I taped this little commentary for our NPR station. I am such a proselytizing born-again forager, my God. Because it is a green, green world right now, at least here in the Northeast, and I cannot recommend enough that you try figuring out how much of that green you can actually eat! Because it might be a lot. It turns out that all kinds of plants are edible, especially right now, when they're still young and tender. Not just the dandelions, which I've written about, or the purslane, which won't be up for another month. But, oh, burdock and jewel weed and and violet leaves. Milkweed shoots and daylily buds and cattails. Mushrooms, if you're careful.
|We made garlic-mustard pesto, but you can make pesto with any tasty greens! I tend to use two packed cups of greens with 1/2 cup olive oil, 1/4 cup pine nuts or walnuts or almonds, and plenty of salt and parmesan.|
Birdy and I got these books out of the library.
Backyard Foraging, by Ellen Zachos is probably our favorite. But Northeast Foraging by Leda Meredith and Foraging New England by Tom Seymour are great too, as is another book, not pictured here: Edible Wild Plants by John Kallas.
|Birdy arranged these wild and semi-wild garnishes to jazz up a simple bowl-of-pinto-beans dinner. Clockwise from left: mint, sheep sorrel, violets, lemon balm, and a mix of Queen Ann's Lace roots (aka wild carrots) and chives.|
But it's not just the food. It's not. And it's not just the dopamine I mention in the radio piece. Or the risk, which I kind of love. It's also the time.
Sorry for all the narcissistic linking, but (relatedly) I have this up today too, in the Times. I am full of opinions, it seems. Enjoy your weekend, my darlings. xo
|We usually only harvest oyster mushrooms in the fall, but the weird weather sent out a spring crop. Here they are, sauteed, with fried eggs with sizzling vinegar. The best meal I ever ate.|
Loved the Times piece and it's just the advice I need to hear. Thanks!ReplyDelete
Thank you, Amy3! xoDelete
I too love the piece about undivided attention. It used to be accidental, like you say, I was asleep or cooking (and I explained early on that no cooking means no food, which luckily got through!!). But nowadays it is conscious for exactly the reason you say: when the kids know there will be time for them too, they get on and DO things more without input! However obscure the things might be at times... endless knotted skipping ropes attached to sofa legs or doorknobs... engineering? Art??ReplyDelete
I loved the Times piece too. My kids are 6 and 3 and getting them to play together seems to involve pointedly ignoring them... if I step in and comment on something they're doing, the spell is often broken.ReplyDelete
I went to Hampshire and did some tasty foraging in those woods back in the early 90's. Fiddleheads, sumac tea... now thanks to you, we're growing purslane in our garden here in Reno. It's weird how kids will eat greens/weird things they pick themselves, but if you serve the same stuff up on a plate, they recoil.
Thanks, as always.
Oh my gosh, the foraging is lovely and makes me miss the Northeast in springtime, and the Times piece made me feel so -- honestly -- angry! And jealous. And defensive. And sad. So it was probably really good for me to read. Time for me to get back to the work I'm dividing my attention from right now....ReplyDelete
(I should clarify I don't mean angry at you, Catherine Newman. Just at my linked-in ways.)ReplyDelete
I always enjoy seeing a post from you pop up into my reader, and today was no exception! I was just thinking about foraging with all the green growing bits in my yard in PA and these resources sound intriguing. I also really appreciated your Times piece as my family shifts into summer mode. Thanks for a great reading start to the weekend!ReplyDelete
"Our undivided attention may be the very most valuable asset we offer our children."ReplyDelete
Loved this from the Motherlode column.
Well done on all fronts!
(My husband brought me, very ceremoniously-wrapped, a bag of nettles for my birthday yesterday morning. Perfect.)
All I want in the world ... well pretty much all I want in the world... is a Catherine Newman cookbook ... which puts each and every one of your recipes ... even the ones like pizza toast in one place ... and divided into categories so I can find them ... and not have to try to remember the recipe and do a search with your name. I want everything in one place in a bound book which I can hold and keep forever and ever amen.ReplyDelete
Please, please, pretty please .... can we have this?????
this could be done on Tastebook... no need for a publisher.Delete
Loved the Times piece (read it while totally ignoring my kids). And speaking of foraging, did you see this? http://www.wnyc.org/story/last-chance-foods-foraging-one-worlds-healthiest-greens/ReplyDelete
Had to comment! Loved the Times piece! 100% spot-on...ReplyDelete
If we experience some kind of apocalyptic disaster and have to live off the land, I'm coming to Western Mass and finding Catherine. Barring that, however, I'm probably still going to just mow the yard and get my greens in the produce section of the supermarket.ReplyDelete
I keep saying, "We'll totally survive the apocalypse! As long as it's late May or June."Delete
Still whoring out your kids for your own Munchausen's-type need for attention?ReplyDelete
Oh, Catherine, please ignore the troll above!!Delete
I met Tom Seymour in Maine a few years ago. He is one heck of a guy. May you forage the weeds out of your neighbors' gardens like he does.ReplyDelete
Love the Times piece - spent the weekend w/ no laptop and just focused on the kids making some awesome memories - throwing rocks into water for an hour, check! Riding the same trails over and over on the four wheeler - check! Nothing "accomplished" in work terms - with work becoming so virtual, it's hard to shut it down. I've even had to bring the laptop to the baseball fields. Thank you for reassuring us all that kids need to find passions to entertain themselves with - how else will they figure out what they want to do "for a living" when they are older? And the reminder to give them all the attention when it's time. - Amy from STLReplyDelete