Friday, May 15, 2009

Fun (and FRUGAL!) Foraging!

This morning was lovely and we spent much of it outdoors getting the garden ready for planting and doing a little cleanup. When I was in the woods I happened to spy, amongst the dead branches, a morrell mushroom. I was so excited! I grew up picking these mushrooms at my parents house but so far had been unsuccessful at finding any at our house. After showing it to the kids Mara went out and had soon found 5 more, then I found another one as well. 7 isn't a huge number but is enough to have a treat at supper. And hopefully more will pop out soon as well (it is raining this afternoon which should help them grow).
Morrell Mushrooms are a pretty distinctive mushroom which is nice because you need to be very careful when picking (and consuming) wild mushrooms. You need to be sure you know that you are getting something that is safe and edible. These mushrooms have a very yummy flavor and we like them battered and fried, sauteed, in sauces or in a variety of other foods. I have also frozen them for future use. After picking them we cut them in half and soak them in salt water to get out any bugs that might have taken up residence there.
Food foraging is lots of fun and goes far beyond mushrooms. We also enjoy picking lots of wild berries like blueberries, juneberries, raspberries and strawberries (thought the wild ones of those are so small they are just for a tiny little treat). Greens are another item we harvest and use. Wild grapes can often be found even in cities (actually that is the only time I have foraged them as it is rather cold for them here). Just keep your eyes open and do some research and you might be surprised how much yummy food you can find for free!
For more frugal tips visit Life as Mom.


Your Frugal Friend, Niki said...

Can you give any good resources for checking out what is okay to pick? I see lots of berries on our travels (we do a lot of hiking) but fear eating something poisonous.


Abbi said...

I have found the best resource to be somebody who is knowledgeable in that area, but that isn't very helpful if you aren't with them. :-) One of my favorite wild foods books is "Stalking the Wild Asparagus" by Euell Gibbons but I would prefer photographs to the drawings that he has.
I did find this site which has some identification:
If I were you I would try to find a book for your specific region that identifies plants and then you can do some research into whether they are edible or not.

Cathy said...

i'll have to check out that book too!

Anonymous said...

We call those dry land fish in Tennessee, quite a delicacy! Very hard to find them, I wish they grew in my back yard !


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