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Early Summer Trout Fishing, Foraging & Campfire Cookery

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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.

 

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Venison Jerky with the Little Chief Smoker

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My Little Chief Smoker has been very busy since this past deer season. While I do like to package and prepare back-straps, tenderloin and roast for future meals, the majority of the meat from this years harvests went into the jerky pile.

My technique is to slice pieces clean to remove any sinew or cartilage and fill a gallon zip lock bag.

Venison Jerky and Backstraps with Old Hickory

I’ll add approximately 2 cups of soy sauce, 1 cup of honey or maple sugar and some heavy splashes of garlic powder, chili powder, salt and pepper and some chili flakes.  It’s best to let it all marinate 24 hours in the refrigerator with a flip or two to make sure all pieces get even coverage.

  

Next it goes into a strainer for a few minutes so that pieces can be lifted out without them dripping marinade and they are placed onto the racks of my Little Chief for smoking. If not complete dried I’ll place the pieces into the refrigerator or leave them in a dry environment and in a breathable paper bag so moisture can continue to escape.

  

Foraging & Making PawPaw Crescent Rolls

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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.

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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.

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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.

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

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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..

 

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