Ten Food Projects For The Lockdown

Call it “lockdown”, “Isolation”, “Self-Quarantine” or whatever else the fact is just about everyone is home right now with quite a bit of free time. Those with families are now coping with a lot of mouths to feed more frequently and a dwindling supply of recipes to keep them happy.

Although I am not among those bunkering down I do have a few suggestions for anyone looking to start a new kitchen-related project and I also know quite a few industry folk who are using this time to hone their skills while hey wait for the food service world to start spinning again.

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Oregon Grape

Nothing makes an amateur forager feel more like a rock star than passing some scrumpy-looking bush in the neighbour’s yard and telling your friends, “See that there… You can eat that.” And you probably have a friend or two who’s down to try anything and immediately pops whatever berry you just pointed out into their mouth.

“Bleeeeaagggh! Why would anyone want to eat this!?” comes the response, followed by the look of betrayal. “This tastes nothing like a ripe blackberry. It’s sour! Why did I listen to you? You’re not a rock star! What if this is poison?” It is a scene we foragers know all too well… I’ve had it happen a couple of times to me and still recall the sting of recrimination and weird looks. *laughs*and it always seems to be thanks to Oregon grape.

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Beach Peas!

I haven’t posted as regularly as I usually do this summer and for that I deeply apologize to the handful of crazed kitchen folk and family members that subscribe to EDB. *laughs* We are still here, banging out recipes and philosophizing on life the universe and everything… It’s just been a rough couple ‘o months. Operation Best Summer Ever seems like a lifetime ago.

Unlike that long lost adventure on Quadra THIS summer has been about work and more work. No hiking. No biking. Zero gardening. Camping? Forget it. No sun and no fun… Just work.

But scattered amongst the endless grey weeks of life on the line sprout little moments of zen that keep me sane. Like the peas I found growing along the beach next to my post-work meditation spot. (more…)

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Sesame-Pickled Burdock Root

New ingredients are like amphetamines for kitchen creativity. From the moment I get home from a farmer’s market or an afternoon of foraging or hell, just back from a regular ‘ol grocery shopping run I’m jacked up! What is this crazy looking-stuff? Where did it come from? How do I process it and what can I do with all the bits? My mind is vibrating in a million different directions at once!

Last week I got a hold of some burdock root at the market in Courtenay and had just such a moment. These rough-looking tubers looked more like something dug out of a cat box than anything I’d serve for dinner, but The lady I bought ‘em from was insistent that they were a delicious spring delicacy! So yeah, I got ‘em home, mind ablaze and immediately starting hunting through my cookbooks for more info. (more…)

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Red Huckleberries

Huck 1Its summer holidays for the EDB team (yes, we get those!) and the agenda is filled with eating, drinking and mountain biking. And everywhere we go, from the top of Mount Washington to the deepest, darkest forests of Squamish there are truckloads of wild edibles to keep us energized during our long days of adventuring. Chief amongst our foraged pick-me-ups are red huckleberries, which fully ripen right around now and can be found growing just about everywhere in BC.

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