Thursday, April 1, 2021

April Issue of Food Under Foot Digital Magazine Available Now

cover for april, 2021 food under foot magazine

 The April, 2021 issue of our monthly, digital, full-color Food Under Foot magazine is available today! Visit our patreon site and become a member (any level) to access it. Once a member, you will also be able to access all past (and future) issues!

I hope you enjoy the issue! If you haven't checked us out on patreon, please do. Even if you aren't a member, there are posts and photos and podcasts and tons of stuff over there that are available to the public, not just members.

Have a happy spring, hope your mushroom hunts bring abundant joy this year!

April Walks Scheduled

I have two walks open to the public scheduled so far for this April:

April 10, 11 am at Bandi Schaum Park, in Pittsburgh's South Side
April 25, 11 am at Frick Environmental Center in Pittsburgh.

The walks are free, sponsored by Frick Park's Earth Day Celebration! However, there are limited spaces (COVID precaution), so please sign up today.

Sunday, February 7, 2021

Food Under Foot Podcast is Here!

podcast logo

 Listen to the first episode of the Food Under Foot podcast! It's on soundcloud, but you can also find it on iTunes, where you can subscribe and get each new episode delivered to you automatically! Please do subscribe and rate if five stars...it will help others find it!

Also, you can support women in podcasting by becoming a patron of the Food Under Foot podcast over at patreon! Not only will you get the show notes to each podcast a day early, you will unlock patron-only blog posts and videos, as well as get the monthly full-color digital Food Under Foot magazine!! You really can't beat that, and I appreciate your support so much.

Enjoy the podcast

child with balloon
photo from pixabay.com

Wednesday, February 3, 2021

Check Out the Books and Magazines from Food Under Foot!

 

Check out Melissa's Books!


winter foraging book cover
In this wonderfully accessible guide to winter foraging, Melissa Sokulski of Food Under Foot gives us ample reason to get out of the house and continue foraging even in in cold winter weather. With descriptions - including full color winter photographs - of twenty-six common edible plants easily found in even the coldest climates, and over sixty delicious recipes (which just happen to be vegan and gluten-free) Winter Foraging will have you excited to get out of the house and into the wild.






One Wild Year book cover
One Wild YearIn 2012, forager Melissa Sokulski came up with the idea of CSF - Community Supported Foraging. She and her husband David foraged wild plants and mushrooms to share with ten families. This ebook lists over 70 plants and eight mushrooms they found, with full color pictures and recipes for over forty wild edibles. Following the abundance of the season from early spring through late summer, you'll find recipes for Morel Mushroom Quiche, Garlic Mustard and Nettles Potato Pancakes, Spiced Chicory Root Latte, Sweet Dandelion Wine, and so much more.





wild ally book cover
Wild Ally Workbook: In answer to the question, "How did you learn so much about plants?" herbalist Melissa Sokulski has put together this fun, easy-to-follow workbook to help you delve deep into the world of wild edible and medicinal plants. 

The workbook is suitable for all ages: children through adults will love this step by step guide of exploring the natural world.

This is a workbook, so although there is some text and description, there are many blank and and mostly blank pages, allowing you to follow the prompts and fill in the information about the plant you have chosen.

Melissa will guide you in choosing a wild plant - a weed - and learning all about the weed: is it edible? Has it been used as medicine? Do other cultures use this plant? If so, how? There will be places for you to write information, keep track of recipes, and directions for making tinctures, vinegars, oils and salves.

You will not only be completely knowledgeable about the plant you have chosen as your ally, but by working through this book you will learn how to look at and work with all plants. Before you know it, you will be seeing the natural world differently, perhaps as a delicious buffet and stock for your first aid cabinet.

Have fun exploring food and medicine growing right at your feet!

Magazines


food under foot magazine cover
The inaugural issue of Food Under Foot, A Magazine of Wild Edibles! This is the February, 2021 issue about winter foraging. 

Food Under Foot Magazine is a monthly digital full-color magazine of wild edible plants and mushrooms. In the February, 2021 issue, we shine a spotlight on three wild edibles commonly found in winter: Deadnettles (Lamium purpureum), Onion Grass (Allium vineale) and Dandelion (Taraxacum officinale) - which is of course most abundant in spring, but can be found every month of the year. We discuss foraging in February, cozy warming herbal teas that are easy to make at home, share original wild edibles nursery rhymes, and an essay about walking in winter, looking up, and being pleasantly surprised by what you might see. This issue is available to download from Amazon Kindle, but you can receive this digital magazine monthly when you join us at patreon.com. I invite you to join us, it is an amazing community and not only will you receive the digital magazine to download every month, you will get blogposts, podcasts, and videos.





Saturday, January 30, 2021

Inaugural Issue of Food Under Foot Magazine!

food under foot magazine cover

I am so excited to announce the inaugural issue of our new digital magazine is due out mid-February!!! I have been having so much fun putting this issue together for you. Food Under Foot will be a monthly magazine, and you can get it automatically by signing up for the magazine tier on patreon! It will also be available to purchase on its own, probably through amazon kindle, though I haven't quite worked that detail out yet. 

It's almost ready to go...but today is such a beautiful day that I'm going to head out and see what yummy winter edibles I can photograph to include in the issue. (Did I mention it's a full-color monthly magazine?)

I really hope you enjoy it as much as I do!

Lots of love,

Melissa

Friday, January 29, 2021

Visit Me On Patreon!

morel mushroom


Hi Foragers!

Exciting news: A few of you have asked what you can do to support me and see more Food Under Foot content...it's taken me a while but I've started a patreon page! 

Patreon is a site which allows me to post photos, video, podcasts, blogposts...most of the content will be free for all. However, when you become a Food Under Foot supporter on patreon, you will receive access to exclusive patron-only posts, early access to podcasts, and even a digital monthly zine!

Starting in February I'll be posting regular podcasts, wild edibles photos, and blog posts. I'm so excited to be starting up Food Under Foot again full steam ahead! My first post is up and open to all...enjoy! 

Support Food Under Foot on Patreon!

Thank you so much,

Melissa


Friday, November 20, 2020

Wait, Are Those The Little Yellow Balls That Stink? (Eating Gingko Nuts)

 

ginkgo nuts
(image from pixabay.com)

This was the year that I actually ate gingko nuts. I posted about it on my facebook page, and also the food under foot facebook page, and immediately one of my friends asked, "Wait, are those the little yellow balls that stink?"

Indeed, they are.

And that is why I have always avoided trying them. But this year, a couple things changed. First, for some reason, when I looked down among all the fruit on the ground, there were some nuts that had already naturally separated from their stinky fruit covering. Second, while wearing a mask, the stink was substantially lessened.

I scooped a handful of the nuts up, put them in my pocket, and headed home to watch videos on how to prepare, cook, and eat gingko nuts.

I brought them home and rinsed them as best as I could. It had been a few days until I got to them....and I learned that the nuts should actually have been kept in the refrigerator in the interim. They had not, but our house is quite chilly and it was only a couple days, so I think it was ok.

ginkgo nuts
I decided I would prepare them three different ways, to try three methods of cooking and seeing which worked best, and which tasted best in the end. So first, I cracked a few of the shells and put those nuts on a baking tray, to bake at 350 F for 12 minutes. Then I cracked some and completely took them out of their shells. These I would saute in oil. Finally the ones still in the basket: those I would saute in oil right in their shells, which would cause the shell to burst open and the nut to explode forth, bright and green.

preparing ginkgo nuts

I cracked the shells of these nuts, and put them in the oven at 350 for 12 minutes:

 

seven ginkgo nuts

These nuts were being sauteed in oil, in uncracked shells:

ginkgo nuts in pan

They exploded just as they were supposed to!

cooked ginkgo nuts

Here are the uncooked shelled nuts, ready to be sauteed:

precooked ginkgo nuts
When they are cooked they turn bright green: 

cooked ginkgo nuts

The three piles of cooked nuts: First: sauteed in their shell, second: sauteed without their shell, third: cracked and baked (then removed from shell after being baked):

cooked ginkgo nuts

 They were all non-stinky, and incredibly delicious. I enjoyed the baked nuts best, but it was close, they all tasted very good.

CAUTION: Gingko nuts should not be consumed in large quantities. Even cooked, they contain toxic compounds that can lead to headaches, dizziness, even seizures. It is recommended adults eat no more than 10 at one time, children should not have more than 5.

See gingko nuts prepared in South Korea where they are a common street food:


If you are interested, check out yesterday's post on tincturing the golden gingko leaves.

Thursday, November 19, 2020

Gingko Leaf Tincture


ginkgo tree

I hope you all have been having as beautiful a fall as I have! It's been gorgeous here in Western PA. Pandemic isolation has spurred me to go on long walks every morning after dropping my daughter at school, as well as asking friends if they want to join me on outdoor, socially distant walks. To my delight I have rekindled old friendships and even made some new friends! On my agenda this fall: process acorns into flour, tincture gingko leaves, and try cooking and eating gingko nuts. 

Two friends and I met at a local park to gather burr oak acorns, which are large acorns with only a small percentage of tanins - the perfect acorn for making flour! However, when we got to the beautiful burr oak tree, we found the city had "cleaned up" all the acorns! Oh no! 

But while we were there one of my friends wanted to show us a gorgeous grandpa gingko tree - so big and all decked out in golden leaves, with a carpet of gold beneath it. So beautiful! We admired the tree and the fallen leaves, and since we had our (empty) baskets anyway, we decided to gather the gingko leaves.

women under ginkgo tree

Then I went home and chopped some leaves, filled a small jar, then covered them with 80 proof vodka.

ginkgo leaves

ginkgo leaves and tincture

You may be wondering how we were able to lounge comfortably under a gingko tree, especially if you associate them with the stinky fruit they are known for! Gingko trees are either male or female, and the female are the ones with the stinky yellow fruit (next post!) This big old guy was a male tree, hence all leaves and no fruit.

Gingko leaves are great for circulation, especially for the brain and eyes. The tincture is good to help memory. It may seem odd to use yellow leaves that have fallen off the tree...you'd think the summer green vibrant leaves are the ones you'd want, but when tincturing gingko it's the autumn golden leaves you are looking for. You can find a lot more information about the benefits of gingko and what dose is best by doing a quick search online.

I hope you are having a wonderful fall! If you feel lonely and you are able to get out into the woods, go there, you won't be disappointed. Even when I am alone I'm surrounded by trees, leaves, water, birds, animals...I've seen two owls (a barred and an eastern screech), black squirrels, gray squirrels, chipmunks, deer, and lots of beaver activity (though I have yet to spot the beaver!)

downed trees