Sunday, July 1, 2012

Wild Edibles

My little Gracey is into science, nature, and cooking.
She always has been. The books she choses to read before bed are usually scientific
in nature or maybe a cookbook or some animal story.

When the cattails came up this spring we discovered they were edible.
It began a whole journey of discovering new things, common things you see everyday that you can harvest and eat.

                      The first we had to try was the cattails, we went on youtube and learned
when to harvest them and how to cook them in various ways. We only had to go to halfway down the driveway to get some too! We pulled the cattails up from the base when they were only about 1 -2 feet tall, brought it home peeled, cleaned, and cut them to get the most tender part. We placed them in a buttery skillet and  sauted them till tender. They were very good!

This began a fasination with edible food found in the wild including herbs. She and I found a great website
We found a huge section with free information including a free herbal ebook.
(Yes I had to give them our email address, but they promise to never share it and I have not recieved anything but informative emails from them, and not too many either.)
after downloading the first book, which is great, we were able to get another ebook free, The Wild Foods Cookbook. Gracey and I made a lot of the recipes below is a picture of dandelion pesto. 
we colected the tiny first leaves of the dandelions.

 A week later when the leaves were a tiny bit bigger we collected them and made a nice side dish of sauted dandelion greens, with lemon and chives.  They have a bit of a bitter after
taste but quite delicious.

The next week when the dandelions were budding but not opened yet we collected the buds to make pickled dandelion buds. These we had to wait a few weeks to try but they are really good and not as bitter, great on salad.

The next picture is of the remains of a double batch of dandelion cookies that Grace made. The remaining cookies were eaten shortly after the picture was taken. 

These are just a few of the wonderful things to be found in the book. Now that the wild roses are in bloom there's rose petal honey and syrup to be made and once the rose hips are out there are recipes for those. Also red clover fritters. Not to mention Seaweed, burdock root and some others.
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