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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Dandelion Capers

Dandelion Capers

Dandelions...Taraxacum officinale. Homeowners despise them and although I'm not quite yet a homeowner I do believe I've found the solution that will raise the lovely dandie from green lawn perfectionist's arch nemesis to a tasty value added condiment. Folks may I present the dandelion caper. Call me crazy but yes this actually works. Even better the capers actually taste great.

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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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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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Red Onion Powder

Red Onion Powder

I admit it. I am obsessed. Some dabble in fine wines, others craft beers...this little nettle is becoming a full fledged gastronome amidst the refined world of fruit and vegetable powders.

For those of you who haven't been around the ol' Urban Nettle blog lately you won't have any idea what I'm talking about. If you're a regular however you'll probably be groaning, "Gracious Urban...another powder?"

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Dried Elderberries & Oatmeal

Dried Elderberries & Oatmeal

Cold. Does anyone like it? Perhaps it's just that first blast of a 20ºF morning. 20ºF, 20 mph Northwest winds...oh yes and I decided I would go biking. Yes that type of morning. Cold not quite the best descriptor of how popsicle-like I felt. More post John Beargrease Dog Sled Race. Space heater, leg warmers, SAAD light...oh where out thou?

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