Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Late Night Foraging

I got out with my dog and cut some river cane for arrow making the other day.

A few days later I headed out again with my good buddy Alex for a little hunting and gathering. We started out by cutting some nice osage orange wood for Alex's first longbow.

After cutting through this incredibly dense wood we severed some wild grape and quenched our thirst with the purest water which flowed from the freed vine.

Later, we managed a couple of shots and some pretty good stalks on small game. Though we had no luck hunting, we sure had fun!
After sunset we went back out again in search of other seasonal foods. By the time the night was through we had olives, walnuts, bay leaves, citrus, and pomegranates. Not a bad harvest!

Keep the old ways alive!

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Turkey Pot Pie with a Homemade Bow

My brother and I got to talking about archery a few months back. He had been contemplating carving a new bow and trying a little traditional archery. Justin, at that point, had only carved one bow in his life: the beautiful California Bay recurve that inspired me to begin carving bows.
Over the past few months Justin has been sending me updates of his progress carving hickory, plum, and osage.

Yesterday he sent me an image of his first traditional take...a wild turkey he got on opening day of the fall season!

Many thanks to Robert for guiding Justin around the family land. It sure paid off!

Justin said that the turkey pot pie was phenomenal!

Keep the old ways alive!

Monday, November 9, 2015

Mountain Puff Ball Crostini

"Finally got some decent rain huh?"- Me
"Yup! This is my favorite time of year!"- Some guy
"Me too! Didn’t rain like this last year so I sure am glad it’s coming down now!"- Me
"It probably did but people just don’t recollect cuz their all worried about this “drought” we’re supposed to be in!"-Same guy
"Interesting...that’s not how I remember last season!"-Me
It amazes me that people still fight the idea that we are in a historically unprecedented drought, that climate change is absolutely a reality, and that human beings have played a significant role in the escalation of greenhouse gasses and global warming...but hey what do I know? I'm just an archaeologist who studies the interactions of human beings with the environment for the last several hundred thousand years!
After upcycling a bottle base into a projectile point at the river while dropping some crawdad traps, my dog and I headed into the mountains once more in search of small game and fungi!

We found that it had snowed a few days prior and Abalone was loving it!
I also enjoyed topping off my water bottle with some of the fresh snow!
Though we had high hopes for a successful hunt, I missed a few shots at mountain quail and all of the mushrooms seemed too scared of the snow to pop out of the forest floor even where no ice was present. I think another week or so and we will see a strong flush... but only time will tell!
We did manage to find some puff balls though.
Puff balls are not the most flavorful fungi but with the right mix of herbs and spices, they are pretty darn tasty!
I prepped some sautéed fungi with fresh rosemary, onion, and garlic while Abalone became reacquainted with her heater.

I topped some crostini with chevre and this lovely mushroom medley, then a dash of balsamic vinegar and a pinch of my homemade sea salt.

This was one heck of a nice appetizer! I highly recommend it!

Well, time to go check the crawdad traps.

Keep the old ways alive!

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Shaggy Mane Mushrooms in the Mountains

My brother and I had a chance to get out to the mountains for the night last weekend.

We hunted small game with our homemade bows and arrows, shot Justin's new black-powder rifle, dropped a couple of crawdad traps, and even did a bit of trout fishing.

We got some good shots at squirrels, but no success with small game. Regardless, it was sure fun to stalk through the woods with our longbows again!
While hunting we came across some of the first of the season's fungi!

Some of the shaggy manes were simply massive (see me for scale)!

That night we cooked up some sausages and sautéed mushrooms...they were incredible!

The night sky lit up with shooting stars, some flying two at a time!
The next morning we made a batch of canoe-paddle pancakes and pulled the crawdad traps which were loaded with swamp lobsters!

The rains came as we headed back off the mountain showing potential for another early season mushroom hunt soon!

Keep the old ways alive!