wild food share week 20
I cannot believe this is the final week of the share! These 20 weeks have expanded my horizons so much, I have to thank each and every one of you for participating. I hope you’ve enjoyed the edibles and newsletters, and had fun preparing meals with such common/uncommon foods!!
In this week’s share you will find:
- chicken mushroom (lots and lots of young mushrooms! Cook before eating and enjoy!!)
- oyster mushroom (cook before eating)
- spicebush berries * NEW - these are best used as seasoning or flavoring. Some people dry them and use in place of nutmeg. You can also preserve them by flavoring alcohol - like vodka - with them
- crabapples *NEW
Spice bush berries
spice bush berries
Spice bush berries are used for flavoring. They are often dried (they will turn brown) and used in place of nutmeg. Their flavor can also be preserved in alcohol, but putting them in a jar with vodka. This is my first time using them. I have some in the dehydrator and some in the fridge which I think I will boil into a tea and perhaps ferment into a soda. I will keep you posted, of course!
Making the sumac into a spice: air dry the sumac for about a week. Strip the “seeds” from the stem and pulse in food processor. Push through sieve to separate out the hard seeds.
straining dried sumac powder from seeds
This makes a delicious lemony spice. You can use this as is or to make a middle eastern spice blend known as za’atar.
To make za’atar combine some of the sumac spice with sesame seeds, salt, oregano and thyme. There are many variations out there so you can search the web (or your cabinets) and experiment!
chicken mushroom, Laetiporus sulfureus
Share member Trish made some delicious Buffalo style “chicken wings” with the chicken mushrooms. She sliced the chicken mushroom into strips, breaded and fried it, and then used the secret recipe I shared with her (from my high school days at working at a popular fried chicken chain…this secret recipe is legit!)
Mild sauce: 3 parts butter to 1 part tobasco
Medium sauce: 2 parts butter to 2 parts tobasco
Hot sauce: 1 part butter : 3 parts tobasco
The fried chicken establishment used to mix up the sauce in a big plastic tub, put the cooked wings in and shake to coat. Sooooo gooooood.
So Trish used the secret sauce for her own chicken mushroom hot strips and she reports…..YUM!
I cannot wait to try it.
: they don’t look the best but, oh, I’ve made some of the yummiest things with them!
Do you have any “ginger bug” left for making fermented sodas? If so, get it out, wake it up (by leaving it out overnight covered with cloth, and feeding with a bit of sugar and ginger), and make this wonderful hawthorn crab apple soda! (If not you may want to make a ginger but! Put 3 cups water in a glass jar and add 2 Tbsp chopped ginger with skin and 2 Tbsp sugar. Cover and leave on counter for a day or two. After that add 2 tsp chopped ginger with skin and 2 tsp sugar every day, stirring 2 -3x day for 5 - 7 days until it’s fizzy and tastes like ginger ale. Now it’s ready to use! If you don’t use it right away put a lid on it and store in fridge until ready.
I put crabapples and hawthorns in a pot with about 1/2 gallon (a bit less) of water and about 1/2 cup or so of sugar and boiled about 20 minutes. Strain, saving the fruit as well as the juice, but separately. When the juice cools to room temp add a cup of the ginger bug (It’s ok if ginger gets in.) Cover with cloth and let it sit out overnight up to a day or two. It will get fizzy and delicious! Store in glass bottles in fridge but be careful: it will keep fermenting even in the fridge and will build up pressure in the bottle. I use plastic corks which get blown off every now and then in the fridge (better that then the bottle exploding, to be sure!)
brewing crab apple hawthorn soda with a ginger bug
Now to the cooked fruit: I mashed that through a sieve to separate out the seeds (which you don’t want to eat) and skins. I added a little more sugar to taste and some pumpkin pie spice and reheated. Then I put it in canning jars. It makes the most delicious “apple butter” ever!! The hawthorns and crab apples have so much natural pectin that it really sets up nicely.
And thanks again, so much. Tomorrow I’ll be posting the list of all 70 wild edibles we enjoyed this spring and summer! Please stay tuned!
To see all 20 of the CSF newsletters, just follow the link.
Love and all things wild,
Melissa and Dave