Monday, July 11th, 2011 at
Cow parsnip petiole peelings that we discarded.
Harvesting wild edibles is not like shopping at the grocery store, where you can get your favorite fruit or vegetable the whole year long. In the wild, seasons change.
Some time ago I read a story about increased-Twitter-use coinciding with rising depression due to a person’s feelings of “missing out” on parties or social events that someone else tweeted about. Had there been no tweet, there would have been less chance of the person even realizing a party had taken place.
My sister and I talk about this feeling of “missing out” in other ways too. If a summer passes where she hasn’t made it to the beach, the water park, camping, the lake, the pool, and a half dozen other places, she feels like she and the kids have missed out.
I do it with wild edibles. “We have to get some cow parsnip before the season’s over,” I catch myself saying to Gregg, a touch of panic to my voice. For alas, the grocery store cannot fill this need for me.
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Saturday, July 2nd, 2011 at
Green curry with elkslip and dandelion flowers.
Thai curries are among my absolute favorites, but until last night I’ve had very little success with them. What a wonderful coincidence that the same night I decided to sacrifice my latest batch of elkslip (Calthus leptosepala) for an experiment with a normally-unsuccessful-dish (especially because Gregg made me promise while gathering the elkslip leaves that we’d make then into dip) that it would turn out so remarkably well.
I can’t take credit for the green curry paste, which is manufactured in Thailand by Namprik Mersri Ltd. We picked up a can of it last summer at Bangkok Asian Market in Fort Collins, Colorado. That stuff is extremely spicy, so I mixed spoonfuls of it with a can of coconut milk until it was to my liking—which ended up being fairly spicy with just under half a can of curry added.
My recipe also calls for a handful of finely chopped dandelion flowers. These were a last minute decision and it would probably be just fine without them, however, I really liked the way they added a hint of golden yellow to the otherwise green curry. Read the rest of this entry
Thursday, June 23rd, 2011 at
Delicious Elkslip Dip on a cracker.
This story starts with Part I of the Great Elkslip Experiment, so if you haven’t read that entry yet I suggest you do so before proceeding.
Part II – Creamed Elkslip
What I am calling Part II of my experiment actually involved eating the elkslip, so after reading several reports on marsh marigolds (Calthus spp.)—both about our local elkslip in the Colorado Rockies (Calthus leptosepala) and the eastern variety, commonly called cowslip (Calthus palustris), I settled on creamed elkslip for our first culinary trial.
Keep in mind that after a successful lip test (zero irritation), Gregg and I consumed only about 25 small elkslip leaves between the two of us, and they boiled down to next to nothing in 20 minutes. Some sources say to change the water several times and boil marsh marigolds for as long as 60 minutes to remove the bitterness, but ours were not very bitter. They turned the water an amazingly bright green. Read the rest of this entry
Wednesday, June 22nd, 2011 at
Calthus leptosepala the western marsh marigold.
There is a new wild edible plant in my refrigerator, one I have yet to try, and about which there is some debate as to its edibility. That plant is elkslip, aka mountain marsh marigold (Calthus leptosepala), and today I will conduct Part I of my experiment eating it.
Don’t Slip on the Mountain Marsh Marigold, You Elks!
I found the elkslip growing in and around wet areas in the forest near our house (at approximately 10,500 ft in the Rocky Mountains outside of Fairplay, Colorado).
I first read about this plant, which is also referred to as “Western marsh marigold,” in wild edible plants guru, Euell Gibbons’ 1973 book, Stalking the Faraway Places and Some Thoughts on the Best Way to Live. (Man, what a title!) Read the rest of this entry