Archives for posts with tag: foraging

My old friend Lee Ann Brown wrote this poem about Polk Salad in her book In the Laurels, Caught.  She wrote it from notes jotted on a day with the herbalist Mary Morgaine Thames, in North Carolina, learning about wild plants.

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POKE SALLET

is cooked not raw

stay ahead
              of the red

Eat in spring
cook when 6 inches or less

lymph cleanser

2 boils

Do Not drink the potlikker

Eat the berry

1 on the 1st day
2 on the 2nd day
3 on the 3rd day

How far do you
spit out the poisonous seeds?

become a dynamic accumulator
bringing up minerals from below

Children in a school near here used poke ink
It was that with which they wrote

any daughter paints her arms

the way to play the plants

on paper the unfixed juice goes from bright magen-
ta to a dried blood color

the man who built our house

first dreamed of a pokeberry sky

but after a hot day of crushing berries
and smearing the boards, gave into Benjamin Moore

it’s “hard to fix”

that color more bright than cochineal


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Preparing wild vegetables, photo by Samya Kullab

I continue to see that people land on my blog searching variations of “what do refugees eat?”  Thanks to the brilliant journalist Annia Clezadlo for recommending an article from the IRIN website.  Here is a link to this great, nitty-gritty piece that asks displaced individuals how they and their families manage each month on meager savings and cash assistance.  “We don’t make difficult decisions with our money, we make difficult sacrifices.”  You’ll also see really interesting photographs to go with each person’s story. In the context of the current news of starvation under siege, these poverty rations feel rich.  How much must people suffer? Pray for peace and justice, work for peace and justice.

AID TO SYRIANS: HOW FAR DOES IT GO?

By Samya Kullab, IRIN, 25 November 2015

http://newirin.irinnews.org/refugee-aid-how-far-does-it-go/

 

These films by Artist-Winemaker/ Winemaker-Artist Jacob Whittaker are transfixing.  Wish I could go to this Flora Social gallery event in Carmarthen on Saturday.  Jade Mellor of Wild Pickings will also be there, amazing West Wales teacher of foraged botanical and culinary delights.

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Would you call this performance a kind of Housewife Burlesque? I don’t know but I think she’s fabulous! Watch and tell us what you think.

“Everybody’s good at cooking something, I’m good at cooking Crumble.” Since May when Lorraine Bowen was on Britain’s Got Talent, my kids go around singing this song, so I sing it too now.  We all sing it–it’s catchy!

Here we have a large forage of end-of-September blackberries picked by husband and son.

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And despite that it’s now October, there are still perhaps some bramble bushes fruiting in abundance. Read the rest of this entry »

Enjoy this clip from “Bedknobs and Broomsticks.” Thanks to Nyrees of Sandwell and Birmingham Permaculture Group for sharing it. She’s a weed-eater along with the best of ’em. 🙂

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Sweet Nettle and Sorrel Custard Rough Puff Tartlets — what a mouthful for these novel, mouthful- size morsels, made from all good things… Inspired by Penelope Casas.

Crema De Espinacas en Canutillos:

“At the beginning of the [20th] century, this most unusual dessert of custard and spinach was popular in Bilbao; it continues to be featured at some of the city’s finest restaurants, either in a tart shell or as a filling for pastry horns,  It is said to be a vestige of the medieval custom of sweetening just about every kind of food imaginable….”

So wrote Penelope Casas in her truly exciting collection of regional Spanish recipes Delicioso!

Nettles are everywhere now, growing taller before our very eyes. The wonderfullest of weeds, the most delicious, nutritious and ubiquitous –why aren’t they the national food of Britain, as Frank Cook asks in this video.  Am just determined to use them as frequently and creatively as I can.

Read the rest of this entry »

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Another quick must-share, yesterday’s Nettle Sorrel Green Soup, an easy and good Sunday supper and dish to discuss in my new anti-recipe, pro-technique zeal.

And I’m now polyamorous, sharing my passion for Nettles with Sorrel, because that lemony zing on the side of the tongue is a wild and captivating sensation. Read the rest of this entry »

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Grub Street in London last year republished one of my, hmmm, I’d say 15? favourite cookbooks of all time– The Everyone Eats Well in Belgium Cookbook, by Ruth Waerebeek with Maria Robbins.  This is a presentation of Belgian cuisine written to honour the author’s great-grandmother, grandmother, and mother within historical backgrounds and as individual personalities.  It’s a collection of recipes that feel definitive yet friendly, elegant but possible to accomplish, familiar yet novel.

At first I was taken aback by choices the publishers made in the redesign of the book.  The original edition of 1996 has headings in cursive and charming line drawings and sidebars with historical and cultural tidbits.  I’d grown attached to this book in this style.  Grub Street’s republish has striking, stylised “food-porn” quality photographs and a very close and expert attention to lettering style and layout, colour and design. The Taste of Belgium, as it’s been renamed, feels as important as the book is, which is a good thing, even if I miss the cosier quality of the earlier edition.  But I’m happy, out of print as it was, many more readers and cooks will be able to explore the delicious and savoury comfort dishes that tempt one, page after page, of either version. And the new one is beautiful indeed, masterfully designed, a book to really look at, to visually take in.

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Just watched this video on a wonderful blog Frequent Found Growing on Disturbed Ground, which includes a verse from the Tao Te Ching that gave me goosebumps.  Frank Cook was a profound and incredibly knowledgable, powerful man, and it’s a gift of technology that he can still speak to us through it’s workings.  This is another site on which to learn about him, and revel in his life.

Time flies!  Just before New Years our family visited our friends near Manchester. I’ve been meaning to write about ginkgo nuts.

Atsuko is a dear friend and a foodie and always makes the effort to introduce me to something new and delicious, often from her Japanese cuisine of birth.  Here she is with my daughter and two Buddhas feelin’ the Christmas spirit.

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