Monday, April 23, 2012
Fishing and Foraging
This weekend was a blur of activity as we finally got a weekend of amazing weather. It's the start of fishing and foraging season in the Palouse. The fish hadn't gotten the memo but all the lakes and ponds will be stocked for next weekend's big opening so the fishing will happen. Dandelions are out and about. I keep finding lots of yards filled with them. We've been picking from empty lots and public spaces. I managed to get several roots and a bucket of greens that we'll be eating tonight with lamb ribs (doesn't that sound yummy). The roots make great tea so I'll have enough for a few cups. I'll get more later. Right now I am focusing on flowers. I plan to make dandelion jelly. If all goes right I'll be making it with honey and sugar. My goal is to learn to can with honey and stop using white sugar all together. We went out to Rainbow Lake. The fish were not biting and our winter white skin was not liking the 80 degree sun (my arms got burnt and made me very sad - I knew I should have worn a long sleeve shirt). We were careful and all wore hats so the burns were limited to forearms (and my husband's neck where he had let a few buttons go open). My son did catch one nice little trout and it went into the freezer. We went on a search for mushrooms but none were found (not a single one, edible or not). We did find an oregon grape so I dug up two of the roots. We have oregon grape all over WSU but I didn't think they'd like us digging up the roots. They probably won't mind us taking the berries when they come (especially since there are a ton of plants). We did find something we thought were cattail shoots and then got to looking. They weren't cattails and I'm not sure what they are but we ate some as we picked and it didn't kill us. I do want to identify the plant before we eat what we have left. Most grasses are edible but I don't believe in taking the chance. We did find Arnica as we were heading home. The hills are covered in the plants but they were not easy to harvest. We got one and my mother is working on cleaning it up (except she might be allergic so I'll be cleaning it up and playing with it). No baking or even cooking happened this weekend. We did get a bountiful basket and added a box of tomatoes to the mix. I have 25 pounds of tomatoes that will be canned and dehydrated so we have some until our garden starts producing them. My mother bought a thing of culture so we can make our own cream cheese and maybe even some kimchee. Lots of great experiments coming soon. I'll be shifting this blog over to the new website in May and I am excited.