Christopher’s latest: Foraging North America

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Hey guys, here is my latest book, just released last week. I know some of you may think that this is just another shameless plug from that book fecundator, and well, you might be right. But I think you’ll like the book!

There is an introductory section which includes photos of Dude McLean’s hands cooking a broth in a cut-out yucca bowl, and Pascal Baudar’s hands making a wild mustard, and Gary Gonzales’ hand showing a miner’s lettuce leaf – lots of hands and few heads! Apparently the publisher likes hands and not heads – but there a few heads in the photos.

“Foraging Edible Wild Plants of North America” is a wild food cookbook, fully illustrated with color photos, with recipes for the most common greens that you can find anywhere in North America. In fact, most of these plants are found world-wide.

I was really happy with the result, and the way the color photos turned out. It’s 211 pages full of wild recipes, and various ways to use wild foods, their nutritional value, and the ways to process the plants, with full color photos of every plant. The book is a rewrite of my 1980 “Wild Greens and Salads,” which had only line drawings. I’ve added a lot more to this version, and you’ll love the color photos.

The cheapest way to get a copy is through Amazon. The retail is $22.95, and you can also get an autographed copy at www.SchoolofSelf-Reliance.com. For Dirttimers who want a copy, you can get the book and postage included for a total of $20. You can email me through the web site.

Hey, just in time for Christmas, and holiday gifting. And I really like the beautiful cover of a table of wild foods being prepared, taken by Helen Nyerges.

The books has LOTS of interesting recipes, and those of you who have come to my wild food classes, know the ways I prepared wild foods. Some of the recipes’ names incorporate some memory of when I first came up with that recipe: Chardon Crepes (from when I lived in Chardon, Ohio), Big Bend Breakfast (a cattail dish my brother and I cooked up in Texas), the David Ashley Special (a salad, and I wonder if David even remembers this?), Crisptado Fantastico (my unique chickweed tostada), Chicory Hicory Dock (everyone’s favorite), Point Reyes Sunset (a curly dock and clam soup that we first made at Point Reyes Seashore), Altadena Meadows Casserole (a nettle dish that I’d make when I lived in the Meadows), Hahamongna Swamp Salad (that’s self-explanatory, right?), and Tongva Memories (a watercress soup).

I included recipes that friends of mine enjoyed or developed too, such as the John Linthurst special (a steamed green dish), Wild Thomas Returns (a salad dressing based upon the famous dressing from Thomas Hall of the now defunct Daily Bread Café), and Daniella’s Favorite Salad (based upon a variation of the salad often made by Daniella Del Vale at Wild Food Outings).

Perhaps my favorite recipes are the Lamb’s Quarter recipes, because I use that plant nearly every day, both the leaf and seed. It’s a relative of the now-popular quinoa. Lamb’s quarter can be made into salads, soups, stews, and even bread when you use the seed. You’ll like my Earth Bread made from the seeds, and the reviews from those who have tasted it. According to the book, “I’ve served this Earth Bread to many foragers and have had mixed responses. A few people did not like it and said it tasted like dirt. There have also been ecstatic responses from people who found the bread ‘virile,’ ‘deliciously wholesome and amazing,’ and ‘primitive.’” You’ll have to try it for yourself and see what you think. Though you cannot go to the store and buy any of the wild plants in this book, these are all plants that grow freely throughout the country, usually in abundance before they are plowed over or pulled out by gardeners.

For those who wonder if there is actually any food value to plants found in the wild, there is a chart at the end of the book detailed the nutritional analysis of many of the wild foods in the book, based upon the USDA’s “Analysis of Foods.” You’ll be amazed that wild foods are generally more nutritious than much of what you buy at the supermarket.

OK, I’ve said enough. Now we can go back to discussing Obama, firearms, and the fate of the world…. That is, once we’ve had lunch.

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