My friends Julie Taggart (see previous post Transitions and New Beginnings in Truchas, NM) and Jane McKay are experimenting with putting on some workshops here in Truchas. The thought is that they will do one a month if they can fit them into their rich and busy lives. And let me tell you, anything they decide to offer will be magnificent. These two women are wonderful, passionate, artful, and they really know how to live. I’m dropping everything, next time they put together a class, so that I can take whatever it is, because I know they will have so much of value to teach me. AND they are willing to put together a workshop to suit your dates if you bring enough of your friends along to make it worth their while. You can call Julie at 505-689-1013 to inquire.
Recently, I attended their workshop on wild and raw food. OMG what a revelation! Before attending I had very little interest in the topic. Now I would like to figure out how to incorporate at least some of their wisdom into my life.
They were working, primarily, with Katrina Blair’s wonderful cookbook, Local Wild Life—Turtle Lake Refuge’s Recipes for Living Deep (take a look at Katrina’s website to gather all kinds of interesting information: turtlelakerefuge.org). That and their own life experience, which is vast. They were also referencing Robert DeWitt Ivey’s Flowering Plants of New Mexico and Alma Hutchens’ Indian Herbalogy of North America.
When I arrived Jane was just blending up some Thistle Lemonade. She used the entire thistle (cut up into very small pieces so the fiber doesn’t burn up your blender’s motor. Jane and Julie like using a regular blender, not an expensive juicer, to make what they do accessible to more people). Here’s Katrina’s recipe (although she just uses the leaves):
5 green thistle leaves
4 cups good water
½ cup honey (or 2 apples)
1 tsp vanilla
To harvest the thistle leaves with bare hands, delicately reach from behind on the stem of the leaf to avoid being pricked, otherwise use gloves. Cut thistle leaves into pieces with scissors. Add all ingredients in blender with water and blend well. Strain out the pulp and enjoy a delicious and highly nutritious beverage.
This is what Jane says about making this drink, however: “As I recall I just made this one like a green drink but the only green in it was thistle—purple blossoms and all (no root). And perhaps I used more than half a lemon and maybe a whole apple and then water to top it off in the blender and then whirred it and strained it of course. That’s what is so great about Katrina’s recipes and style: she isn’t a strict recipe follower and encourages tweaking, adapting, and creativity with wild foods, listening to your body, etc.”
Take a look at some of these stats Jane had pulled out as an example of the nutritional value of wild edibles:
Based on 100 gram servings:
Dandelion: 187 mg calcium, 14,000 IU vitamin A
Dock: 119 mg vitamin C, 12,900 IU vitamin A
Violet: 210 mg vitamin C, 8,200 IU vitamin A
Amaranth: 313 mg calcium, 5.6 mg iron, 1600 IU vitamin A
Lamb’s Quarters: 258 mg calcium, 9,700 IU vitamin A
Mallow: 4.4 grams protein, 249 mg calcium, 12.7 mg iron
Nettle: 5.5 grams protein, 6,500 IU vitamin A
Purslane: 103 mg calcium, 3.5 mg iron, 2,500 IU vitamin A
And, of course, much more. Impressive, isn’t it?
Tomorrow I’ll post the recipe for Oregon Grape Cooler. Delicious and nutritious! You won’t want to miss it.
Love to you all,