Recently, I told John about an interview I heard on National Public Radio that I thought would interest him. The interviewee lives in New Jersey and has written a book about local weeds that are edible and delicious. She is a self taught forager — and now forages for Daniel (great name), a 3 Michelin stars restaurant in NYC.
I knew that by sharing this information with John, I had sown the seed for foraged food to show up in our kitchen. John is always on the lookout for locally grown food sources. Sure enough, within the week when Lorra and her sister Jan came to dinner, we all reaped the benefits.
Using his own recipe, John had prepared a delicious yogurt dip appetizer.
The key ingredient was wild garlic…
a pervasive ‘weed’ in our neighborhood.
While Lorra and Jan enjoyed the dip, John explained that we had listened to an NPR interview about a forager named Tama Matsuoka Wong (he found an on-line archive of the interview that I had told him about).
The interview led him to the website Meadows and More, where he and I watched a video of Tama’s Tedx talk that tells her story… how a corporate attorney becomes a weed forager (follow this link to do the same meadowsandmore.com).
I love that John took the root of an idea and transformed it into a tasty treat for our guests – with a dash of research and a generous helping of curious enthusiasm.
In addition to the wild garlic dip, he prepared a recipe from Restaurant Daniel that he found on Tama’s website using foraged garlic mustard…
another pervasive ‘weed’ in our neighborhood.
John invited Lorra and Jan to sample the leaves that he picked in the woods,
before he combined the leaves into an eggplant spread. It was a delicious accompaniment to our fish dinner.
You may have noticed Jack’s keen interest in the mustard garlic recipe.
The reason was soon understood when John explained that Jack had also been foraging for the tasty greens.
Thanks to Tama’s NPR interview, we all got a taste for the benefits of foraging.
And I continue to think about the concluding comments of Tama’s Tedx talk. She said that we all chase fulfillment, when it is actually all around us, literally under our feet.
By changing her thinking, Tama began to look at weeds differently — not as something to be eradicated, but something easily found that is a potential food source (with gourmand appeal). She began to see weeds as great food.
Wouldn’t it be interesting to apply this approach to all the ‘weeds’ in our lives — the things we currently consider to be nuisances. If we change the way we think about them, maybe our ‘nuisances’ would turn into something palatable and easy for us to digest.
Well, that’s food for thought.
live. enjoy. repeat.