This Week’s Woodland Grocery Specials
Wood sorrel pods are a special treat…nature’s sweet tarts. Try the flowers and pods on ice cream. When you find this plant in abundance (which you often do) pick a quart or so. Throw a large pat of butter in a hot pan and add the sorrel. Cook until it becomes mushy. This makes a delicious sauce for fish. Or stir it with something creamy for a dip.
Berry season is just beginning. Red raspberries, black raspberries, and blackberries are all excellent fresh, make delicious jams and pies. And they freeze well. Did you know that brambles have a symbiotic yeast that you can use to make wine or sourdough? Or that many of these berries need to pass through the digestive system of a bird in order to germinate? You can learn more about the amazing relationships between your foraged foods and the rest of the environment at Ecology Camp.
Elder and milkweed are both flowering right now. For a delicious fizzy drink, pick half a dozen milkweed clusters and 2 or 3 elder clusters. Remove milkweed flowers from the clusters, break down the elder flowers into smaller clusters, and stir them together in a container with a gallon of water, 2 tsp citric acid, 1 cup sugar, and a 3 inch stick of berry branch (use a section with the white powdery coating on it-that’s the yeast). Cover loosely for 2-3 days. Strain flowers. Put into clean quart jars and cap tightly. It will be fizzy within 8-10 hours. If you don’t drink them within 24 hours, be sure to burp them regularly so they don’t explode. (Note: the longer they ferment the more alcoholic they become.)