As kids my brothers and I split our time pretty evenly between sports in our backyard and sports out front in the driveway. In the frontyard we played under a lot of rules that pertained to not get running over by a car; there were a few out back but the one I really remember is: “Don’t Eat The Mushrooms.” (more…)
Forbes Wild Foods is a unique source for a wide variety of foraged Canadian edibles. Frankly, though, some of their prices are a little steep so I have to admit that instead of buying from them I’ve borrowed ideas from their website or market table that inspire my own foraging. Most recently, I gathered spruce tips and used them to make the pickled spruce tips recipe below.
Spruce trees grow upwards in the usual, obvious way but because they don’t drop and regenerate their needles every year the outward growth is a bit more complicated. Every spring the tip of almost every branch has a bud-like tip that sheds a papery brown husk and produces a new bunch of needles. (more…)
The restaurant critic for the New York Times, Pete Wells, announced on Twitter last week that his newspaper has changed their style guide’s spelling for hot peppers to “chile” from “chili”. I don’t always perfectly land the proper execution but the debates that involve spelling are catnip to me. (more…)
Up there with the Paupered Chef blog Hank Shaw’s Hunter Angler Gardener Cook blog is a resource I’ve turned to consistently since I started blogging myself. With two nominations for a James Beard Award for Best Blog and a win from the IACP it only makes sense that Hank now has an excellent book out called Hunt, Gather, Cook: Finding the Forgotten Feast (Rodale).
Back in May he hit the road is his white Toyota pickup for a an old-school book tour that this week has brought him to Toronto.
I had the chance to drop in on his demo at the Evergreen Brickworks today. For the ebbing and flowing crowd he made a traditional Spanish Chilindron stew with rabbit and other ingredients from the Saturday farmers’ market. (more…)
Earlier this week I wrote a post about finding haws, the fruit of the hawthorn tree. The obvious next question is: Who eats these things?
Well, for one, native residents of Manitoulin Island do. As this post on Bill Casselman’s site and the wikipedia entry describe they are colloquially known as haweaters. Folklore holds that the island’s early residents avoided scurvy by eating the vitamin C rich fruit.
In chattering about them on Twitter I had a bunch of people tell me that haws are available as a delicious candy in China.
They also make an excellent jelly. If you are careful to choose haws whose texture is firm, not mushy, they should have enough natural pectin to set without adding any extra.
I’ve never made jelly before, let alone from wild fruit, so I’m going to spread my impressions between this post and another on the grape-apple jelly I made. (more…)