foraging

#ranching

Weekend before last I went out to Duschesne County for the weekend after a Trauma Sensitive Yoga workshop in Lehi. The workshop was great. Yael Calhoun is wonderful. I learned about some of the subtleties that create a trauma sensitive environment in a yoga class. Yael works with veterans and military sexual assault victims. She taught us some powerful techniques using basic communication. I'm glad I attended. 

Afterwards I drove two hours, partially through Provo Canyon for the first time, it was stunning. Saw kayakers and fly fishers. It was fun to come up to Heber from the other side of the mountains than I normally see on this trip out to the country going the long way out past Strawberry Reservoir. 

As always, being out in there is delightful, therapeutic, a treat. We made foraged dandelion pancakes for breakfast! Who knew? My cousin Brock heard about it from a person in his foraging class. So we tried it.  

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Definitely learned some things here, too, but they were delicious and fun. Will definitely try it again.

We also cut down a box elder tree. It was my first tree chopping experience. We all got to hack at it. (Yes, it would have been easier with a chainsaw. This was more fun, less noisy, and didn't require gasoline fumes.) I got to throw the rock attached to the rope up into the tree. Sometimes you aren't fully aware that you have unexpressed anger or frustration to release. Swinging an axe to a tree takes care of that. 

We saw a crane! I thought she was talking about a crane that falls on to the sidewalk in NYC and kills people, so I didn't bother to look at first. I'm glad she was persistent. I love how we look, watch, then go right back to what we were doing. 

So the tree finally came down. Success. 

Feeding and petting the horses also was a much needed therapeutic activity. We started with carrots, but they were still hungry. Who can walk away from a horse. 

Happy Horses

Happy Horses

Heidi and I went for a hike up the hill to look for frogs in the pond. Along the way we found wild asparagus, picked it and ate it. We brought some back and ate that, too. It's so fresh you can eat it raw. 

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Then it was time to go back home. I always feel so energized and happy after a weekend like this one. 

foraging

One of my first adventures in Salt Lake City was attending a foraging class. How fun, right? There's so much around to forage: mushrooms, berries, fruits, nuts. I'm looking forward to spring, we were shown where there are Ume trees. How wonderful it would be to make umeboshi plums. 

This oyster mushroom was foraged by my cousin. She got half of it, then when back for more. Overall, the multi-trip forage yielded about 5lbs of oyster mushroom delight. Much smaller oyster mushrooms sell for $5.99/lb at a local market. 

Beautiful Oyster Mushroom.

Beautiful Oyster Mushroom.

We experimented cooking it with different oils and butters to find out what the best flavor is. (olive oil, sesame oil, grapeseed oil, salted butter, and vegan butter) Butter was by far the best flavor, but they were all fun and delicious. I would be okay with vegan butter. The oils may have been helped with more salt. 

On a field trip to a local park, I picked a bunch of inky cap mushrooms. You really need a large basketful to have enough to share generously.

Inky Caps.

Inky Caps.

Inky Caps.

Inky Caps.

The caps get gooey, so we only ate the stems. I wish I had sauteed them right away instead of waiting until the next morning, but it was a fantastic first forage. 

Elderberries are delicious. I want to make muffins and syrup with them. They're like little candies, so delicious and tart. These I did not harvest, but I did the painstaking job of removing them from their persnickety stems. Totally worth it. 

Elderberries.

Elderberries.

I had the most fun foraging pine nuts. We spent an hour pulling the nuts out of pine cones from the trees. Unfortunately, I didn't weigh our harvest. Not all of them have an edible nut inside, but finding out is part of the fun.

Foraged Pine Nuts.

Foraged Pine Nuts.

Does it count as foraging if you pick from the garden? Maybe not, but it's still fun. These plums came from a tree in the backyard where I am staying. 

Plums.

Plums.