Wild Cookery

Not Quite Another Year.

Well, as the title says, it’s not quite been another year since I last posted here on this blog.

I haven’t done any foraging whatsoever since I moved last fall. Zero, zip, nadda. I moved from the verdant forest which was my backyard, to the armpit of Hell.
Foraging opportunities have been nonexistent.

But all is not lost!

Over the next year plans are to move North, into a much more temperate environment. Think pine forest and mountains. There shall be foraging opportunities a plenty there, as well as a much more pleasant environment in general.

Then, maybe I can get back to doing some foraging articles and write ups. It’s kind of hard to write about foraging when one is not foraging. Also, the dead Latin names for a lot of lesser utilized plants are starting to fall out of my head. If I don’t start foraging again soon, I won’t know my Asclepias from my Ascot.

Categories: Foraging, Uncategorized, Wild Cookery | Leave a comment

Another year, another beer.

That would be nice, actually. Mmm… beer…

Not very good for you, but damn if good beer isn’t an awesome thing.

Well, again, a very long time has lapsed since my last post on this blog.

I’d pretty much given it up for dead, with the lack of actual foraging that I’ve been doing, or rather, not doing, over the past year or so.

Due to unforeseen circumstances I’m no longer in my little green garden of foraging goodness, and local foraging areas are incredibly inaccessible to me at the moment.

And, my wife and my health have suffered quite a bit for it. She’s put on about 30 pounds and I’ve put on about 40 pounds.

I weighed myself the other day and I’m the heaviest I’ve ever weighted. Not the ‘fattest’, as I’ve put on some upper body muscle since that time, but the most actual weight I’ve ever been.

I’ve felt sluggish and tired.

The holiday season was brutally stressful, and having everyone bring over and offer every sweet thing imaginable didn’t help either.

But, enough of all of that.

Starting three days ago, we started to change our eating habits to me more in line with what they were years ago, when we lived in a greener and more forage-friendly place.

Finding a place to forage around here will be the challenge, but it needs to happen.

I’m also reading Mark Sisson’s ‘Primal Blueprint’, which I bought yesterday in kindle edition so I could start reading it immediately. Most of what he’s covering so far is stuff I already know, but haven’t put into best practice. I’m only on chapter 2 though so far, so we’ll see how it goes.

Seeing has how it’s been so long since I’ve posted or had an actual following of fellow foragers, I don’t expect anyone to really read and/or comment upon this, but it’s more as a cathartic for myself to type my thoughts down and be able to reread them at a later time for reflection and to track my own progress.

More to follow.

 

 

Categories: Primal/Paleo, Uncategorized, Wild Cookery | Tags: , , , , | 1 Comment

Farewell to the Green Deane forum

Posted here, in case the original is deleted over at GDF, my friends can still see why I left.

*****

I’m going to just cut through the mustard and lay it all out.

This has been coming for a while now, but this topic brought it to a head.

Let’s talk about another one of my pet hates: hypocrites.

We have ’em in spades.

In the past few months, I have seen a few people, and one member in particular, treated like vile filth by the majority of the rest of the board, and even at times by Deane.

They’ve been openly mocked, ridiculed, derided, and essentially told that their content ‘doesn’t belong here’ or is somehow inferior.

This is absolutely unacceptable.

Often calls are made to ‘get rid of’ these members. If it doesn’t fit a certain narrow window, then their contributions are mocked and they are somehow not worthy of being a member here.

But let’s just call it what it is. Bullying.

This is not the ‘tough love’ that I’ve been trying to explain to some of you who have been thick as bricks on the subject. Tough love is done because you care and don’t want to see the individual come to harm. Bullying is done because deriding an individual or their contributions somehow makes YOU feel better.

But wait, you may say, no one’s been directly bullied here. We’re such sweet angels. We rarely, if ever, say anything nasty to anyone.

It’s still bullying, no matter how you dress it up. In all honesty, it’s exponentially worse than a direct insult. A direct insult you can actually face and deal with. The subtle, sly, intellectual kind of bullying can really eat at an individual. Until their self-worth is depleted enough that they either slink off and don’t come back, or they just read and not post because they’re afraid of being jumped on when they do.

And no, you aren’t outright calling anyone an idiot. You’re going a few steps worse. You’re TREATING them like an idiot, in front of the ‘whole class’. It’s self-righteous and subtle, which makes it even more dangerous.

So all this BS talk about being ‘sensitive’? Riiggghht. BS troll is still BSing… Because you’re still treating someone poorly and claiming to be angels.

And all the while you can claim that you’ve not been doing anything wrong. Tee-hee. Oh, so clever you. And as long as no one has anything direct or concrete to call you out on, you’re walking the high road, right?

The whole thing sickens me.

Yes, I’m also talking about how some of you and even our host (Yes, YOU, Deane) have treated our pal Swampy here. Some of you have been at odds with him since that one thread months back, and so everything he posts is read by you negatively before you even read the content.

And some people whom I’ve formerly considered friends here have been outright vile to me just because I’ve stuck up for the guy and not let them run roughshod over him. So be it.
I can no longer continue to ignore these things which ultimately go against my core values.

So, it’s time to say adieu.

It’s been mostly fun, but has certainly been a wild ride. (Pun intended.)

Deane: Thank you for all the videos you’ve authored and all the people you have helped by publishing them. I’ve learned a lot from you, and filled in some blanks in my foraging knowledge.

To the rest of the ACTIVE foraging forum: I’ve learned more from YOU collectively, than I did from one man or his videos, no matter how awesome they may be. YOU are the true treasure here. I think he perhaps forgets that from time to time, and acts accordingly.

Mike: Please put my account in read-only mode. If that’s not possible, then you may outright delete me. I’m done posting here. But be aware that if you do, every post I ever made will quite likely vanish depending on the forum settings. And that’ll be a lot of forum content gone forever.

Heather & Deane: Don’t even try this. Leave it to the professional IT guy. You can permanently and irrevocably obliterate a large part of the forum if you click the wrong thing when doing this on a member account that’s been here so long and who has thousands of posts into the forum.

To everyone: As always, I may be reached at wildcookery@yahoo.com

There is much more that could be said, but I’d rather leave on a somewhat pleasant note.

Farewell friends. May you tread wild paths seldom trod, and pick only the tastiest morsels.

All the best,

~Janos

Categories: Foraging, Green, Nature, Wild Cookery | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Toss a Forager a Dandelion

Well, not really, I’ve got plenty of those.

What I do need though is the opinions of my fellow foragers. Those of you who actually go out and get neck deep in weeds. Why?

Wild Cookery, as of a few days ago, now has an Amazon storefront. The site gets a tiny percentage (4% default) of everything that goes through there, as long as the WC store link is clicked through first. This is at zero cost to the customer. If someone buys something from Amazon directly, that small percentage just goes into Amazon’s pockets. If bought through someone’s link, it will ultimately help with bandwidth, hosting, and other costs, etc.

I want foragers to be able to have a ‘one stop shop’ for things they need, as that can be a real bear, especially for starting foragers.
What I’m looking for is recommended and quality books and ID materials that are still available (and thus will be so on Amazon), that I may have not read yet, but are community recommended.

Also your favorite processing tools, foraging tools, anything that ties in with foraging in some way to make people’s foraging lives easier and more enjoyable.

This will enable me to revamp Wild Cookery and make it infinitely more useful to real salt of the earth foragers, and be able to provide higher quality offerings. It’ll also, eventually, allow for some form of paid hosting to eliminate all those goram adspam that tend to plague my articles and give Wild Cookery a much more ‘professional’ look.

Let me know what kind of stuff that you as real forager’s would like so see in there.

Just look in the top right side of the menu bar, click the ‘Wild Cookery Store’ button, then click the ‘Wild Cookery’s Amazon Store’ link on that page. It’ll take you directly to the storefront and you’ll be able to peruse categories on the right hand side.

Also, ideas for what categories you think are helpful or would like to see, would also be appreciated.

As always, I can be reached at: Wildcookery@yahoo.com

Thanks folks!

~Janos

Categories: Foraging, Nature, Preparedness, Wild Cookery | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Fall Foraging and Quincely Woes

Well it’s creeping into fall once again. That lovely time of year following summer, where all kinds of harvest fruits are usually available for preservation and nomming.

To that end, there is a bumper crop on my quince tree this year. This would usually be cause for celebration here, as we pick, clean, slice, and freeze the fruit for use over the winter.

The problem is that the weather has been very odd all year. Whilst this has resulted in beautiful fruit up until now, it’s now hot when it should be cold.

It’s 83 degrees and very wet today, and will also be thus tomorrow. In October. In Pennsylvania.

Why is this a problem?

Because quince is a fall weather harvest fruit. The week plus of 80 degrees and extremely wet has meant that the ground is too soft to safely plant a ladder to harvest the fruit, and said fruit is rotting on the tree from the heat instead of being all nice and preserved as it should be by cooler temps. The first week of October is usually the first time I pick any fruit from this tree. I’ve had tons of fruit drop on their own over the last two weeks. And it’s ripening unevenly. One side will be shock green and the other side will be literally rotten. Not cool. Literally.

The next semi dry day here is forecast to be four days from now. At that time I’ll be harvesting all I can. They have to be hand picked. If they fall the impact bruises them very easily and ruins wherever it impacts.

The warm weather has also put the kabosh on fall mushrooms thus far. I’ve only found a half dozen mushrooms the past month. The only things that have been coming up have been either unknown or toxic varietals. No boletus. Well, there was ONE stray slippery pine boletus, but it was so bug eaten by the time I found it that I didn’t bother. Slippery pine boletus usually require shade of some kind to come up in any kind of proliferation, and it’s typically in the form of leaves that fall from other trees. When the leaves from the neighboring maple falls on the area of the roots of the scotch pine, is when these things will be popping up en masse. But the leaves haven’t fallen yet. The warmer temps mean that all the trees in my yard (save the barren walnut tree that got the clue early as usual…), haven’t dropped very many leaves at all yet. Two of my maples are still 100% green! The one closest to the house, the oldest one, has gotten the hint and the leaves are starting to slowly turn yellow.

So what’s it like in your neck of the woods, and has the weather been good or horrible for your local foraging preferences?

Categories: Foraging, Green, Mushrooms, Nature, Wild Cookery | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Tabula Rasa – A Clean Slate

A significant change is coming soon to Wild Cookery!

Yes, we’ll continue to be about foraging and cooking up all things delicious and wild.

But we’ll be adding to our ‘menu’ so to speak.

In the past, there have been various other topics covered here, but I still strove to keep it focused primarily on foraging topics and the cooking of wild foods. Times have changed.

We’re going to be going a bit more ‘broad spectrum’ instead of ‘highly focused’.

There is a very important reason for this…Everything is interconnected. The audience for a 100% foraging focus is very slim indeed. In fact most people who prepare for other things unfortunately have learning foraging on the bottom of their list. I mean to change that through cross-exposure by discussing other topics that are important to people.

I’ve heard it many times that I should keep Wild Cookery! strictly about foraging, to the exclusion of most other topics. I disagree.

Here’s why…

Foraging is very interconnected to many other things. Or rather, a ‘lack’ of foraging is. Because most of us no longer forage for our food, we are very disconnected from nature. Nature is something which, to us, exists in isolation of, and removal from, the human condition. By encouraging discussion of other somewhat related topics, we will segue into discussion of foraging with people that would otherwise have not sought out information on foraging. We will reach a much higher number of people than we ever would just by continuing to endlessly ‘preach to the choir’.

The more good people who know the basic skills of foraging, the better off the whole of humanity is. And no worries, we all know that the number of foragers will never exceed a fractional percentage of the population. So fears that people will ‘over forage’ the world en masse if ‘everyone’ knows this knowledge are statistically unrealistic to the extreme.

So, fear not. You aren’t going to be training your competition if you teach a few more good folks how to forage.

There are many valid topics in these tumultuous times that deserve in depth discussion. If all I do is talk about foraging, then the many and varied topics of our time that need to be talked about get completely missed. I think this is a disservice.

I also think that most of the foragers I know personally will applaud this move, as the vast majority of them are very intelligent and dynamic people. They have wide and varied interests. In other words, they aren’t just interested in foraging. They’re interested in what’s going on in their world and how to make a positive difference. They also don’t oft get a chance to discuss these topics as they are afraid to talk about them in other places for fear of being ‘off topic’, or considered ‘fringe’.

I would like this blog, and the corresponding Wild Cookery! Forums to eventually become such a springboard for open and honest discussions.

All legal and lawful topics should be up for discussion in a healthy society. A mutual interest in foraging should be the start of an intelligent conversation, not the end all be all of a conversation.

Categories: Economy, Education, Food Health, Foraging, Green, Health, Preparedness, Social Unrest, Survival, Wild, Wild Cookery | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Tasty Treats Wandering Into My Woodland Realm

Today I figured I’d share a collection of just a few things that have decided to make my yard and surrounding area ‘home’.

First up we have a ‘hare’ raising photo. There are a bunch of these around. I’ve identified at least four separate individuals. The largest of which will likely be in the stew pot come fall.

(Note: All pictures can be clicked on for a full sized version!)

Rabbit

Second, we have a rather snarky looking groundhog that loves to meander about and eat the tops off of my orange hawkweed. Considering those are my wife’s favorite flower, she has a special vendetta out for this creature and has made it known to me in no uncertain terms that the beast shall not survive the winter, even if she has to get out her bow and do it in herself. 😉

Groundhog

Next up we have a slither. Why did the slither cross the road? To end up battered and fried!

Eastern Rat SnakeEastern Rat Snake 2Snake and Wild Garlic

Also, being a bit of a wildlife haven, my yard tends to attract some of these fine folks:

Deer

They are always welcome on my property. Get fat, eat well, and come winter time they are a resource if I need them, right outside my back door.

Also not too far away, I found some of these the other day:

Geese 2

I love geese. Both on the table and as an animal in general. They’ve got personality. My favorite goose I ever had was named ‘squeaky’. He was awesome. I raised him from a tiny gosling swimming around in my bathtub to a full sized gander. He never once hissed at me and was very protective. He was also the only goose I couldn’t bear to eat. Had it been life or death survival, I’d have eaten him of course, but as it stands this was about ten years ago and availability of other food sources wasn’t an issue. This picture is of course just for illustrative purposes, as you can’t take deer, geese, and the like without all the proper permits, paperwork, and all that modern nonsense. Thus the geese were not on the menu, sadly. One would almost think that it was deliberately engineered to make it nearly impossible for you to find and dine on your own free wild food…

These however, were on the menu, and were taken from the same waters. (Yes, legally, proper licenses and all.) And they fried up lovely. First is a Bluegill (Lepomis macrochirus), and below is a Black Crappie (Pomoxis nigromaculatum). Most people are confused as to what a Black Crappie is. A Black Crappie will have black SPOTS . A White Crappie (Pomoxis annularis) has stripes, or ‘bars’.

BluegillBlack CrappiePanfried Bluegill
I also have a full on herd of squirrels in my yard. They wouldn’t sit still long enough this morning to get a proper picture though. The idiot neighbor’s idiot dog likes to chase them to hell and back so they’re very skittish and they bolt at the slightest sound. (Such as the sound of a window opening to get a clearer picture…)

UPDATE: I finally got one to sit still for half a millisecond!

Squirrel

So, what’s in YOUR neck of the woods? 😀

Categories: Animals, Fishing, Food Health, Foraging, Green, Hunting, Nature, Nature Photos, Organic Meat, Uncategorized, Wild, Wild Cookery | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Forage! Episode III: Proper Identification

Ever wonder what happens to all those cavalier folks who think that nature is just another harmless and safe grocery store?

Forage 3 Proper Identification

Categories: Comedy, Education, Food Health, Forage!, Foraging, Funny Stuff, Green, Nature, Wild, Wild Cookery | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Forage! Special Edition: Green Bean’s Garden

This Special Edition of the Forage! comic strip is in honor of someone who’s given back tremendously to the foraging community through his tireless work, incredible foraging videos, and hands on effort.

Through his passion for many of our favorite hobby, he has taught and touched many people’s lives. Some through his foraging classes, which he still offers, and some through his incredible videos.

To that end let the roasting… err… the honorary cameo in Foraging! begin! 🙂

Green Bean
And in case you’re quite new to foraging and don’t know who we’re talking about here, he can be found at www.eattheweeds.com

Categories: Comedy, Education, Food Health, Forage!, Foraging, Funny Stuff, Wild, Wild Cookery | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Forage! Episode II: Latin Love

Forage! Episode II: Latin Love is now live! 🙂

Forage 2 Latin Love

Categories: Comedy, Education, Food Health, Forage!, Funny Stuff, Wild, Wild Cookery | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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