Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Eating the Wild Garden: Dandelion Muffins and Violet Jam

Yesterday evening, after an afternoon of some weeding, though mostly seeding, (my mother's hand-collected seeds of delphiniums and snapdragons, along with some commercially purchased seeds of nasturtiums, Roma tomatoes, I went to a talk at my (currently) local library: Portage Public, entitled: Acorn Bread and Violet Jelly: Foraging for Edible Wild Foods, with the following description:

Learn how to identify wild plants and stir up delicious dishes made from wild plants. Your nature guide is Rita Bober. She and her husband Norm have been organic gardeners for over 40 years. They are turning their 15 acres into a Wild Life Habitat. They have chickens, turkeys, a beehive, and goats, and raise much of their own food through a large garden and orchard. Rita has planted and identified many edible and medicinal plants. Rita is a graduate of Rosemary Gladstar's Herbal Studies Program. She trained with Eliot Cowan, the founder of Plant Spirit Medicine. Cosponsored by Fair Food Matters.

Of course, I ran into several friends there, most notably SF, who had,unbeknownst to me, been promoting it digitally, and Lz and Mg. I missed the first part, because I had decided to poke some last minute seeds in, in case it should rain this morning (which, of course, it did NOT; right now it's bright and sunny, lol!), but I don't think I missed that much...just their intro...a lot of the weeds and other wild plants I knew, and for me the most revealing part of it was the food: pine twig tea, the eponymous bread, which I found a bit bitter, the violet jelly (which was pink, and there was also elderberry, which was darker) but the most surprising was the dandelion flower muffins...very pretty, like with saffron threads, though mild in flavor.

So this AM, before I go out, and even before my coffee with mom and Martha, and also before upcoming, forecast rain, around noon, I decided, to get up early (before the sun, how unlike me!) and post. A littler research on dandelion muffins:

Unlike the first blog's author, Tea/Tara, I didn't start eating flowers until I was an adult...though the beauty of the pansies and nasturtiums in my salads has had friends cheering/cheered, on occasion.

Last year at my VERY local farmer's market they were selling spent daylily buds...which was a lovely idea, very Clan of the Cave Bear, but I just went home and harvested/deadheaded them, into omelettes, scrambled eggs, and burritos.

Well, Martha's on, so gotta go.