Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Free Foraged Food - Part 1

I can't believe how long it has been since I last posted! I went to England and Scandanavia for about 6 weeks, where I posted a little, but not much. And since I've been back I've concentrated on getting into a good writing routine, as well as painting my house, getting reacquainted with my dog, and pursuing an unexpected personal project. All this is by way of saying that I've been gone longer than I expected to be, but now I am back, and looking forward to getting back into the bloggy swing of things!

I'm going to a locavore (meaning one who eats local food) potluck tonight, where I'm giving a talk on waste (the topic of the book I'm writing). We are asked to bring a dish with at least one ingredient which is from the local area. I used this as an excuse to forage some lovely apples from a footpath in the Utica Marsh. I had noticed the apples while walking there with a friend recently. So I went back today with a basket and filled it up. I didn't think to bring my camera along, or I would have pictures of the tree. But the tree was loaded, and a man helped me by throwing sticks up into the tree to bring down the apples. Here is what I ended up with: Given how I got the apples out of the tree, they were a bit beat up, which was okay, since I had to cut them up anyway for the pie. I'm going to go back soon with an apple picking basket on a long pole and really stock up for pies and apple sauce. But in the meantime, here is the pretty pie I made with my foraged apples:

7 comments:

Canadian said...

I am thinking of foraging some crabapples from the university campus in order to make crabapple jelly. There are no poisonous varieties of crabapples, are there?

Celeste said...

Funny you should mention crabapples - I just came across a very nice crabapple tree this morning, and I'm thinking about what to do with them. I don't know whether there are any poisonous kinds, though I kind of doubt it. But if I were you I would inquire at the Botany department of your university.

What else could we do with crabapples?

Canadian said...

I think you can do most things that you could do with apples, like apple juice and apple sauce and apple butter and so on, at least according to this page: Enjoy Crababbles All Year Long. I guess you would need more sugar than if you were using apples. A google search also reveals various alcoholic possibilities. You can also use it as a source for making homemade liquid pectin (for use in jams and jellies made with low-pectin fruits).

Canadian said...

P.S. Your pie is indeed beautiful! Mine never look so pretty.

I will look forward to your book.

Celeste said...

The trick to a pretty pie is to flute the edges with your fingers, and then give it an egg wash and a sprinkling of sugar. This gives it a lovely golden crust.

Robinson said...

My father in law made me an apple picking tool, sort of like the basket you are talking about and I know you will love the materials we used. I took an old tin can and snipped a notch out of it for cutting the stem and then my fil affixed it to an old piece of dowling that had been left i our barn by a previous owner. I had forgotten about it until I read your post this evening. I'll have to take a picture of it and post it on my blog.

Oh, and the idea wasn't mine, I got it from Maryjane Butters.

Glad you are back. I've been wondering about you.

lazybrain said...

We've been eating crumbles and other desserts made from the copious blackberries and apples in our garden - there is something so satisfying about foraged food.

(Hi Celeste - I'm 'the other Ann' from England, i.e. not the one whose house you stayed in.)