Advertisements
Home

Foraging New Jersey – Late Summer Mushrooms!

1 Comment

Despite sporadic rains the late summer mushroom harvest has been tremendously strong. I’ve been finding Hen of the Woods (Grifola frondosa) and Chicken of the Woods (Laetiporus sulphureus) in great quantity. Others species have also been abundant including Oysters (Pleurotus ostreatus), Ringless Honey Mushrooms (Armillaria tabescens), Aborted Entoloma (Entoloma abortivum), Bears Tooth (Hericium) and Cauliflower (Sparassis) mushrooms.  Each of these when properly identified and if found fresh can be a primary ingredient in many a delicious meal.

 

 

Advertisements

Early Summer Trout Fishing, Foraging & Campfire Cookery

1 Comment

Met up with my friend Jared at the end of June to paddle on the Musconetcong River in New Jersey but low water levels changed our plans and so we decided to do some trout fishing, foraging and campfire cooking.

We lucked out with a Rainbow Trout, Milkweed Flowers, Monarda, Nodding Onion, Day Lilly, Wood Nettle, Elderberry Flowers, Bay Berry and a mix of wild fruits including raspberry, mulberry and strawberry.

It turned out to be a most delicious meal and a fun challenge to feed ourselves from the local landscape.

 

Foraging & Making PawPaw Crescent Rolls

Leave a comment

Took a drive out to a forest in Pennsylvania with a known spot for foraging wild PawPaw.
The broad leaves of the tree give a jungle like feel to the forest and produce a sweet sugary fruit full of large seeds.

20160925_132528

My companions as botanists had a secondary goal beyond enjoying the fruit in the shade of the forest.
They plan to grow trees from the seed for their own backyards and to share through a native wild plant nursery.

We tasted and collected many fruits to find the most choice potential seeds.

20160925_153630

I gathered them gently in a basket hoping to avoid bruising the highly delicate fruit.

Along the Way, I found some very large and abundant Spicebush berries.

20160925_124447

and some Jewelweed seeds that have a taste very similar to walnut.

20160926_123408

Afterwards, I wanted to make a pawpaw crescent roll.

To do so, I made a mini fire to have just enough coals to cook over. The goal is to gently bake the crescent but not the pawpaw in a tinfoil pouch. A flip after 3 minutes and about 2 more minutes provided a delicious fruit filled pastry treat..

 

Making Oyster Mushroom Jerky

Leave a comment

If you follow my blog you may recall that I made some  Hen of the Woods Jerky that came out delicious.  Well, I tried the same recipe with Oyster mushrooms and it did come out tasty but Hen wins easy for texture and flavor.

To make the mushroom jerky, I boiled pieces for 10 minutes, strained and placed them in a marinade overnight.  The marinade was a mix of honey, chili powder and soy sauce.  The jerky went in the dehydrator the next day at a low temperature for about 8 hours until it felt right.

To learn all about oyster mushrooms check out this excellent article over at Epic Gardening!

https://www.epicgardening.com/how-to-grow-oyster-mushrooms/

24 Wild Foraged Autumn Ingredients Cooked over a Campfire

10 Comments

I was challenged in a friendly competition to put my naturalist knowledge into action and make my best possible meal in an Autumn Foraging, Fishing, Hunting and Camping scenario. Recognizing that native people must have eaten over a 100 different wild foods in a year, a more varied diet than many or most of us today, I wanted to try and incorporate as many foods as I could possible find in this truly local meal.
I was able to create a menu composed of 24 fresh and local wild crafted ingredients (18 plants, 2 mushrooms, 4 animals).

Animals: Trout, Deer, Squirrel, Bear (lard)
Plants: Stinging Wood Nettle, Lambs Quarters, Onion Grass, Wild Apple, Autumn Olive, White Pine, Mixed Acorn, Black Walnut, Wintergreen, Sweet Fern, Sweet Birch, Spice Bush, Sassafrass, Garlic Mustard, Wild Leek, Staghorn Sumac, Juniper Berries, Fox Grape (water)
Fungus: Hen of the Woods, Chicken of the Woods

The meal has been cooked over a split oak wood fire that was lit with a white pine bow drill friction fire.  Bear grease was used as the cooking oil.

AUTUMN BUSHCRAFT FORAGING MENU 

Salad & Soup (Served with a Sweet Fern Tea)

Nettle, Lambs Quarters, Onion Grass, Garlic Mustard, Crab Apple with an Autumn Olive Drizzle
Wild Foraged Autumn Salad (3)

Mixed Wild Mushroom (Hen of the Woods and Chicken of the Woods), Stinging Wood Nettle and Rice Soup
Wild Foraged Autumn Soup (4)

 

Entrée (Served with White Pine Tea)
Roasted Trout with Wild Leeks, Chives and a Staghorn Sumac Spice
Wild Foraged Trout, Hen of the Woods, Chives Meal with Sumac Seed Spice (5)

Venison Heart, Hen of the Woods and Wild Leeks flavored with dried Spicebush Berries
Wild Foraged Autumn Meal, Venison, Nettle, Leek

Squirrel stuffed with Autumn Olive, Juniper Berries, Wild Apple and Stinging Nettle surrounded by Hen and Chicken of the Woods Mushrooms. (Bacon Wrapped and covered in tinfoil and cooked in the coals)
Squirrel stuffed with Wild Foraged Edibles

Desert (Served with Tripple S Tea made of Sweetbirch, Spicebush & Sassafrass)
Acorn Bannock Tart made with Black Walnuts and Grape Vine water. Topped with Wild Apple, Fox Grape and Autumn Olive fruit.
Wild Foraged Autumn Bannock Tart Dessert

 

Part 1: Wild Foraging Harvest

Part 2: Wild Foraged Feast

 

 

New Specials added Seasonally!

Foragers Spice Kit aka The Spice of Life: Spicebush Berries dried and chopped finely, Sweet Fern dried and powdered, Mountain Mint dried and powdered, Wild Ginger dried and powdered or infused into oil, Sumac Seed Heads, Garlic Mustard Seeds, Bay Berry Leaves and Seeds, Juniper berries.

 

 

Evaluation

  • Well it sure would have been easier to do this with a team!  The gathering of ingredients took exploration in multiple habitats and would surely be collected throughout the seasons and not necessarily in a hurry for one specific meal.
  • The changing of the seasons made collection a challenge as well as competing with wildlife and the changing appearance and growing location of plants. Focusing on lower elevations and wetlands allowed for the harvesting of certain species that would otherwise be too far gone at higher elevations or north facing slopes.
  • The biggest help was familiarity with local habitats that reduced the gamble of trying to find specific plants and made for easier and faster acquisition.
  • Survival needs are often discussed to include Shelter, Water, Fire and Food in that progression.  However, once you have the top three of four priorities met the majority of your time will be spent on food gathering.
  • The easiest of ingredients to find were mushrooms, nettles, acorns, hickory nuts and walnuts. I could have spent the majority of my time gathering and processing nuts in one general location (while simultaneously fishing) and happened upon a few other ingredients along the way.  This would have been the most calorie efficient way to go. 

Leave a reply below and let me know what you think!

Autumn Mushroom Foraging & Cooking

5 Comments

I like to bushcraft, forage and cook. When I’m able to combine all of those interests that makes me a happy camper. So, with both rain and cool nights the autumn mushrooms begin to appear and I try and get out to find my share.

I’ve been lucky on my walkabouts to come across Laetiporus sulphureus: The Chicken of the Woods and Grifola frondosa: The Hen of the Woods.  Both tend to grow on decaying oaks and add great flavor to a cooked meal.

My wife and I made Jamie Oliver’s recipe for “Wild Mushroom and Venison Stroganoff for two lucky people”. It was delicious!

I also used a bunch of the Hen to make jerky.  To do so, I boiled larger pieces for 10 minutes, strained and placed them in the marinade overnight.  The marinade was a mix of honey, chili powder and soy sauce. The jerky went in the dehydrator the next day at a low temperature for about 8 hours until it felt right.

All the extra mushroom got diced and fried in butter and a splash of olive oil to be frozen for use another day.

To see more of my Mushroom posts check out:

Wild Foraged Mushroom Tempura

July Mushroom Foraging

Dehydrating Chanterelles

Springtime Wild Edible Salad

3 Comments

For lunch on a recent outing I collected some fresh young purslane, trout lily, spring beauty, wild violets, red maple leaves and seeds and red bud blossoms. Together they made a fine wild edible spring salad. There was also Ostrich fern fiddle heads and leeks coming up (that had been transplanted for future harvest), lambs quarters (too young to harvest without killing the growth) and plenty of wild onion aka chives if you want to get fancy.

My favorite is the spring beauty as it has a fresh crunch and the trout lily as it reminds me of a cucumber skin flavor. The redbud also has a nice little pea flavor and the purslane is an easy to eat exceptionally nutritious addition. The garlic mustard, dandelion, onion grass I usually eat sparingly unless I have some balsamic vinegar or other dressing to flavor up some of the taste.

There are many good resources out now on wild edibles to help build up ones confidence and confirm identification, one of the recent books that I picked up was Leda Meriedith’s Northeast Foraging, 120 wild and flavorful edibles from beech plums to wineberries. The book is appropriate for all skill levels but I think it makes for an excellent beginner guide as she provides a 2-3 page spread on each of her most used, favorite edibles rather than provide information on the emergency possibility of some plant that needs to be boiled in a change of water 27 times. Samuel Thayer has two great books and a dvd and Greene Dean on Youtube goes all the way with his acronym I.T.E.M. = Identification, Time of Year, Environment and Method of Preparation.

Older Entries

%d bloggers like this: