Cool Stuff – Wild Foods

Hot Smoked Trout & Pickled Onions

When I was a child growing up in the Hudson Valley, I used to sit on a rock by the side of our creek, push a fat worm onto a hook, and catch my trout. Then I would fry it in a skillet and eat it for breakfast. It was a normal pattern in my eight year life that seemed as natural as breathing, or throwing skipping rocks. Then, as […]

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Clam Chowder

Also known as… “how to cook a clam.” Word on the street is that my clam digging pictures are freaking you out. I’m sorry to give you the heebie jeebies. But they taste good, I promise. Besides, don’t you want to know what to do if someone drops you on an island somewhere and tells you to fend for yourself? Here is what I did with the horseneck clams from my […]

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Sweet Woodruff Wine

I’m in New York this week, which was perhaps serendipitous since it’s May Day, and with it, came a lesson in sweet woodruff from Grandma Pellegrini. Sweet woodruff, is also known as Master of the Woods. It is a perennial, with small white flowers that bloom in May and June and star-like leaves in circles of six or eight. On May 1st, the Germans use Sweet Woodruff to make May […]

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Homemade Tonic Water

I’m into liquids this week, what can I say? I’m not a big alcohol drinker as you know, seeing as it makes me rather pink in the face. However. I can appreciate alcohol produced on a truly craft level. For example, I’m mildly obsessed with this certain secret whiskey that I’m going to tell you about in my book soon. Furthermore, I was out for a friend’s birthday the other […]

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Eucalyptus Tea

Do you snore? Great! Thanks for stopping by! I’ve got just what you need. I was on the winding road to Tamales Bay the other day to eat oysters, and drink a cold beverage, and drink oysters, and the air smelled incredible. It was the eucalyptus trees. I opened every roof and window in the car. And sucked it in. Then I stopped and ate twelve more oysters. Life was […]

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Perfect Steelhead or Salmon

After our Arctic morning on the river, contending with Mother Nature’s bad, bad mood, we had lunch on the shore. This kind of shore lunch requires some acrobatics. It’s also a time to keep things really, really simple. Simple. Keep things simple. Okay? Simple. The first thing you’ll need is a sharp knife. Which I didn’t have. The second thing you’ll need is a flat surface on which to fillet […]

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How to Cure Salmon and Other Fatty Fish

This is the time of year when a lot of your proteins are in the freezer, since in many places, it is the “in between” season. One of my favorite things to do in these months is cure meat and fish. If I can manage to do it before it hits the freezer even better, but you do what you can. Salt curing inhibits the growth of microorganisms by drawing […]

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Purslane Salad

You know that fleshy weed that grows in sidewalk cracks? That’s purslane. And it tastes very good if you know how to use it. I didn’t use it properly until this past week when Jon Rowley made me realize that I do like it as more than just an “acid accent” to my normal salad greens. He and I share a love of simple foods, with very simple ingredients. This […]

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“Sauteed Oyster Mushrooms

Look What I Found In The Woods! I was catering a rehearsal dinner for a wedding last week and on the menu was a platter of sauteed wild mushrooms for the table. Well I was out in the woods and found this, so I promptly returned the packaged mushrooms to the store. These were a hit, especially when I put one of them on a platter as a showpiece and […]

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