Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Wisconsin: Foraging and Beer!

I grew up on a small farm in the middle of rural Wisconsin.  Although I didn't appreciate it at the time, I was basically living in a culinary wonderland.  We had fresh farm raised pork, beef, lamb, a giant vegetable garden, and lots of edible wild produce. Well, if only I could go back in time and have a little chat with former self.

Thankfully I still get to enjoy this bounty when I come home to visit.  This time, visiting for my little brother's college graduation (congrats little brother!), I got to sample lots of local beer, fresh picked asparagus, ramps, morel mushrooms, and some fresh eggs from a farm down the street. Oh, my dad made my beer bread recipe with some local Wisconsin beer too!
Morel mushrooms are very delicate in flavor (and delicious!).  In Wisconsin they grow in the spring (April/May) underneath trees of all sorts.  My dad and grandpa have figured out the best places to go hunting for them from years of experience.  In California they sometimes explode in abundance after forest fires.  Most commercially sold morels are picked from the wild and not farmed.  The morel above is the first one I found on my own. :-D
We are lucky enough to have asparagus growing wild around the farm as well.  It grows in the garden and wild along the roads.  
Mmm foraged veggies!  Asparagus from the garden and ramps and morels from the woods.  

Cooked in butter! 

I'm looking forward to doing some foraging in California.  Mr. C's family goes berry picking every year and I'm hoping to weasel my way into their trip.  :-)  Have you ever foraged for anything?  Perhaps there's more stuff around I could look for.....aside from the neighbor's lemons that is ;-) 

Still planning on a home-brew post, Mr. C guest post and a new vegan dessert recipe I'm trying tonight! 

Morel Mushroom on FoodistaMorel Mushroom

1 comment:

Cocoa and Quinoa said...

Your farm life sounds like heaven...surrounded by the concrete jungle in Chicago I am so jealous! Nice to know what I'd find in Wisconsin - a couple hours drive away - a different world.

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