The leaves are still tucked tightly in their casings on most trees here in the High Country but a few have uncoiled themselves and are sporting that Spring green that is so iridescent and alive with joy. Yet closer to the earth’s skin the wild weeds are joyously erupting saying …”pick me!”
Dandelions are simply carpeting the ground with the urgent reminder of our need for them at this time of year to clean out the old with it’s bitter properties stirring up our juices. I remember back when their appearance was annoying as it marred my neatly kept lawn. Now I blow their seed heads purposely seeking to spread the goodness!
Spring roots are viable and I’ve been doggedly harvesting them to dry, pickle or freeze as well as enjoy now in my menus before the energy is forced up to make the stalks and flowers and ultimately their seeds to insure the cycle continues.
Violet leaves are still small but their purple, yellow and even white flowers are poking through the forest floor strewn with last Fall’s fallen leaves.
And Chickweed is in abundance due to our cooler climate.
Wild food feasts is my idea of a good time, but this one was particularly fun because children were involved! We got together to learn a bit, forage and then cook a Mexican wild feast.
I took pictures of the digging, picking, garbling, preparing, cooking and eating but photos don’t capture the bird song, the Spring breezes, the warmth of the sun or the flavors of eating wild.
Mentally, I will always remember their happy hands plucking blossoms as if they were finding hidden Easter eggs. Baskets were filled to overflowing with all of our wild ingredients, ready for the kitchen.
None of the children had eaten wild before, yet they ate everything and loved it! Perhaps because they had picked it, cooked it and felt vested!
Wild Foods Mexican Menu
Wild Salsa with chips: Chickweed added into my favorite salsa recipe
Nathaniel harvested handfulls of it’s wild abundance from my compost bin where it is growing in perfusion.
Dandelion Blossom Fritters: Dandelions dipped in egg and flour and fried up to perfection THANK YOU Sydney and Hannah for cooking these!
Beans with wild onion, wild mustard
Bethany flavored these to perfection
Crockpot chicken breasts with taco seasoning, salsa. The wild ingredients were several cups of Dandelion buds, 2 cups of steamed and sliced Burdock root, 1/2 cup of Dandelion roots, 1/2 cup of Fiddlehead ferns, wild onions.
When all was cooked al dente we added sour cream to the juices to make an amazing sauce to enjoy all the wildness in!!!
Wild Frittata, egg casserole with Shitake mushrooms, wild onion, chickweed and spices
While digging Burdock root the boys found a huge patch of Catnip and after I told them how their cat would love it if they harvested some to take home.
Everything was delicious! and best yet is the knowledge that these children have been reconnected with their rightful wild heritage. I told them that what they were doing today was common place to their ancestors. Not only did their great grandparents eat from God’s garden but they knew how to use it for medicine.