Sweetening the air and our tongues with their alluring aroma & flavor, pawpaw fruits are ripening and falling from the trees. This native American treasure, scientifically called Asimina triloba of the Annonaceae family, is a close cousin of custard apple and guanabana, and shares their divine taste (somewhat like a…….Read More
BLACKBERRY BONANZA What a peak crazy moment in the blackberry patch. The tall stout canes bite back, pull hair, scratch skin, and prick fingers. Blackberry battle wounds; all worth it. The following catsup master recipe is an excerpt from our book Foraging & Feasting: A Field Guide and Wild Food Cookbook by Dina Falconi and illustrated by Wendy Hollender Book Link: http://bit.ly/1Auh44QRead More
These immature samaras I hold in my hand are perfect for eating, offering a sweet pea-like flavor. (Samara is the term used for a winged fruit containing one seed, also seen on Ash and Maple trees.) A native tree of eastern North America, American elms (aka Ulmus americana of the Ulmaceae family) are doing well in NYC’s Central Park. They seem to be protected from the fatal Dutch elm disease, a fungal pathogen that kills most elms before they reach maturity. It’s always a treat to walk among the grand old elm trees in this park.
Do you eat elm samaras? If yes, in addition to eating them fresh out of hand, do you have an elm samara recipe to share?
Grateful to the elms!
SPICEBUSH = WELCOME AROMATIC FRIEND WHO BLOOMS IN EARLY SPRING BEFORE LEAFRead More
OH MY — THE WILD SALAD IS POPPING!
So many tender, flavorful, edible feral friends emerging into the spring sunlight right now. Taking a quick inventory: chickweed (both Stellaria pubera, and S. media), wild lettuce (Lactuca canadensis), purple dead nettle….Read More
COLTSFOOT FLOWERS, ONE OF THE FIRST FLOWERS OF THE SEASON
These are not dandelion flowers, but one of its cousins that belong to the same family, the Asteraceae family. Scientifically referred to as Tussilago farfara, translation: cough dispeller. It blooms before its leaves appear.Read More
NETTLE IS UP = YES! This fiery wild edible, scientifically referred to as Urtica dioica, is a perennial of the Urticaceae family. It is a delicious wild food and potent herbal medicine — a prime example of where food and medicine meet.Read More
Mint Lassi Master Recipe
Makes 16 oz
Enjoy a traditional East Indian drink that is refreshing, cooling, tart, and slightly salty. It’s also full of hydrating electrolytes. On hot summer days when I work in the gardens and sweat profusely, nothing feels more replenishing.Read More
WILDNESS ON THE THANKSGIVING TABLE WITH CRANBERRY BLACKBERRY RASPBERRY RELISHRead More
OSTRICH FERN = FIDDLEHEADS Here I hold the dry and spent fertile frond of the ostrich fern, the delectable fiddlehead we gather in early spring. Scientifically named Matteuccia struthiopteris, this native American perennial sprouts two kinds of fronds, the non-edible spore producing one I hold here, and the luxurious (though sterile and now gone) green one that can reach five feet in height, and whose new spring growth produces the fiddleheads we gather.Read More
WILD GREEN GODDESS IN THE SPRINGRead More
A visual journey — playing with unusual fruit and chocolate to create tasty treats for the holidays.
American persimmons (Diospyros virginiana) — a native American winter fruit, picked today on Dec. 10th in the Mid-Hudson Valley of NY. Right now they taste like gooey carmel meets Barhi date in the house of apricot.
On the plate with the American persimmons are Morellos, a black sour cherry we picked in July. We put the cherries up in whiskey and maple syrup. The liquid is poured off and sipped as a cordial and the cherries are eaten straight or coated in chocolate.
Here is one of the jars we put up back in July. (The photo was taken today.) The cherries are steeping (also referred to as macerating) in the liquid and left at room temperature. No heating or canning used here, just time. When making this, the ratio of cherries, to sweetener, to liquor can vary depending on ones taste buds. However one rule needs to be followed: the concoction needs to contains at least 20% alcohol when finished, also referred to as 40 proof. This amount of alcohol preserves the mixture. You can have a higher alcohol content if you like, but not lower, or funky things can happen.
I use organic bittersweet chocolate dollops with a 67% cacoa content that I buy at my Natural Foods Coop in bulk. I gently warm the chocolate in a double boiler, just enough to melt it. Caution: don't over heat the chocolate; proceed slowly and gently.
Tim is holding the persimmon by its calyx and dipping it into the chocolate.
Once dipped, the fruit is cooled by placing it in the refrigerator, freezer or the chilly outdoors until the chocolate hardens.
Time to go to the potluck with our platter of unusual fruits dressed in chocolate. Note: make sure to warn folks about the seeds!