Sunday, August 23, 2009

Summer Fun - Foraging for Food

PurslanePicture source

One of my favorite memories as a little girl was searching for edible plants in our backyard and making a salad. I owe the idea to a kiddie book I once read. I remember it was about Raggedy Ann and a backyard picnic with her friends. As a little girl, this idea of a backyard picnic made me want to explore my own backyard.

I do not recall what plants I found and ate other than young tender dandelion leaves. I guess I also used mint that grew everywhere in our backyard. I really wish I had kept a journal back then.

I do remember the Honeysuckle plants and flowers with fondness. Nothing better than carefully pulling the bottom of each Honeysuckle flower out and enjoying the sweet nectar that clung to that stem.

My friend Alexandra is responsible for bringing back these memories.

In the article she shared Food Foraging: Finding and enjoying wild edible plants they feature Purslane.

This plant or as I would have referred to it... weed...still grows in the yard of our family home in New Jersey. I had no idea it was edible. However, it does explain why a lady from somewhere in central America would often ask my mother to share some with her. My mother happily obliges each time.

Some of the other plants I remember growing in our backyard were not necessarily those I ventured to try eating... for instance Pokeweed. I believe we called it Pokeberry. Mulberry trees also grew all over the yard. They grew quickly and became large fruiting trees. We did not really like the taste of Mulberries as kids. Wild Grapes was yet another plant that grew in our yard and another one we did not like to eat.

It was mainly because we had the most delicious Green Apple, Rainer Cherry and dark red Cherry trees growing in our yard that the wild ones were not eaten. We also had a pear tree and a peach tree but I do not remember their fruits being as sweet as the aforementioned ones.

If we did not have those wonderful fruit tress, I think we would have found the wild berries and grapes to be tasty to eat.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Misozuke Salmon

I was at the local Japanese market today. I was looking for fresh fish to buy, preferably one that was ready to cook. The $15.00 a lb. price tag readily put that notion out of my head. Instead, I purchased fresh salmon fillets at $6.99 a lb.

A recipe from the Honolulu Star Bulletin for Miso Butterfish, came to the rescue. I think we can have something to satisfy my craving for Misozuke and still stay within our budget.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Sharing Favorite Recipe Links

1. Tyler Florence's Beef Stroganoff Over Buttered Noodles

2 Campbell's Kitchen One Dish Chicken & Rice Bake

3. Chicken Paella

4. Sweet and Sour Pork

5. Congee (Jook) - Rice Gruel

6. Turkey Jook

7. Crisp Chocolate Chip Cookies

8. Ruben Sandwich

9. Zeppoles

10. Beef and Barley Stew

11. Spaghetti alla Carbonara

12. Gyozas

13. Bacon Potato Frittata

Fruit: A Healthy Choice

My sister shared the following:
From Dr. Weil

Fresh fruit salad is a traditional, healthy dessert. Not only delicious, it is nutritious, too - the natural antioxidants and fiber of fresh fruit support the body's defenses and help to keep it running smoothly. When making a fruit salad, consider including the following choices - according to the USDA, these fruits are exceptionally high in antioxidants:

1. Wild blueberries
2. Cranberries
3. Blackberries
4. Prunes
5. Raspberries
6. Strawberries
7. Red delicious apples
8. Granny Smith apples
9. Sweet cherries
10. Black plums

Look for organic varieties at your local farmer's market, and enjoy!