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How we ate prairie dog

White tailed prairie dog 2 350x282 How we ate prairie dog

We at prairie dogs, though I’m not certain what species. This is a white-tailed prairie dog (Cynomys leucurus) photographed in Colorado by John J. Mosesso , NBII. Licensed for reuse by Wikimedia Commons.

Allow me to fall from grace a bit and tell you about an unusual project from last summer. Until now I’ve kept mum on the subject, as my take on it ranges from awesome to repulsed, and I played an integral part.

It all started last spring, when, while gimping about in the confinement of our home with my newly repaired ACL, I received a call from the UK—an assistant producer, Richard Grisman, then from Fresh One TV, asking about wild food foraging in Colorado. Where could they bring 16 chefs to survive— hunting, fishing, and foraging—in early June? Were there any concerns that would need to be addressed?

There was only to be one episode (Episode 3: Kill It, Cook It, Eat It) in Chef Race: UK vs. US for BBC America—a reality TV show that would pit a team of eight British chefs against eight American chefs in a series of 10 quasi-cooking-related challenges to take place on a road trip across the US from Southern California to New York. Read the rest of this entry

Foraging for fantasy football fanatics

The League highway foraging 304x350 Foraging for fantasy football fanatics

This is what foragers do–collect wood sorrel and other edibles on the side of the highway, right?

I had to hear a lot about fantasy football in the newsroom where I worked for the last eight months, but I didn’t take the time to understand what it was all about until foraging figured into it. Go figure.

Explains Wikipedia: “Fantasy football is an interactive competition in which people manage professional football players versus one another as general managers of a pseudo-football team.” Hence my lack of interest. That was until a friend with a mutual interest in both miner’s lettuce and snowboarding turned me onto the FX show The League—specifically the 2011 Yobogoya episode (Season 3, Episode 6).

The League is a remarkably foul-mouthed sitcom that follows a group of friends in a fantasy football league. From whence the writers pulled out a foraging subplot is beyond me, but they at least picked some appropriate plant names to drop.

The forager is Andre, the awkward plastic surgeon with the gap tooth who the friends constantly make fun of. The episode opens with Kevin and Taco having a “brother’s lunch” that Andre interrupts, carrying his own “lunch” of greens and what look like Amanita buttons in a plastic container. Read the rest of this entry