Really Yummy Foraging

A mix of golden and smooth chanterelles

A mix of golden and smooth chanterelles

I’ve been through photo files today until I a bleary-eyed.  I decided instead of posting endless photos of what probably looks like weeds to most people, I’d just post some of the especially delicious wild foods I’ve found.

Smooth chanterelle

Smooth chanterelle

I used to be an avid wild plant forager.  But eventually I got bored with just wild veggies and started studying mushrooms — mainly to add some variety to our foraged meals.  I’ve slacked off on my study since we got, first the Aliner and then the Casita.  There was just too much other fun stuff to do outdoors.

But now the desire to get back out there and get serious about learning new plants — and new ways to use them — is becoming a compulsion.

So I am really anxious for spring to come!

Golden chanterelle

Golden chanterelle

I did forget to mention using day lily flower buds in my last post.  You can boil them like green beans, or my favorite way is to batter and fry them.  I hope to get some photos of lots of cooked wild edibles for you from our camping trips next year.

Another thing that most people would like — simply because they taste exactly like little potatoes — is groundnut bulbs.  I boil them in salty water until they swell up and the top of the skins starts popping to expose the white inner flesh, then toss them in butter and serve.  A simple, starchy, fun, filling side dish.  I’ve read that in some areas of the country that groundnuts have a slight turnip taste.  I’ve never run into that, though.

Daylily flower buds

Daylily flower buds

And then there’s the foraging that EVERYONE knows about — wild blueberries and blackberries.  Here’s what I did with my blackberries when I didn’t want to mess with making jelly.

So much for the low-carb diet!  🙂

Groundnuts

Groundnuts

blackberry cobbler

Blackberry cobbler

with ice cream

YUM!

Groundnut leaves.  Groundnuts generally grow by streams.

Groundnut leaves. Groundnuts generally grow by streams.

 

On edit – At the request of one of my readers, I’m adding a photo of groundnut leaves.

14 Comments

  1. I was doing just fine … that last picture? please

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  2. Camilla

     /  January 3, 2013

    Groundnuts? I have never even heard of such a plant. You dig them? How do you identify the top? I’m going to try the day lilies in the spring. I have quite a few wild ones that pop up everywhere. Did you learn all this thru a particular book?

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    • I was going to post pictures of the leaves, but figured most people are sick of weeds. I’ll edit my most to add a picture of the leaves. They generally grow near streams. And yes, you dig them. Some of them grow a lot larger, but the ones around here are small.

      Lots of books over several years. If you want the best wild edible books there are, check out Samuel Thayer’s books. Edible Wild Plants by Elias & Dykeman is also a good beginner’s book, but nowhere near on par with Thayer’s books.

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  3. I think you found your calling…geez that pile of mushrooms makes my mouth water.
    our local county park is having a meet up on mushrooms and I thought of you…fungi I guess you call it 🙂 I should go. I ate nasturiums (sp) once. Ever ate fried pumpkin blossoms with saltines and butter….now my mouth is really watering :). I might just have to figure out this forgaging specialty….xoxox

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    • Oh, DO go to the mushroom meet! You will be hooked and it will open up on of the most fascinating hobbies on earth to you. You can enjoy it while you fulltime in your Casita, too!

      No, I never had fried pumpkin blossoms. I’m putting it on my list of new things to try! 🙂

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  4. Marcia GB

     /  January 3, 2013

    I’ve eaten daylily bulbs, violets, nasturtiums and dendrobium orchid flowers but I’m really fearful to try wild mushrooms. I admire your identification skills.

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    • Marcia, the secret is to get a really good beginners book, like Edible Wild Mushrooms of North America by David Fischer. He chooses easy to identify mushrooms that have no poisonous lookalikes. If you follow his identification keys, you can’t poison yourself.

      Or, if you are really fearful of trying wild mushrooms, there are a lot of other great things to explore. The main thing, in my eyes, is finding something in the outdoors that interests and intrigues you. It could be wildflowers. Or birds.

      And you know how horrible I am at bird identification! 🙂

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  5. Fabulous post. Thanks for the continuing education.

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    • I was going to make that my last weed and feed post, but since there is some interest, I’ll do another one or two. Hopefully by then, I can get out and have some current news to post! 🙂

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  6. I agree with Marcia…envy your mushroom identification skills! I am too fearful of those little creatures.
    I am enjoying the education…wondering about throwing in a few plants in my next post.

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    • Oh, do add some plants to your blog on the slow days! I know a few well, but there are a lot more that I don’t know. So I’ll probably learn some new things, too!

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