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Wild Edibles

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    • Took a long time to pick a quart of these tiny wild blueberries, but it was so worth the effort. They are so much more flavorful than those store-bought ones. Cooked up some Lemon Blueberry muffins!
      “Of all sad words of tongue or pen,
      the saddest are these, 'It might have been.”


      John Greenleaf Whittier
    • IMScotty wrote:



      Took a long time to pick a quart of these tiny wild blueberries, but it was so worth the effort. They are so much more flavorful than those store-bought ones. Cooked up some Lemon Blueberry muffins!
      my coffee would taste so good with two of those right now! I got my wife a dwarf blueberry bush a couple years ago for Mother's Day and this year it finally produced, we got about a pint from it, and man were they good!
    • IMScotty wrote:



      Took a long time to pick a quart of these tiny wild blueberries, but it was so worth the effort. They are so much more flavorful than those store-bought ones. Cooked up some Lemon Blueberry muffins!
      When I moved from VA we had several gallons of blue berries in the freezer we had to give away, there was a large lake at the top of the 27,000 acre Clinch Mountain national forest, we'd take a bed sheet to lay under the bushes and shake, we got pretty efficient at harvesting them.
      I may grow old but I'll never grow up.
    • While living in the Northwest, the house was next door to a wooded area laden with wild blueberries. I bought a freezer to stockpile blueberries. When my mother visited, she'd bring a cooler and obtain dry ice for the return trip.

      Lest we forget.....



      SSgt Ray Rangel - USAF
      SrA Elizabeth Loncki - USAF
      PFC Adam Harris - USA
      MSgt Eden Pearl - USMC
    • The Jam talk on the other thread inspired me to try one of New England's quintessential wild edibles.... the Beach Plum.

      I picked up a permit to pick wild Beach Plums (Prunus maritima) on the Plum Island National Wildlife Refuge.


      The 'plums' are about the size of grapes.



      My permit allowed me to collect one quart of Beach Plums.


      Washed and Destemmed.



      Bring to boil with sugar, a bit of red wine, and a dash of lemon juice. Them mash and drain off the liquid.



      Magical chemistry happens between the sugar, acid and pectin from the fruit (pick some green plums for more pectin), and the liquid thickens. I produced about 2 pints of jelly from the quart of plums.



      This morning I enjoyed Beach Plum Jelly on my english muffins for breakfast. Delicious! Taste is rich and plum-like, but still very unique. This was my first time making Jelly and it worked [IMG:https://static.xx.fbcdn.net/images/emoji.php/v9/f4c/1/16/1f642.png] :) Thanks for the inspiration.

      “Of all sad words of tongue or pen,
      the saddest are these, 'It might have been.”


      John Greenleaf Whittier
    • max.patch wrote:

      now that looks good...

      a permit to pick berries...i wonder how many berry pickers follow the rules.
      The Refuge is run for the benefit of the wildlife. For example most of the beach is off limits to humans for most of the summer to protect the Piping Plovers. I think most people do follow the rules here. Plum Island is a beautiful place, bird watchers from all over the world come here.
      “Of all sad words of tongue or pen,
      the saddest are these, 'It might have been.”


      John Greenleaf Whittier
    • Speaking of berries. We were in Glacier NP a few weeks ago. Along the trails we ran into loads of Thimbleberries. You will only see these along the norther tier of states, close to the Canadian border. I've seen them in ME, the UP of MI, and now MT. The berries are bit like a raspberry, but the cavity in the center is larger (like a thimble) and the color is little on the orange side of red. Easy to pick as there are no thorns, but he fruits are very tender and tend to fall apart when you pick them, so it doesn't lend itself to commercial jam production, unless someone does it out of their kitchen. Most weren't ripe when we were there, but you can see a few red ones in the foreground. It's likely those were gone shortly after I took this picture. Several trails in this area were closed as the bears were moving in on their favorite berry.
    • odd man out wrote:

      Speaking of berries. We were in Glacier NP a few weeks ago. Along the trails we ran into loads of Thimbleberries. You will only see these along the norther tier of states, close to the Canadian border. I've seen them in ME, the UP of MI, and now MT. The berries are bit like a raspberry, but the cavity in the center is larger (like a thimble) and the color is little on the orange side of red. Easy to pick as there are no thorns, but he fruits are very tender and tend to fall apart when you pick them, so it doesn't lend itself to commercial jam production, unless someone does it out of their kitchen. Most weren't ripe when we were there, but you can see a few red ones in the foreground. It's likely those were gone shortly after I took this picture. Several trails in this area were closed as the bears were moving in on their favorite berry.

      I ate a few ripe Thimbleberries on my Long Trail hike in Vermont last weekend, but I hardly ever see them. That looks like a nice patch.
      “Of all sad words of tongue or pen,
      the saddest are these, 'It might have been.”


      John Greenleaf Whittier
    • The Beach Plum Jelly was such a success, I decided to give Rose Hip Jelly a try...

      I picked my Rose hips from wild beach roses right around the corner from where I work..

      I filled up my basket pretty quickly, the rose hips were bountiful this year.


      Rinse, de-stem, and bring to a boil. I mashed the boiled rose hips through a colander to extract the juice.

      I them added sugar, lemon juice (for more acidity) and pectic (rose hips have little natural pectin) and brought to a boil. After a while the broth reached a thickened consistency.

      And I poured into sterilized Ball canning jars and cooled. Eazy Peazy! Rose Hip jam is tart and high in Vitamin C.

      Are there any other Jam or Jelly makers out there? This is easy and fun.
      “Of all sad words of tongue or pen,
      the saddest are these, 'It might have been.”


      John Greenleaf Whittier
    • I haven’t made jam in years. In a way, I don’t want to. My sister is an expert, strawberry jam maker and my mom makes delicious pear jam from her pear tree. It’s so special to eat their jam that making my own might ruin it.
      In life there are no limitations. Except stupidity. If you're stupid, you're screwed.

      Stephan Pastis
    • Traffic Jam wrote:

      I haven’t made jam in years. In a way, I don’t want to. My sister is an expert, strawberry jam maker and my mom makes delicious pear jam from her pear tree. It’s so special to eat their jam that making my own might ruin it.
      In the business world we would just say that is a core competency of theirs, so you might as well just outsource your jam production to them. :)
      The road to glory cannot be followed with much baggage.
      Richard Ewell, CSA General
    • The Giant Puffball (Calvatia gigantea) is the 'tofu' of the fungus family. Not much in the way of flavor by itself, but it will carry the flavor of whatever you cook it with. I like to slice mine thin and fry with a few slices of bacon with a drizzle of hot sesame oil.

      “Of all sad words of tongue or pen,
      the saddest are these, 'It might have been.”


      John Greenleaf Whittier
    • Tried a new recipe tonight on the puffballs, I cooked them in the style of eggplant parmigiana. It is unbelievable how close they taste to the real thing. Delicious.

      I also did an experiment to detoxify and taste an Amanita mascara (Fly Agaric or Santa Claus Mushroom). I tasted a single cap to see how it goes. Cooked up it was absolutely delicious. Meaty tasting. I will have to let you know if I still feel well tomorrow.
      “Of all sad words of tongue or pen,
      the saddest are these, 'It might have been.”


      John Greenleaf Whittier
    • IMScotty wrote:

      Tried a new recipe tonight on the puffballs, I cooked them in the style of eggplant parmigiana. It is unbelievable how close they taste to the real thing. Delicious.

      I also did an experiment to detoxify and taste an Amanita mascara (Fly Agaric or Santa Claus Mushroom). I tasted a single cap to see how it goes. Cooked up it was absolutely delicious. Meaty tasting. I will have to let you know if I still feel well tomorrow.
      I hope you do feel well tomorrow, but I must admit I personally find your blueberries at the top of the page more appealing. :)
      The road to glory cannot be followed with much baggage.
      Richard Ewell, CSA General
    • New

      Yesterday I picked some wild cranberries in a bog hidden among the sand dunes at the Plum Island (Parker River National Wildlife Sanctuary).

      The Bog:


      Cranberry Bogs are beautiful!



      The Haul:



      I froze these for now. I am saving them for my Thanksgiving dinner, cranberry and walnut relish.
      “Of all sad words of tongue or pen,
      the saddest are these, 'It might have been.”


      John Greenleaf Whittier
    • New

      max.patch wrote:

      i used to get cranberries from the farmers market until they closed up. never cooked em; just threw some in my smoothies.

      i used to wonder how they made any money considering how little they charged for how much i got. i guess they didn't.
      Business is not a non-profit endeavor, as some find out the hard way. :rolleyes:
      The road to glory cannot be followed with much baggage.
      Richard Ewell, CSA General
    • New

      I have over the years encountered many variations on cooked cranberry and raw cranberry relish, but after trying many styles, I have to say that nothing beats the simplest basic recipe of one cup of sugar, one cup of water, one bag of cranberriers, boil until they are all popped. Smash with a potato smasher, cool, eat. I love the popping sound they make as they come to a boil, and then just a few second later there they go from hard berries to mush, almost instantly. So much fun making cranberry sauce.
    • New

      odd man out wrote:

      I have over the years encountered many variations on cooked cranberry and raw cranberry relish, but after trying many styles, I have to say that nothing beats the simplest basic recipe of one cup of sugar, one cup of water, one bag of cranberriers, boil until they are all popped. Smash with a potato smasher, cool, eat. I love the popping sound they make as they come to a boil, and then just a few second later there they go from hard berries to mush, almost instantly. So much fun making cranberry sauce.
      That is what I do OMO. I then split the result, and add crushed walnuts to half for those who like the texture, and leave half without for those who don't like nuts. I will also sometimes add a bit of grated orange rind for color and flavor, and a bit of orange juice can be used for sweetener too.
      “Of all sad words of tongue or pen,
      the saddest are these, 'It might have been.”


      John Greenleaf Whittier