Simplicity runs head first into complexity!
I am still enjoying my wild and free diet, however today has been rather more of a fasting day, not because of any lack of foraged food, but because I spent the past 24 hours dealing with my cantankerous tooth. It flared up last night to the point where I realized that enough was enough and it was time to let the professionals do something about it. Which, in this society either means spending huge amounts of your own money getting a root canal, or getting the tooth extracted. So, not being much of a huge amounts of money type of person, the tooth has indeed been taken out and shot. Or actually, it was probably incinerated after being taken out, which is what they do with medical waste around here, I believe.
Anyway, all I’ve had for nutrition today is a glass of pine needle ade. Or maybe you’d call it never-been-heated pine needle tea? Anyway, I made a bunch on Monday morning, by blending pine needles from a white pine with water and straining it, and have been sipping a bit every now and then since. At first it was a bit much for my tummy, even though it tasted good, but a little while ago I drank most of what was left, because I was so hungry! And my tummy is fine now. It has a surprisingly mild and sweet taste, and supposedly has plenty of vitamin A and C, according to Tom Seymour, in his wonderful Foraging New England book.
But yesterday had two pleasant meals, along with the usual snacking on dandelion leaves while walking around the neighborhood. For lunch I put several jeruslalem artichokes (aka sunchokes, aka a type of sunflower that has big juicy sweet tubers for roots) in the food processor with some wild chives I’d picked in the Rock Meadow on Sunday, and made a sort of garlicky “rice” kind of dish that was very yummy. It would have been even yummier with a bit of salt or seaweed, but I haven’t gotten to the ocean yet, so that wasn’t an option. By the way, the Jerusalem Artichokes were actually from my own wee little garden space here, which pushes the limits of my project a bit, but they are definitely something I could find around Somerville in the wild spaces, as they are a species that is native to the US, and brought to new England by the Native Americans long ago. But to find them wild in this area right now, you’d have to know where they’d been growing last year, to dig up the tubers before the tubers start sprouting visible shoots and leaves, and the only ones I knew of from last year were here. But in the future, I’ll definitely keep an eye out for them growing in the wild, and note their location, for springtime yumminess!
And then for dinner last night, I had a colorful and sweet handful of dandelion flowers and tiny wild violets that one of my young friends pointed out to me growing quite early in the season on a warm south-facing basketball court just down the street from here. That was a lovely find by him, because it was a very welcome break from the mostly bitter green, and bland white, edible plants that are otherwise available so early in spring in New England.
Hopefully tomorrow will bring some more exciting exploration and meals, though there may be a whole lot of juice and tea and ade for another day or so, while the hole in my face heals.
Which is nice, as the simplicity of a diet of primarily spring greens seems to be helping my body and mind deal well with what normally would be a pretty stressful period of time for me. And for this bit of extra calmness and peace in my body right now, I am quite thankful.