Tag Archives: wild food

Wild & Crazy

Standard

taken by Sequoia Collier (2006)

We live in Blackberry heaven! They are even considered a nuisance up here to some folks. I haven’t found that to be the case and could eat them all year! It’s winter so we have to settle for frozen berries, but fresh picked is the best of course, and we have a couple of great spots for that. A slow, shaded creek full of mint and other wild herbs behind our friend Ralph’s studio is the best. He’s a love and asks only one thing in return for all the berries we can pick anytime we can pick them.  A pie seems to be small payment for all that fresh fruit.  I am glad to do it.  Here is a recipe for a blackberry goody I think you might enjoy.

Cobbler

note: if you don’t have a Pastry Cutter, you can substitute it by using a pair of butter knives (one in each hand) and drawing them across each other to “scissor” the flour and butter until crumbly.  This takes about 10 minutes in fast motion to do it right.  Use a rubber mat under your bowl or it will be annoyingly wobbly, and you will chase it all over the countertop.

Basic dough:

2 1/2 C. flour

1 C. cold butter

pinch of salt

1/4 C. cold water

Add salt to flour in large bowl, (no need to sift) and cut in butter that has been cut into quarters.  Knead with hands as you add water a little at a time.  If dough becomes too sticky sprinkle a bit more flour over it.  Wrap in a slightly damp towel and chill.

Filling:

Layer a larger casserole with about 4 1/2 C. berries, (really any fruit) and a sprinkle of sugar, with small dots of butter to equal about another 1/4 C. total.  When you are done layering and sprinkling and dotting, you will have a nice full dish ready to be topped.

Some folks like a biscuit type dough for the top of their cobbler, this is more flaky pastry type.  On a floured surface roll out your dough lightly to about 1/4″ thick.  Cut in 1″ strips and make a lattice or basket weave with them over the top of the sugared fruit. Leave small spaces between the woven dough to let air out. You can leave big spaces if you like.  Sprinkle top lightly with sugar before baking.  You can also brush dough with water,  butter, or milk before the sprinkle.

Place on a baking sheet to catch spills.  Bake in a 325 degree oven for 55 minutes or until browned and bubbly.

Advertisements

It’s Everywhere

Standard

Chicory flower

Being blessed with the chance to live in the country has given me the opportunity to live the way I choose.  I choose to explore this Earth and seek out her gifts to utilize as intended.  I have discovered many treasures during my expeditions.  I think it would be impossible for Monsatan to control all of the food in the world. There’s too much of it.  Most people aren’t even aware of how much wild food there is.

On one of our home school excursions, I took the children down to our creek and had them taste fresh cattail.  They are sort of  like a salty wilted cucumber. They were surprised you could eat them.  Take a look at how many cattail there are in the wild.  Just peel the bottom and eat.

There are Salsify and Chicory roots to roast in almost any field or pasture.  Salsify is good for the digestive system and Chicory is a great coffee substitute. In this area the wild garlic is within walking distance.  That was a good find!

You can make a salad of nasturtium, pansy, dandelion, and many other flowers, even some of the leaves can be used too. There are juniper berries, and rose hips for teas. There’s even a candy to make with nothing more than powdered sugar and rose petals. This is very easy and has a nice delicate taste, suitable for an afternoon tea, or a brunch sweet.  Just chop the fresh, washed, petals and place in a morter.  As you pulverize with the pestle, add small amounts of powdered sugar until you make a paste that is the consistancy of dry gum.  Form into small dime sized patties and chill.

I encourage you to look where you live, and find some wild food to try this spring, even if it’s just a dandelion added to your dinner salad. Make sure to use plants that have not been sprayed with poisons, and wash everything before you eat it.

Purple Salsify