Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Madrone Berry Pancakes, a Wildcrafted Feast, and Black Walnut Ice Cream

"I love a fresh cut field with the first frost on, how it shines like gold when the sun turns on!" - Locash

There's just something about the winter time that beckons we get out and enjoy! This is my favorite time of year. Everything is green and wet and the fungi are popping up everywhere you look!
Though most berries are found in abundance in the summer and spring, the delightful and distinctly beautiful berries of the madrone tree flourish in the heart of winter.

Even a quick glance at this smooth, burgundy-barked cousin to the cinnamon tree, and you will never forget it.

I gathered up some of the fruit and headed on down the trail to see what else I might find.
Delicious seasonal greens including chickweed, thistle, minor's lettuce, and wild mustard were springing up in droves of vibrant green!

I gathered up a fistful of these edible sprouts and then spied a healthy black walnut tree.

After placing a dozen walnuts in my bag, I called it a day and headed home.
The next morning I enjoyed madrone berry silver dollar pancakes for breakfast.

For dinner I cooked up a fillet of the rockfish that my dad and I recently caught and paired it with a chickweed-thistle green salad, and sautéed oyster mushrooms from last weekend's gathering. The only part of the meal that wasn't wild harvested was the yam (though I sure wish there was a place to find them in the wilds of California). I even finished the fish with a sprinkling of my homemade sea salt.
The flavors were incredible!

For dessert it was one of my newest favorite sweets: homemade black walnut ice cream with homemade pomegranate caramel sauce (and yeah, I did forage the pomegranate).

My first bite of this concoction left me smiling so wide I had to wait a full minute before I could take another bite. The flavors danced across my palate and I was quite happy about it!

Have fun hunting, get out there gathering, find time for fishing, and always strive to keep the old ways alive!

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