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Friday, May 29, 2015

A different way to see

I was out in the garden yesterday and picked lettuce and some spinach.  I noticed purslane growing in with the basil, sorrel and lambsquarters growing in with the lettuce and dandelion and poke scattered around as well.  I wish people would stop seeing this stuff as weeds and realize that they grow without any help from you, provide food during more than one season and plant themselves again for the following year.  Why would I dig or pull these things up?  I no longer do.  I bring the sorrel in to add to my mint tea and pestos, lambsquarters for anthing that uses greens including salads, purslane for fresh salads and poke for cooked greens and to freeze for the winter.  We need to start seeing things differently if we expect these valuable plants to survive corporate farming. My garden probably doesn't look as organized as those with out a weed and everything in its proper rows but I have decided to see it as useful and beautiful as it is. 

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

This is what I like to hear. Get those kids outdoors and observing nature.

I met someone the other day who bought my little children's book on foraging.  She said she read it with her boys and the immediately asked her to take them out to forage and they did a little more research and found red bud pods that were brand new.  They brought them in and cooked them 3 different ways as an experiment.  That is exactly the kind of response that I was looking for.  That made me so happy! :-)

Saturday, May 23, 2015

What to do when it is a rainy day...

Today I completed the task of making a home made healing balm with plantain and comfrey soaked olive oil.  Added a little vanilla, cloves, coconut oil and bees wax and there ya go!  I added the vanilla and cloves as an afterthought and I am glad I did.  It not only feels good, it smells good too :-)

Also got a bit of oregano and wood ears out of the dehydrator and packed them away for later use as well.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

A work of art from the garden

Did you know there are lots of flowers that you can eat?  Can you guess which ones I found to put in this salad?

If you guessed roses, you guessed right.  I think I threw in some dandelion petals too but you can't really see those.  De-lish!

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Mulberry Tree

Sometimes the question pops up... " Should I pick it, or should I paint it?"  That was the case the other day as I climbed the steps to our little tree house garage apt. to check out the mulberry tree.  They are nearing ripeness but still white.  In the mean time I had a flash back to when I was a young girl who loved to climb trees and sit in the tallest branches.  Soooo I decided to paint the tree instead.  It is almost finished but not quite.
Oh, and on my second day out I tasted the white mulberries and they were delicious.
Maybe now...
Would you like to bid on this painting?  It is on ebay right now for a few days
To bid

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Wood Ears

A recent trip to the woods brought me several pounds of wood ears.  These are wonderful mushrooms that once cleaned and dried are easily stored in air tight bottles for winter soups.  Several pounds dried turned into a few ounces! 

I soak these for a while and clean them very carefully as they often have little worms or other bugs hiding at the base.  No problem.  Rinse them off, cut them in slices and dry in the dehydrator.  From what I understand they are better once they are dried and then re-hydrated later.  My research told me the Japanese highly prize this mushroom for soups.  I used mine all winter long that way.  Oh, if you have tons of mushrooms and are running out of ideas, my sister suggested that you grind the dried ones into a powder to add to almost any sauce or casserole.

This time of year you have to do a tick check upon arriving home around these parts.  Only one tick after 2 trips into the woods.  not bad.

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Poke Sallet, Wood Ears and Honeysuckle

Yesterday I came across a ton... well maybe not a ton but several pounds of wood ear mushrooms.  I threw them in the dehydrator last night and have a nice bunch of dried mushrooms for winter soups ready to put in cans.  A trip to the alley behind my house brought in a nice haul of poke sallet.  While there I noticed a bunch of honeysuckle growing.  I think I will make another stab at honeysuckle jelly.  In the mean time a first cooking of poke w lots to freeze and some for supper too!

Honeysuckle, Rose Petal Jelly

I love Google.  I googled a recipe for honeysuckle jelly and decided to add a few rose petals for good measure and color.  I thought I had everything covered and went to get the pectin and mine was powdered and the recipe called for liquid so I did some very quick reading and my fingers are crossed that it will jell properly.  If not, I will do the old trick with cream cheese w jelly poured over it, served with crackers and just say, " I meant to do it." :-)