Tag Archives: wild food

Queen Anne’s Lace and Feral Apple Jelly

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I feel my best when I’m outside, among the trees, in a meadow, or beside a stream. Where I can see the sun shining, feel the wind blowing, and hear the birds singing.

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Add some wild edibles or medicinal plants to harvest and I’m in heaven.

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Yesterday we picked Queen Anne’s Lace, also known as wild carrot, latin name: Daucus carota.

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There was a wild apple tree along the edge of the field and we picked a few that were within our reach.

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I pulled out my grandfather’s Kabar and sliced one for us to eat right there beneath the tree. I can still see him doing this, removing the knife from his pocket whenever the need arose and peeling the blade out. Preparedness goes a long way in this life.

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Once home, we placed the flower heads out to let the critters wander away and then steeped the blossoms in boiled water.

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We chopped the little apples into chunks and placed them in water to boil.

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We combined the juice and the wild carrot tea, added some sugar and reluctantly, some pectin and our yield is 6 half pints of Queen Anne’s Lace and wild apple jelly.

And we’ll think of those fragrant apples warming in the sun and the field of seemingly endless white blossoms when we slather this jelly on toast or biscuits.

Get outside and find something wild.

 

 

 

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Days of May

May brings morning rain on rosa multiflora.

And morning light on made beds.

May brings awakening wild food.

And blooming forest floors.

The colorful copper birch leaves emerge.

Violets come into view.

May is when we gather the petals.

Simple syrup will sweeten drinks for weeks to come.

May brings soft breezes through open windows.

And May brings wishes.

Happy May!

 

Acorn Waffles

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The three of us picked acorns last fall under the thinning leaves of a red oak. We made sure to leave behind the ones with holes, cracks or stains.

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We placed them on a tray in a single layer by the woodstove to dry. And even though we were careful with our selection, a few wiggly acorn weevil larvae still found their way home with us. We looked through the acorns on the trays for holes and threw out the ones that the larvae had wiggled out of. After a couple days of drying we processed a few cups for pancakes and cookies. We stored the remainder in a bucket for later use.

Properly dried acorns can be stored for years.

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About a week ago, we started on another batch.

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We use a slab of wood and a stone to crack them open.

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We check each one for quality, even though we did a great job when collecting, we still find a couple of the nut meats with sign of weevil infestation.

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Using a hand crank mill, we ground down the nuts.

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This is what one pass through will give you. We grind it at least 2x for a finer flour.

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Then we wait. We soak the ground acorns in cold water to leach out the tannin, changing the water morning and night, until it no longer tastes bitter or astringent. The chaff will float to the top and can be poured out. The finer the grind, the faster the leach. This batch took nine days.

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This morning, we placed the leached acorn flour in a towel over a strainer.

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And working in small batches, we wrung out as much moisture as possible.

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We will keep the acorn flour in the refrigerator since we will be using it over the next few days.

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Acorn imparts a nutty flavor and a great texture to waffles. They are light and airy.

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Acorns are nutrient dense, containing complete protein, carbohydrates and fat.

Acorn Waffles

  • Servings: Makes 5 waffles
  • Print

  • 1/2 cup acorn flour
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons sugar (optional)
  • 1 cup milk of choice
  • 1 egg
  • 3 tablespoons oil of your choice

Preheat waffle maker.

Whisk flours with baking powder, salt and sugar. Add milk, egg and oil and whisk just until incorporated. Lumps are okay.

Pour about a half cup of batter onto waffle iron (amount is dependent on your waffle iron).

Cook until done. Enjoy with pure maple syrup or peanut butter and bananas.

For more information on acorn processing, check out Arthur Haines’ website: http://www.arthurhaines.com/