Cattail Shoots

Cattail Shoots

Cucumbers...you wouldn't think I would begin a post relating to cattail shoots referring to a mid summer Cucurbitaceae but I am.

No, I haven't gone crazy, bonkers...cukoo cukoo bananas. It is just that cattail shoots for the forager are nature's early summer cucumber. Crisp with water-saturated flesh that resembles  the texture of a large scallion these precious early summer gems are marvelous.

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Radish Chips

Radish Chips

Often times in life we have preconceived notions of how things should be. We build up people, places--in my case an overly complex radish based horseradish sauce-- and create these ideals that will inevitably never attain our lofty expectations. Today life gave me that pleasant little reminder that plan, formulate as much as I'd like the best things often just happen, surprise us and give us that kick-in-the-butt reminder why being present in the here and now is so incredibly important.

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Rhubarb & Strawberry Freezer Jam

Rhubarb & Strawberry Freezer Jam

We all have to work through things and today in Minnesota I'm quite certain that's exactly what mother nature was doing. Snow pellets, blustery winds...but smattered in between the extended periods of cloud cover...tiny glimmers of sunshine. In hopes of giving the lady of all things green a little encouragement to power through her mood swings I scampered over to the garden for inspiration. And wouldn't you know as luck would have it baby rhubarb shoots!

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Stinging Nettle Tea

Stinging Nettle Tea

Most folks wait for their tulips or day lilies to pop up in the spring. This lady, I wait for the nettles. Yes those pesky persnickety bothersome plants that light up your short wearing summer legs like a California wild fire...those nettles.

Thankfully my love affair with Urtica Dioica didn't occur from a short short/ dense wood experience. Instead the plant whose latin genus name means "to burn" stole my heart through a simple cup of tea.

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Pickled Ramps

Pickled Ramps

There are reasons as to why I only harvest a handful of ramps when there are thousands in my "ramp patch." As are there reasons why I comb the woods mid March in a ridiculous-looking 1980s snowmobile suit--just in case one uber-early ramp might have peeked through the soil without me seeing. And sometimes those concrete examples as to why we love some things aren't quite necessary. Ramps, Allium tricoccum, generally sprout out around mid to late April in damp forest-like conditions.

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White Spruce Tip Tea

White Spruce Tip Tea

It's funny how things can sneak up on you. Yesterday I got off work ready to walk my furry four-legged companion and whamo. Two hops and a skip out the door I look up and green little spruce growth is staring back at me. And not just any spruce growth...tip growth!

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Holy Basil Tea

Holy Basil Tea

Does the list from the photo above look familiar? Okay, perhaps you aren’t as OCD as I am when it comes to preparing the holiday meal. What can I say I like to have a plan and not worry about whether my bird will be done when my guests arrive or thank heavens this has never happened…after they’ve left!

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