interesting taste to add just a slice or two of ginger it’s an experiment. In front of the jar or something that I have never tasted before but planted a serviceberry tree a couple of years ago in my backyard and this year I got to the berries before the birds did. They were very few and too good to throw into the wine. They taste a little bit like blueberries, but have a delicious flavor all their own that is kind of sweet. Wish me luck on the wine

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Making your own wild herbal mix

I am in love with my dehydrator.  I had been gathering wild onions ( traveling onions given to me by a Native American Airbnb guest ) and rather than toss the very ends, I decided to dry them.  I added wood sorrel, green garlic tops, and then thought, " I can add as many garlic and onion leaves as I want... they will just keep producing anyways, so I took my scissors to the garden and just lopped some off, leaving the bulbs and a large portion of green leaves to continue their growth.  I also added a lot of oregano, both Greek and Italian, that I have growing in the garden.  In the past I also threw in some lemon grass as well.  A few hours in the dehydrator, a second or two in the blender and I have my own 'no salt' mix.  In the past I have also added a few other wild greens like lambs quarters, purslane. but only a little as I want the flavors of the herbs to come through but for cooking soups and such, it is nice to have the extra vitamins/minerals offered by the greens. 

Poke, Garbanzo Korma

Thanks to Trader Joes this meal only took the time it take to boil water twice.  I picked a bunch of Poke, chopped it up, boiled it, poured the water off, boiled it again w fresh water, poured it off, opened a can of garbanzos, and a bottle of Korma cooking sauce and there was our meal.  I am sure you could add your favorite veggies and it would be just as wonderful but for a light meal with little prep time, this was perfect and sooooo good!