A few years ago, I received a stand up smoker for my birthday. Although it is not a piece of equipment I use often, when it is fired up, I am stoked! In culinary school, I learned a lot about hot + cold smoking foods. There we got pretty crafty and converted old, broken fridges into smokers. They worked great, and were super handy because of their size. We smoked everything from ham to chicken and even assorted vegetables.
Summer solstice has always been one of my favorite times of the year. For one, it comes just before my birthday, so it is indeed a great reason to celebrate. But now, more importantly, it is the time of year when the garden and the forest really start producing a lot of edibles. For the past few weeks, we have been enjoying an array of lettuces, greens, and herbs in our salads and vegetable dishes. Although a few plants suffered in the late spring due to squash and flea beetles, they now seem to be growing steadily and happy in the soil.
While browsing through several social networks, I often see posts saying "Kale is the new beef". Frequent shoppers of farmer's markets and stores like Whole Foods claim that the health benefits of kale are superior to that of beef. While I do grow kale and enjoy the taste, I do not particularly agree with this statement. Yes, kale grown in nutrient rich soils does have its health benefits, but I find them inferior to wild plants that grow throughout the US and beyond. Have you ever walked through cities or near abandoned buildings and found plants piercing their way thru cement?
This time last year, Camille and I were enjoying a bounty of freshly harvested wild foods, including Japanese Knot weed, nettle, fiddlehead ferns, and ramps. Whenever possible, these delicious wild foods make up as much of our diet is possible, for their nutritional profile is superior to that of their domestic counterparts. Paired with Maine caught wild seafoods, this is a meal I could eat nearly every day.