Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Wild Brunch

The movie Julie and Julia inspired us to create this blog. Like Julie, we wanted a life raft that would sustain our passions in a world seem bent on drowning them. In the film, Julie's final recipe was prepared as a feast to celebrate her success with a few close friends. To continue the metaphor, her life raft had come to rest on a hospitable shore. And so has ours. We thought it fitting to close our wild edible adventures this year with a feast shared with our foraging friends. Arena came, and so did Ben and Rebecca. The foragers that we knew best would finally meet. Ooga and I found ourselves hoping that they would all hit it off.

Rebecca brought honey infused with wild herbs. Arena brought mushrooms of course (black trumpets) which we cooked into eggs. We put out the last of the persimmons soft and sweet. (I love them. Ooga doesn't.) Ooga poached quince which was delicious.

But the highlight of the meal were the bee larvae. Arena brought a frozen honeycomb from a friend's hive. We placed it on the table and picked the little membraneous sacs of jelly out of their individual cells with forceps. Many of them burst under the pressure of the forceps and leaked their pussy innards onto the plate that we collected them on. It was disgusting. It was intriguing.

With macabre fascination, we poured the gooey mess into a buttered pan. Arena directed us to continue frying them until crispy. Everyone tried a bite. Arena had a generous portion. I had a cup or so. Even Baby Yub-Yub sampled them . . . without comment. I'm not sure that Ooga would ever be tempted to eat them again, but to our ancestors I'm sure they would have been a delicacy. Little packets of fat and protein.

Our friends left well fed. We shared our stories of the past season and dreamed of the next. It was the last scene of our movie.

1 comment:

  1. I was so hoping that you would add some pictures to this last post.

    Hi dear friends. It’s been a long winter already! I am eagerly awaiting your new year’s resolutions for 2011.

    My resolution is to fill in the gaps of my foraging knowledge. I’m going to compose a list of wild foods that I have never gathered, or edibles that I have only tried once. I will also include parts of certain common wild foods that I have been lax in gathering. Hopefully, I will also start a wild food calendar for our region.

    I just purchased Nature’s Garden as a gift for myself. I am looking forward to reading it.

    A friend of mine just bought a new house. The focal point of the beautiful view from her living room window is a chestnut tree. The tree bore lots of nuts that the squirrels gathered before my friend got to them. But I’m pretty sure that the tree is another Chinese chestnut, not American. 2011 will be the year that we find a nut bearing American Chestnut tree!