Showing posts from 2007

Mothers Day Dinner

Every Mothers Day several of us husbands and their children get together and but on a garden dinner for our wives/mothers. This year the 'garden' was inside as the weather was on the chilly side.

Around here we are so use to using wild edibles as a normal part of our meals that we sometimes forget that we are using them. Our belief is that wild foods should me just used when camping but as a everyday contribution to our regular food.

With this dinner you will see that we have a combination of both wild & domestic food. The shishkabobs have the whole wild leek (bulbs and the green leaves), venison, red peppers and potatoes

The highlight of the meal were morels served on a plate with a whole steamed wild leek.

We usually always have wild violets on top of the salad for color but this year in the rush of things we forgot them. Even though there were lots of them growing in our lawn.

Morels done with butter, soy sauce and a little spice in cast iron frying pan.

First Kohler-Andre Hike of the Year

Garlic Mustard- is quite good if prepared right and picked early enough in the season.

This is the first of a series of Edibile & Medicinal plant outings that will be held at Kohler-Andrea state park this year. We will be doing these about twice a month through fall. This is the peak of the season for some of the best spring greens

We had around 24 adults and kids show up. We tried something a little different this time by bringing some cooked leeks and rice for everyone to have a sample along with their nettle tea.

Even the little ones like sampling and harvesting

I have been taking people on these types of hikes for over 30 years now. My new emphasis isn't to just show a lot of different plants but to focus on and help people realize how gourmet the wild foods really are. It's to easy to always try to wow people with all the possibilities and forget about the 'ordinary' few that we personally use all the time

Nettles-- Nettle tea is what is in the teapot.

In order …

Annual Wild Leek festival

Today was our annual Wild Leek Festival. We've been having these for 8 or 9 years now.

Every year people come up with more and more dishes that use wild leeks. This plate has stir fried wild leek bulbs and greens, wild onions, nettles, deviled egg with wild violets and 3 other dished that have wild leeks in the. We still haven’t made wild leek ice cream yet!

Getting the dirt and roots off.

Preparing for cooking

Going though the food line with different dishes of leeks.

Whats for tea and Lunch

At this time of the year the nettles are just starting to push out of the ground around here they are about four inches high. Depending how sensitive your hands are you may or may not have to wear gloves when you pick them. I usually just pick them with my bare hands.
The easiest way is to just pinch off the top two to three sets of leaves.

It makes a very pretty tea. Those are nettle leaves in front of the tea pot. In the spring I have this for my morning tonic. They are also very good stir fried and we often mix them in with the leeks when we cook them.

Below is an omelet made with wild leeks and domestic mushrooms and broccoli. In the cup is apple cider that we pressed last fall. There are many apples in the wilds and peoples yards that go to waste. Just one tree of small 'worm eaten' apples produced over thirty gallons of cider. The worms don't affect the taste and they 'certify' that it is pesticide free.

As it is cooler fall when we press the apples I just ke…

Sunday Lunch

As usual when we go out for our exercise walk we take along our camera and plastic bags as we never know what we will come across.

Here is John picking wild leeks. This is a spot that is on a South facing creek bank which means they will be one of the first areas of the season to mature. Some other areas they are just poking out of the ground. But that is fine as when the ones on this bank are to mature to pick these in a cooler spot will be ready to pick. If you pay attention to the micro climates you can extend the harvest season of most any of your plants.

We also had salmon caught from lake Michigan. The only thing not free from the wilds is the pot of rice which is nearly free as it only costs about 30 cents as we buy rice in 50 pound bags.

Here is a picture of our "wild" lunch he had to day. Stir fried leeks and nettles in the front dish. Another dish of garlic mustard stir fried with sausage. This was a bit on the bitter side but I still enjoyed it.

Wild Onions in Chicago

A week of cold weather has slowed down the coming of spring plants. I just got back from a weekend of being in the Southern suburbs of Chicago. They have some really nice forest preserves that I always try to spend some time in when I’m down there.

This is a nice time of the year to get the lay of the land as you can see a lot further into the woods and have a better idea of what’s there. Latter in the summer you can barely see beyond the first few rows of trees.

Again I was glad I didn’t have to survive off the land as there is not a whole lot in plant food yet. Saw lots of deer and plenty of raccoon tracks. I love how there is such an oasis of animals and plants in the midst of one the biggest cities in the US.

This reminds me of how even in Tokyo, where I worked for a number of years, right down town I could find plenty of wild plants to eat and enjoy the wildlife. In a pond right near the Imperial Palace, thousand of ducks would come in from Siberia to spend the winter (I use to …

It Spring and the Dame's Rocket are up

Just a few warm days and we start to see a little green out there. Today on my hike in the woods, a noticed the skunk cabbages were blooming. Now the don't look like your common flower. The are one of the few plants that blooms before the leaves come out. They are a few inches across and about three to four inches high but are hard to see because they blend in so well with the ground and other debri on the ground. They only grow in swampy area.

In the same area as the skunk cabbage grows I pick a few tiny wild onions, not the leeks that will be about abundantly in just a few week. These are much milder and have small round bulbs about the size of a pencil pea or a little bigger.

I also picked some tender young Dame's Rocket leaves. The first time I ever ate these was last year. It took me a bit of research to find out if they were edible. When they bloom later in spring they are very pretty and have a lovely fragrance that you can smell in the evening air. They are actually b…