Urban Foraging

I love summer meals.

This evening my newest roommate, Adriana, and I headed out with a plastic bag and an old sheet and returned with the makings of a feast.

Our salad consisted of 4 kinds of lettuce, spinach, broccoli, arugula, dill, sweet basil, thai basil, nasturtium leaves, calendula flowers, borage flowers, olive oil, vinegar, and grated parmesan.

We turned our heap of mulberries into a scrumptious pie. When stewed in a pie, mulberry has some surprisingly deep flavor — teetering somewhere between blackberries and blueberries. “Purple” was Adriana’s best description of its flavor. Next time we may try adding a little lavender.

(The icecream was foraged from the neighborhood grocery store.)

Next time you should join us. In fact, we do still have leftovers…

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…land that I love…

I recently returned from a week in my motherland. It was a wonderful adventure. Within minutes of landing, I was whisked away to a lake in northern Wisconsin where I spent a number of days camping with 48 people who share much of my X chromosome (or married someone who does).

Here’s Fern and Harold, the common ancestor we all share. See any resemblance? My brothers lovingly refer to me as Fern3.

We had a blast playing water baseball, catching frogs, telling stories around the campfire, and playing the annual fear factor games.

Here we are blowing mounds of flour to uncover pieces of bubble gum. The first one to be able to blow a bubble wins.

On the menu for the “fear factor” eating challenge were: bleu cheese, anchovies, sardines, a full can of evaporated milk, and gummy worms soaked in water. My brother Caleb downed everything without a problem but started to dry heave with the gummy worm because he thought it was alive!

I loved spending so much quality time with family, and can’t wait until next year.

Also while in WI, I glommed with some dear high school friends

Visited with my 80-something-year-old great aunt and uncle who still farm as if they were in their 30’s.

I visited with my bosom friend and heroine, Fran Kelly, who was one of the most magical figures of my childhood and who is the motivation for much of my current life

I visited the old house where I grew up:

Picked berries behind the house where my mom currently lives:

Biked around Madison with my Dad, brother, sister-in-law, and niece:

And bought delicious produce at the nation’s largest out-door farmer’s market:

And spent my last evening hanging out with my dear friend (and niece) Ava.

She held my hand all the way to the airport. When I said goodbye, her bottom lip quivered and then she burst into tears and told me not to go. She almost persuaded me to stay. Here she is blowing me a kiss goodbye.

I’ll miss you!