Sunday, October 14, 2012

A-Foraging We Go!

A long time ago, in a land far away, David and I went to a garage sale.  We were the only ones there besides two sweet dogs and four chatty garage-sale-people.

We found this book:
It was published in the 70s or maybe 80s, and it references mostly Britain and Scotland, but we have a lot of the same plants here that they talk about there.  Very interesting...and inspiring.  So Dave ordered these..., and they are a little more precise (like, photos instead of drawings).  We each took one, donned our outdoor clothings, and ventured into the backyard.
Pretty, right?  Only one of the above is actually edible.  It's the dandelion-looking one on the bottom left.  We didn't harvest it, though.  Instead, we picked up a whole lot of these:
They're called Queen Anne's Lace or "wild carrot."  Now don't freak out, those of you who have ever heard of wild carrot...our books gave us multiple, excellent photos of wild carrot versus hemlock with several dead give-away clues to differentiate between the two.  Believe me, we're not playing a Game of:  If we weren't certain, we didn't pick it.  Besides, we did this a long time ago, and neither of us ended up in the hospital, so.....
 This lovely thing is not edible either (that I know of), it's just a better photo of those miniature snapdragons I told you about.  Dave thinks they are (or should be) called 'eggs and butter.'  You know I love that.

This is our haul:
 A mix of burdock root, wild carrot,
 and one parsnip (really too mature, but we pulled it anyway).

Dave gave them a rough wash:
 ...and I prepped them in the kitchen with a good scrub, peel, trim, and chop.

We didn't do a great job harvesting the burdock because we didn't pay too much attention to the directions in the book.  So the burdock we gathered was pretty tough, and less of it was usable than we'd hoped.  It has a spicy, clean fragrance right out of the ground.  Sorry, y'all...I didn't take any photos of the burdock in the ground.

We boiled it...
...pureed it...
 ...and added it to some rice and beans.
 It was really pretty good!

Dave prepared our one little parsnip into a soup.
And the carrots became munching fare while we worked.
They're really nice just raw, though I think I'd describe them as a bit gamey (if veggies can be gamey).

But just so you're not worried we don't eat like civilized folks...Dave took me out to a nice restaurant the other, uh, month...
 ...and I, apparently, looked like a crazy drunk lady.  But Dave looks adorable, right?  These were phone photos, the only ones we took from that night.  Too bad...before I had that 1/2 glass of wine, I looked pretty.

And these photos somehow didn't make it into this morning's
 See the hummingbird??  That's the beautiful foxglove David got me.  It rebloomed all summer to my great delight.  The rose on the upper right is from the same plant that produced the cute white ones...only this one was pink.  I have no idea why.  And, of course, the yellow begonias that we all love (I knew I had a better photo of those!).

I may end up having to update the flower photos again after this...despite my efforts, I'm apparently still not organized enough to find all the photos I need for bloggin.

OH, and if you're my family, please know that my phone has completely and totally died.  And don't buy a Motorolla Photon 4G.  Their customer support is wretched and their phone doesn't last half a year.  Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.

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