Sunday, April 24, 2016

Beast Feast, Blue Dicks Corms (dichelostemma sp.), and Other Random Fun

Well, it has been quite an eventful month! Fun, to say the least! This post will seem a bit gluttonous...and that's just fine by me. We feasted on surf and turf and though some calories were gained, the content grins were well worth it!

In the midst of a rain storm Sassafras and I headed out into our preferred terrain...the woods. Nothing like getting out on the trail when everyone else stays home in the comfort of their homes. The wild experiences you have in such contexts are unforgettable!

Some of the early highlights of the day included incredible arrays of local vibrant wildflowers, banded slate, beaver-cut trees, deer, and local migratory birds.

By noon we fashioned an expedient digging stick from a less-than-straight oak branch and dug some soap root and edible blue dicks corms.

By late afternoon we headed down to the river bar and enjoyed fresh crab cakes from the Dungeness crabs I got a couple weeks back.

The next evening my roommate Nick, his wife Dana, and I cooked up one of the craziest feasts I have enjoyed in years!

Nick loaded up the grill with Wisconsin bratwurst and Italian sausages over a cast iron loaded with peppers, onions, and beer.

Meanwhile Dana and I cooked up another batch of homemade crab cakes, the lobster tail from the last weekend of lobster season this year, and some abalone fillets, fried to golden perfection. We also battered and fried a little Wisconsin cheese!

The next morning I headed our for a rabbit hunt with great success.

And I got to see a pretty rad young gopher snake on the way back.

The next day Sassafras and I headed out again to another secret spot and enjoyed a lazy afternoon by the creek.

I had gathered up some loquats earlier in the morning so lunch consisted of panko fried abalone with loquat salsa. It was one heck of a morning that turned into one hell of a day!

Recognizing a good thing when you find it can be an art. Sometimes one must get out of the everyday and out in the elements to clear the mind and rejuvenate the soul. Once you've got it together, enjoy a feast or three. If you go a bit overboard, that's all part of the fun!

Keep the old ways alive!

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Puff Ball and Oyster Mushroom Pizza

“It looks like he’s living out of his car. He’s got blankets, and what is that? Is that a bucket full of chestnuts? Who has that? What? Is he foraging for his food?”- Its Always Sunny in Philadelphia

My friend Amy and I got out about a month ago in search of fungi. We were not under the impression that the hunting would be terribly productive as it had been nearly two weeks of hot weather since the last rain. But we needed an excuse to get out of town for a bit and have some fun so a walk in the woods was just what the doctor ordered.

After what seemed like the whole afternoon of joking and laughing with nearly no mushrooms encountered, Amy located the very first. It was neither an edible species nor was it of any size, but it gave us hope.

Next we found a few clusters of inedible ink caps along the north (shaded) portions of a few trees. These made me feel like perhaps there was a chance for an edible morsel or two. And as it turns out, there was!

Mostly past-prime, we found a few old oyster mushrooms with a few younger edible ones in the mix. Regardless of the general condition, we were all smiles!

After scouring the area with no further success we headed out into the open low-growing grass and found a plethora of puff balls.

These were certainly not sizable, but paired with the oyster mushrooms, caramelized onion, chicken, broccoli, and truffle cheese, these made some damn fine pizzas!

Well, even if conditions look dismal, get out there and see what’s waiting for you. If for nothing more than comradery and a fun day in the woods!

Keep the old ways alive!


Thursday, April 7, 2016

Abalone Opener and Digressions of Dungeness Crab

As crab season is in full swing, I could not pass up another opportunity to pursue these delicious crustaceans! My dad and I headed out early on the old trusty inflatable boat as the open ocean was calm and the winds were low.

Salmon season had also opened that day so after dropping the crab pots we trolled around for a bit with anchovies and flashers.

As expected, the fish were only biting several miles off the coast, but regardless of a lack of salmon, the crabs were plentiful!

We gave the gear a rinse in fresh water as the crab boiled away on the stove and spent an hour cracking and shelling.

My parents ate crab louie while I cooked up a batch of crab cakes for my buddy Alex's birthday party.


The crab cakes lasted about 20 minutes and received rave reviews.
The next morning it was back to the sea for a little north coast freedive spearfishing and abalone diving. The morning fog was thick, but burned off as we entered the water.

And though the water looked calm a strong ground-swell kicked our butts out in open water. We still manages a few fish, a couple of rock scallops, and some abalone.

It was a great time out there and the sea was quite generous!

The weekend ended with a slice of my mom's homemade peach pie from peaches picked in our orchard...not to shabby!

Looking forward to plenty of seafood dinners in the coming weeks!

Keep the old ways alive!