Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Burdock and curly dock dip recipe, vegetarian, gluten-free. Like spinach and artichoke, with foraged, edible weeds.

This was so much yum. . . of course, with this much cheese, it would be hard not to be. Do you like spinach and artichoke dip? I'm going to assume yes; I mean it's delicious. This is my wild, foraged riff on spinach and artichoke dip! 

Did you know that artichokes are part of the thistle family? The part we eat is the flower bud, if left unpicked, it would turn into a huge, spiky, purple flower.

Burdock is a related plant from Asia, where the root is eaten not just for food, but for health. It's great for the liver and kidneys. Burdock has been introduced here in the US, where it's become invasive, like it's friend curly dock.

Despite the similar name, the two plants aren't related, they just look similar. You also use them differently: curly dock is about the leaves.

And curly dock, a tender and flavorful green, with a subtly sour note, is super abundant here in Texas now.

Prolific growth of tender, healthy curly dock

In honor of the coming together of two docks, I christen thee: Double Dock Dip!

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Vegan shaggy mane summer rolls with spicy peanut sauce. Foraged, gluten-free wild mushroom recipe.

With my husband working on Thanksgiving, (he's a nurse), and my family all 6 states away, I decided to spend the whole day in the woods. I explored some new trails, got eaten alive by bugs, experienced the kind of natural beauty which refreshes my soul, and basically expressed thankfulness my own way.

I started to make my way back to my car about an hour before sundown, tired, dirty, and renewed. 

I'd found some more tasty curly dock, and medicinal Ganoderma mushrooms. . . But then I saw this ghost-like shape poking through the leaf litter. A shaggy mane.

Once I saw one I saw another, and another, and another. Having trained my eye, I started to see the little ones, mostly burried in the leaves. I used a stick to brush aside the fallen foliage, and I started to see the tender, flavorful babies.

Sorry no pics in the wild. I always find the most interesting things after my phone has died. 

Saturday, November 19, 2016

How to dry turkey tail mushrooms for medicinal teas

Just a quick post today. Last weekend I came upon a large harvest of turkey tail mushrooms: Trametes versicolor (previously known as Coriolus versicolor). Through generally considered too tough to be edible, turkey tails are one of the most famous medicinal mushrooms.

Turkey tails are prized in Eastern medicine, where they are known as Yun Zhi (cloud fungus) in China, and Kawaratake (mushroom by the riverbank) in Japan.

In Asia, as early as the 50s, doctors and scientists noticed decreases tumor growth, and sometimes tumor shrinkage, in cancer patients who were drinking turkey tail tea. They also noticed improved immune systems and faster recovery from chemotherapy and radiation.

In the US, pre-clinical trials and stage 1 and 2 clinical trials have shown turkey tail to have positive immune-boosting effects for patients with breast, gastrointestinal, and respiratory cancers. In addition, they have isolated a compound which may help inhibit tumor growth. (Medical abstract here)

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Florentine curly dock & ground beef pinwheels. Gluten free, keto, paleo optional

Curly dock is one of those plants which I historically categorized as being grossly overrated. Foragers go on and on about the succulent texture, the rich, slightly sour flavor, and the versatility. Meanwhile, I would turn my nose up at the bitterness, the stringiness, the coarseness, and the fact that it was a small, dirty plant, which frequented polluted areas. "No thanks!" I'd say, "None for me, I like my forage large, lush, full of flavor, no bitterness, and, above all, CLEAN!"

Well, then I moved to Texas and had to eat crow, because I discovered this:

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Pumpkin spiced persimmon cocktails you must make this fall!

So a while back, I posted about the pumpkin spiced persimmon syrup that I made. The past few weeks I spent some time experimenting with cocktails, mostly classic recipes, but using my spicy, sweet, fruity syrup. Here are some of my favorites:

Ripening wild persimmons

Don't have wild, foraged persimmons? 
It's ok, I bet these drinks would taste awesome with store-bought fruit as well. 

Perfect for an after-work cocktail:

Spiced Persimmon Old Fashioned 

Spiced Persimmon Old Fashioned

For this drink, I used a local Texas mixed whiskey, Rebecca Creek. I think it's only available in Texas, maybe Oklahoma and Arkansas as well. 

It's a mixed whiskey, more than half corn, 21% rye, and wheat and barley in as well. I chose it, first because it's really really good, and second because I see Old Fashioned are made with either bourbon or rye, and this way I don't have to choose.

If you can't get your hands on a corn and rye whiskey, I'd use a bourbon, as I think the flavor will mix best with the spices and the persimmons.

Also, Rebecca Creek doesn't pay me or anything for the link, I just happen to like their product.

  1. Mix 1 tbs spiced persimmon syrup with 1.5 oz whiskey. 
  2. Add 2 dashes of Angostura bitters
  3. Serve over ice. 
  4. Optional: garnish with an orange slice, a cherry, or both

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Quick mushroom fridge pickle recipe, with foraged ringless honey mushrooms. Vegan, gluten-free, paleo,

Quick and easy mushroom fridge pickles, with foraged ringless honey mushrooms. Gluten free, paleo foraging recipe from the ForagedFoodie.

Sour. Salty. Spicy. Dilly, and garlicky.

Is your mouth watering yet?
These are some of my favorite flavors, and they are loaded into these fast and easy wild mushroom fridge pickles.

What are fridge pickles? Basically, they are a veggie or mushroom soaked in vinegar and spices, in your fridge, till the food soaks up all the flavor (over about 48 hours) and becomes an excellent snack or condiment. Fridge pickles must be refrigerated (they aren't shelf-stable), as they are neither canned nor fermented, nor are they salty enough to salt-cure, and they keep for about 2-3 weeks. Because there is no canning involved, they come together quickly.

I made these will ringless honey mushrooms, Armillaria tabescens, (learn how to ID them here) but you can use other wild mushrooms, or even store-bought. The smaller the mushroom the better, as they will soak up the flavor faster!

Saturday, November 5, 2016

The ringless honey mushroom: Armillaria tabescens

Identification of the ringless honey mushroom, Armillaria tabescens, is not for beginners. This edible wild mushroom is excellent for foraging, but take care to follow all the advice for identification. #ForagedFoodie #armillariatabescens #armillaria #honeymushrooms

Warning: this is NOT A BEGINNER's mushroom. 

This mushroom cannot be positively identified by observing features alone, a spore print must be done for positive identification. This mushroom has many lookalikes, some of which are deadly, others will make you very sick. Use the following tips as a guideline only, but confirm your identification with other reliable sources and a trusted local expert.   

As always, it's your responsibility to make sure you are 100% sure of any wild plant or mushroom you consume.  

Finally, even when properly ID-d, ringless honeys are notorious for giving some people ACUTE GI problems. Always try a very small amount, like a single cap, for the fist time, then a small portion (3-4), before you consume a whole meal's worth.

Identification difficulty level: Intermediate 

Armillaria tabescens, commonly known as the ringless honey mushroom, is one of the most prolific edible wild mushrooms of early fall, at least some years. When they fruit, I find I can't go anywhere without tripping over hundreds of patches, still other years I won't see a single one.

Please read carefully all content below. Each step, including location and substrate, is essential to identification of this fungus. Wherever possible, I have tried to illustrate every single feature with a photograph, or two.

I chose to write this article because a blog post can show many, many more pictures than a book can, allowing me to really illustrate more features.

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Update: identification for beginners, novice and intermediate

Hey all, just a quick update. In general I try to keep all my identification posts geared towards plants and mushrooms that a beginner or novice can identify. But I've recently decided to start adding intermediate content as well.

As such, I've developed a new labeling system, and will tag each identification post with either "for beginner" , "for novice" or "for intermediate".