Fat hen, Sheep’s sorrel Pesto n more

Today is a beautiful day so I have been out n about a bit to enjoy it whilst it lasts, I went n visited my sista in law just down the hill a bit n asked her if I could weed her garden she said there wouldn’t be much because she’s been on to it but I managed to find some yummy lambs quarts/fat hen (Chenopodium album) n sheep’s sorrel (Rumex acetosella) amongst the pea patch so I was very satified with that.

Fat hen (Chenopodium album) Sheep's sorrel (Rumex acetosella) Pinus radiata needles, Yarrow (Achillea millefolium) Holly (Iles aquifolium) & Silver wattle seeds (Acacia dealbata) seeds.
Then I strolled off to see if I could find the elusive nettles (Urtica dioica) up the paddock, there were a few but I will leave till later again as I didn’t have my glove, bag or snipers with me, silly, I only had my little basket but I sat in the sun and collected some silver wattle (Acacia dealbata) seeds to play with but so far I can’t find any info on them being edible the sap is apparently n I have used the bark to tan furs, I have nibbled a couple and they taste the same as other wattles I have tasted very beany so I will store these until I find something on them.

Yarrow (Achillea millefolium)

After chatting away with my niece Dannika for a few minutes well she does most of the chatting really I headed off out the gate n not far from the front gate I found and picked some yarrow (Achillea millefolium), it smells amazing like honey n I’m not sure what I’m doing with the yarrow yet I will fill you in later.
Fat hen (Chenopodium album) n Sheep's sorrel (Rumex acetosella) pestoFurther on in the pine plantation that runs all the way along the road side across from my grandfathers property I grabbed a handful of fresh pine (Pinus radiata) needles they to smell lovely but in a different way in a piney cleaner kind of away 🙂
I also  found some young holly (Ilex aquifolium) trees growing in the forest in the shade they had nice new leaves so I picked the very ends of the branches I will only use the lighter softer new seasons leaves.
Ok home I headed basket over flowing with goodies a pretty productive day really when I got back I made another pesto from the fat hen n sorrel I added some of my uncles gorgeous organic garlic to it and my special salt as usual, I just fried off the garlic in a bit of oil and I then added it with all the weeds n put everything into thank goodness a food processor this time n with a flicked of tha switch it was done I then put it into a glass jars.
It came out the most amazing vibrant green color n it taste so green n fresh.
I love making pesto’s from fresh greens I think it is the best way to preserve some of them for later use along with drying, I have found in the past that the fat hen n the sorrel don’t dry well last time I tried it the fat hen went yellowish by the time it dried and wasn’t attractive at all n the sorrel just dried up to nothing n lost its bite but making pesto’s with them works great.

Pinus radiata kombucha
After making the pesto I thought about what to do with the pine needles n I remembered  I had a couple bottles of kombucha in the van so I put some of the sticky resinous pine needles into a jar with some kombucha, I will leave this to brew for a few day or so then take the needles out. I will put the rest of the needles in my tea over the next few days.

I finally got the holly leaves sun wilted after chasing them around in the van n yard for awhile as the wind kept blowing them away on me. I have blogged about the process I use for making holly tea before way back n you have to put the leaves in the sun shinny side up to wilt them to cook off that shinny layer to make them edible. When I was researching it for the first time I read this somewhere n if you don’t cook it off they can upset your tummy, it does make them go a horrible dull brownish color but it taste good n that’s what counts it is a nice like green tea that I mix with my mixed herbal tea.

Fat hen (Chenopodium album) n Sheep's sorrel (Rumex acetosella) pestoWell that’s it for awhile I’m going bush for a few days out of reception but hopefully I will find lots of goodies to blog about out there, Cheers 🙂

Black as night Cherrie delights

I will say SORRY now to you all for what is to follow, be warned you may feel a funny disturbance deep down in your tummy it will be a mixture of cherry envy n hunger pangs n your mouth may start to drawl ever so slightly 🙂 🙂
Black CherriesBlack Cherries

Black Cherries

Did you feel it?
The shade of velvet black was stunning I have never seen cherries this black n I can’t even tell you how good these were but I’ll try ok- let see they were crisp n made that delicious pop when you teeth broke through the tight skin the juices exploding in your mouth with an almost candy caramel sweetness n your eyes roll back in your head n you are lost for a few seconds then when you come back from that place you take a quick glance around to see if anyone noticed your pleasure face hehehehe how’s that 🙂

Weed & Flower Pesto

Weed & Flower Pesto

Today I scrounged around my mothers yard for some food and I ended up picking enough weeds & flowers to make a nice pesto.
Weed & Flower Pesto

Nettels (Urtica dioica) Sow thistles (Sonchus sp.) Lambs quarters (Chenopodium album) Mallow (Malva sylvestris) leaves and flowers, Daylilly (Hemerocallis sp.) flower buds, Zuchinni flowers and Parsley plus I added to all this yummy fresh greeness my special salt mix which is made up of salt, white & black pepper, Tassie pepper (Tasmannia lanceolata) leaves & berries, powdered sea letuce (Ulva lactuca), I also added chilly flakes, paprika and olive oil. If I could afford nice organic garlic I would have put some roast garlic into it as well but it is still good without it.
I had to hand chop it all because my mums Bamix is broken so I now have a blister on my knife hand but it was worth it in the end. I will add this to things like pasta, noodles, stew, toast and what ever I can think off.

putalina Festival n Mutton birds heaven

Well what a welcome back to country and what a great festival, I have always managed to miss this festival and only heard snippets about it after the fact and I figured out because it is on the same weekend as the Cygnet Folk Festival I have been missing it because I used to go to that until it got to expensive & crowded for me.
Well the putalina festival was just perfect the property itself has awe inspiring views of the bay and is so diverse in plant and animal life I can see why it was and is so important to the local mob, the festival is small enough to still be intimate just they way I like it and surprisingly it is free with a free feed and not just any feed propa big feed, sitting there in my chair waiting for the first acts to come on I could smell the mutton birds or Yalu (Puffinus tenuirostris) cooking it was driving me to distraction OMG what a smell absolutely mouth watering it always takes me back my childhood it was the well loved seasonal smell of my grandmothers kitchen you could smell them coming up the driveway and when I smell them now days it triggers of very faint memories of actually going out onto the island with my family and sticking my arm in dark burrows not knowing what was actually in there could be a tiger snake a, there was always this lingering fear because the tigers loved the young birds and eggs too, after grabbing the young birds and pulling them from there warm beds the birds were killed quick as you like with a snap of the wrist they were dead in seconds.
So sitting there day dreaming about mutton birds I thought to myself oh they must be cooking them for the elders but no they had many many birds and they were for everyone I couldn’t believe it we were so privileged that the local mob share this most precious of all foods with us and they were absolutely delicious they were cooked to perfection, they also had many dishes to choose from from roo stew, wallaby steaks, snags, beef burgers to veggie burgers and lots of veggies n salad.
The whole thing was very well organised and set out there were activities and a ride for the kids to keep them busy and the entertainment was incredible ranging from well known legends like Archie Roach amazing as ever, Dewayne Everettsmith n the stunning Denni Proctor through to ones I haven’t heard preform before I was blown away by the young Kartanya Maynard I couldn’t believe such a soulful voice could come out of someone so young just incredible and I also have to mention Tarkira Simon Brown her music is strangely dark and introspective the lyrics at times a mix of English and Palawa Kani, hers is a name to look out for in the future a unique talent for sure.
Dispersed through out the music acts the youth dance troop kanaplila ripana (Youth Dance) preformed their new dances for our delight these new dances were the resulted of the youth brainstorming ideas on what culture and language means to them and thinking about how their old people lived many years ago, these young ones created these dances that is just so exiting to me to see culture is a living ever evolving vibrant thing not something that is just repeated from the past, don’t get me wrong I understand the value & incredible importance of the old dances but I too see the importance of what is happening down here in Trouwunna/Tasmania I haven’t seen anything like what is happening here is so dynamic and alive, I feel blessed to witness these times.
The weather was perfect lovely and hot finally so I sat in the sun all day and I was enjoying the warmth in my bones so much I didn’t realize I was getting about as cooked as the mutton birds a, burnt to a crisp owwwch but it was so nice……. 🙂
I didn’t take picture of the actual festival I’m sure you will have no problem looking them up on the net I just wanted to share a bit about this special day.

Samphire (Tecticornia sp.) native blue berries (Billardiera sp.) & Native cherries (Exocarpos cupressiformis)
On the foraging food side of things from this east coastal area I collected native cherries (Exocarpos cupressiformis) native blue berries (Billardiera sp.) and the fattest healthiest samphire (Sarcocornia sp.) I have ever seen.
The native blue berries in my personal experience if you haven’t had them aren’t the nicest of all bush foods which is a broad statement because there are about 25 species but here in Trouwunna there are 6 native ones and 1 introduced species and I haven’t tried them all, I don’t know the species of this in my pictures I really need to see the flowers to get a better idea of exact species with these but anyway back to their taste if you de-seed them and mix them with the native cherries which are about at the same time obviously they are more enjoyable, I munch on a few cherries then a blue berry then more cherries ect ect.

Well I hope you enjoy this post I’m feeling much happier now as I have been struggling a bit with this cold weather and all my aches and pains coming flooding back that I haven’t felt for 5 months or so but having been welcomed back to land & meeting up with old friends & new mob makes a world of difference to me, Nayri Niara 🙂

Pineapple Weed Tea 4 Me.

Well wondering through an abandon lot this morning I found several wild edibles yellow plums, Mallow (Malva sp.) Plantain (Plantago sp.) Dock (Rumex sp.) Grapes (Vitis sp.) Elderberries (Sambucus nigra) and the most exiting for me was a good amount of Pineapple weed (Matricaria discoidea).

Pineapple weed (Matricaria discoidea)
This is the first time I have enough to actually do anything with so I’m going to dry it and try it as a tea, it smells divine so I’m hoping it will taste as good as it smell. I just made a cup of tea with the fresh herbs and it was not bad but I think it will taste different dried though so I will up date on it when it is dried and tried 🙂

Hot Cherry Plum Sauce

Still processing plums galore here this time I made a hot plum sauce listed below are the ingredients not in exact amounts ok.
Plum sauce

  • Cherry plums about 4 kgs worth = about 2ish kgs of pulp
  • Lemon juice
  • White vinegar
  • Red wine
  • Raw sugar
  • Kecap manis sauce
  • Malt vinegar
  • Olive oil
  • Brown onions
  • Garlic
  • Cloves
  • Bay leaves
  • Chilly
  • Sumac
  • Tassie pepper berries & leaves powder (Tasmannia lanceolata)
  • Cumin powder
  • Coriander powder
  • Black & white pepper ground
  • Salt
  • Pickling spices

I boiled the fruit down with vinegar & lemon juice then mashed the plums into a pulp & then strained the seeds & skin out and put the pulp back in a large pot to boiled until reduced by half. In a separate pan in olive oil I fried of the onions & garlic then added all the spices heating them carefully to bring out their aromas then I added the kecap manis, malt vinegar & red wine then simmered until this mixture was tender I then blended this until thick & smooth, I added this paste to the fruit pulp a bit more vinegar & the sugar I then boiled this until thick then I bottled it, it turned out so good.

Lemons & Plums Lemons & Plums

Well it is wet outside so I cant do much so doing another blog, I have been a bit busy as I visited my friend in Hobart who has the best lemon tree ever and I scored two large buckets of lemons to process.
I’m made two jars of preserved lemons one for me & one for my friend mum, the one for me has chilly in it yum, I haven’t put other ingredients in my preserved lemons before so thought I would experiment a bit.
I washed the lemons then cut them into quarters not cutting all the way through I then salted each one and stuffed them into a jar until packed rite in, I have seen some peoples on line and they look really neat because they haven’t squashed the lemons in but I am more room efficient I don’t really care how they look my jars are really as full as they can be without them becoming mush…..
Anyway I put a cinnamon stick in each jar, Tassie pepper berries (Tasmannia lanceolata), bay leaves (Laurus nobilis) and chilly in mine and then I covered them with lemon juice put lids on let them sit for a few months and that is.
Preserved lemons
It is a very simple process and there would be many different ingredients you could use depending on taste and use.
Also the Tassie pepper berries will take awhile to soak up the juice and they will become fat and start to release their gorgeous pink juices unfortunately this doesn’t show in these pictures yet.
I still have three quarters of a bucket of lemons left I may make a marmalade with them I think, I love marmalade.
Lemon, Plum & Tassie Pepper Berry Syrup

Next I made a syrup I was hoping to get some elderflowers (Sambucus nigra) but I’ve arrived very late in the season and it is to wet to go look for them today maybe tomorrow I will go as soon as weather allows but I think I have missed the season for the flowers but not to worry the fruit wont be as lucky to get away from me 🙂
The good news is my mums has amazing plum trees in her yard and I want to utilize as many as possible they have become my main snack taking the place of the mangoes up north and I made a plum & rhubarb cake out of them earlier this week it was so good, I do love rhubarb.
I peel the lemons before juicing as I soak these in white vinegar & use as a cleaner or just as a fragrancer…. mmmm not sure that’s a word but you know what I mean the peels are trying to dry in the front window of my van….. come on the sun, I dry them before I put them into the vinegar.
I also put a few bits of the dried rinds in my herbal tea mix.

Wow that was a nice surprise I am sitting here at the back of my van with the door open with an umbrella above the door under the plum tree so I don’t get wet typing this listening to Bob Marley and I was visited by a blue wren n his mob of girls and a fan tail, how lovely what a nice welcome into the new year, there isn’t many native birds in my mums yard lots of black birds and starlings ect but looks like my native feathered brothers n sistas are utilizing the plum trees too 🙂

Back to subject in the syrup I added the fresh lemon juice, plum juice (which is made by adding water boiling and mashing them then straining the juice out), sugar, white vinegar, Tassie pepper berries & some of the dried rind which is strained out before bottling, this is boiled and bottled as in any other syrup recipe.
It is just lovely, it is tart & sweet but not to sweet just how I like it. 🙂

 

 

A First For The New Year

Well hope everyone had a great new year if you celebrate that time, I was boring it was to cold and wet for me to leave the van I’m afraid I snuggled up with a good movie.
But I was excited to try Daylily (Hemerocallis sp.) flower buds for the first time ever…… It’s funny what excites me these days seems weird but re learning (I try to use this wording as discovering isn’t a true statement, food knowledge is old knowledge being re learned) a new food sources blows my mind.

Daylily flower buds (Hemerocallis sp.)

Here in Trouwunna/Tasmania my mother has a lovely flower garden and she happens to have daylily plants in her lovely garden which was the first thing I noticed when I got here and I’m sure most people wouldn’t be impressed if you wanted to pick the buds of their flowers before they flower, personally food is more important to me but I do admire flowers for their own sake but all the better if they are edible I recon, so anyway I discretely went around and picked a small number of the flower buds in the afternoon just before dinner time I decide I would like to make a nice plain brown rice dish with them I like to try new foods plainly so I can really taste them to figure out what flavors I think they will go well with.
I cooked up some brown rice my favorite and I just added salt, pepper, a bit of chilly, dried slippery jacks (Suillus luteus) & dried Puha (Sonchus sp.).
Daylily flower buds (Hemerocallis sp.) with brown rice.
Well it was amazing they have a very strong distinct flavor and I loved it, I only put that little hand full you can see in the picture above into about 3 cups of rice which is three meals for me and they well and truly flavored the whole dish. So these will definitely be on my must have free foods list. And I’m now wondering and getting exited to see if each different color has a different flavor????

I also had a nibble on a few fresh and they are nutty and sweet so they would be a great addition to salads as well.
The down side is it looks like they have a short season but you know what they say short n sweet but a real treat. 🙂