Sunday, September 20, 2009

All the greens

All the greens are making there little fall re-appearance. Curly dock and dandelion and some fresh narrow leaf plantains have been going into my fall soups. And mushrooms, of course. Some new ones for me this week, found in the mulch patches at the arboretum: wine caps. pretty, but not extraordinary in taste, but not bad either.

Also, at the Boston mycological club foray yesterday in the Fells, I didn't find anything but one puffball, but the collective forces brought in a bunch, including some Entoloma abortivum and Armillaria tabescens (a type of honey mushroom). Staring at in-the-hand samples is the best way to learn new plants and mushrooms.

Rob might become the illustrator of my book, in return for php coding of, his latest get-rich-slowly scheme.

Friday, September 11, 2009


Kousa dogwood fruits are out. Challenge: make the inherent taste, which is usually good, outshine the paper-rough exterior texture that no one likes.

Working on my Tom Waits mix CD. At the instant, digging the tune called Cold Water.
I get angry when weather forecasts are wrong, not sure why. I should probably take the weather gadget off of my home page.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Apples and Acorns

Acorns are falling now, and they might not be as tasty as the black walnuts, but they are a lot easier to release from their shells. My current best method is a swift whack with a hammer and then yanking out the nut meats by hand with a pair of pliers on hand for the more stubborn ones. Next I use my old fashioned nut grinder that I bought for almost nothing at the tiny tucked-away thrift store in Harvard square last year to grind them coarsely. Then, I get a large pot of water boiling and use it to supply water to the smaller pan in which I boil the nuts in a 4 or 5 changes until most of the bitterness is gone. To serve, I've so far tried them in pancakes and soup, and both were fine.

I need a small cider press or juicer to deal with all the apples that people just let fall down to the ground.

Another hawthorn tree, this time on the Boston side of the Charles, is giving nice big haws. And here again, due lack of time, I want to see if an automatic food mill/strainer will process these and crab apples etc faster than my hand cranked foley mill. I'd love to stick to the manual devices, but this cuts into my foraging time!

Curly dock is making its fall appearance now. I'm eating some for lunch right now, along with my Japanese knotweed beet compote, which I have to say tastes much better out of season because I'm not so sick of Japanese knotweed right now.

Grape juice and vodka drinks last night preceding Verena's going away sushi fest.

I'm currently strategizing on how to curry favor with Ben the mushroom man. I had a dream the other night that he took me in as an apprentice. In the dream, I told him I was ready to go because I had a food dryer that would dry a lot of mushrooms at once, and he said I wouldn't be needing that since it would take me years to learn the art of edible mushroom picking. Maybe it was more like a nightmare.