WHY EAT WILD?

"In wildness is the preservation of the world." -H.D. Thoreau

Why eat from the wild? The answer is obvious to anyone who has felt the emotional uplift from the weight of a basket brimming with morel mushrooms, the earthy-sweet scent of digging Sassafras roots, or the heavy pulsing of a fish testing the limits of your fly rod.
There are a million reasons to eat wild, to get dirty, to taste fresh food. It is here where we connect to the Earth, our Ancestral past, immediate present and hope for a healthy future...

"Nothing else can build such awareness as surely and powerfully as practicing the ancient ecological art of humankind - foraging. It is not observation of, but rather participation in the phenomena of Nature that brings us to our greatest understanding of our place in the mosaic of life."
-Samuel Thayer The Forager's Harvest



Foraging in the Tip of the Mitten!

Friday, February 8, 2013

Evergreen Teas: for a walk in the Winter Woods


In the latest issue of Edible Grande Traverse Magazine, you can check out my latest food-related article on harvesting  and brewing native teas from our landscape:

http://www.ediblecommunities.com/grandetraverse/online-magazine/winter-2013/small-gifts.htm

In it you'll also find recipes for using evergreens in cooking, like grilling fish over smoldering boughs: 


Or making Juniper Sauerkraut to serve with wild game such as hasenpfeffer (the traditional German stewed rabbit or hare. The pic at the end still gets my mouthwatering.)

We've been doing a little bit of wild culinary exploration with teas harvested here at the farm. With the surplus of eggs Jen's been getting I figured we'd have to do something egg-related.  So here's our latest concoction: 

Maple-Pine Marbled Eggs

1. First, hard-boil eight eggs. Remember if they are fresh from the farm, as these were, they need to be pricked with a pin so they peel easy. 

2. Cool and save the water. Crack the egg all over with the back of a spoon, as seen in the photo below.
 
  3. To the reserved water add:

8 HB eggs
1 bag black tea
1/2 cup tamari
3 tbsp maple syrup
1 cinnamon stick
2 star anise pods
1 tsp cracked pepper
One good handful of white pine bark w/ needles

4. Bring all this to a boil then turn down heat to simmer for 2 hours. 

After this, we cooled an egg under cold water and cracked it open. Lovely, but not too much flavor if you weren't actively looking for it. Subtle, but good. 


 So I decided to leave them in the brew overnight. Here's how they turned out:


Much more flavorful. Very rich and woodsy. Couldn't really taste the cinnamon or anise, but the tea mixture shines through. There were pockets where the tea sat in between the egg and the shell, creating large patches of not-so-pretty brown. Next time I'll try a 3 hour post-simmer immersion. I ate mine with pickled Wild Leeks.

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