If you live in California, Florida, Hawaii, Texas, or Arizona, you might be seeing these rosy berries in backyards, parks, and farmers' markets. Did you know they're identical or very similar to the expensive pink peppercorns sold commercially? More
These mushrooms, whose name means "pine" (matsu) and "mushroom" (take) grow under pine trees in Japan, parts of China, and the North American West Coast. They're also found in parts of Northern Europe. Sought-after and prized by the Japanese, these mushrooms can sell for up to $2000 per kilogram in Japan. Here in San Francisco, I found them going for $10 per pound. Their seasonal window is very short, usually from October to January. More
Last weekend, armed with my Opinel mushroom knife, I drove 2 hours up Highway 1 to Salt Point State Park on the Sonoma Coast to join other members of the Mycological Society of San Francisco on the monthly Mushroom Foray that the Sonoma County Mycological Association (SOMA) hosts from September to May. Given the recent rains we had on the California coast, I was excited to start rooting through the woods for fungal treasures. The weather was perfect - clear skies and sunny, and not too cold.
We took a nature walk in the small Southern California town of Oak Glen last weekend. The scenic area is known for its apple orchards, but we stumbled upon something quite different: chokecherries! More
Q: I have a GREAT problem - 20 pounds of morel mushrooms. We went hunting for them in Montana and dried them; so far we've fried them up, had them in cream sauce over elk steaks, and diced in eggs.
I don't cook with any other mushrooms, though, so am stumped with what to do with all of these now. Even though we have so many, I don't want to go wasting them on random internet recipes — I trust the readers of this site, so would love some suggestions!
In late summer and early fall, wild sumac berries ripen and turn a brilliant, deep red. You may have a tree in your backyard or local hiking spot. Did you know the berries can be turned into "lemonade"? More
I grew up in Georgia, where it was common to see groves of trees and even utility poles and barnhouses covered with kudzu, the "vine that ate the South." What few people know is that the plant is edible, and delicious. More
One of my favorite childhood memories is spending summers at my parents' mountain home in Highlands, North Carolina. Most days my mom would give me a metal pail and send me out berrypicking. I never had to go far; the woods surrounding our house were laden with blueberries, blackberries, and huckleberries. More
Thimbleberries come from thornless plants found from western and northern parts of North America, from Alaska to Ontario and Michigan. They have a striking resemblance to raspberries in that they are both red, and are made up of individual round globes with a hollow center, and are shaped like a thimble. More
I had the most unexpected lucky windfall last week. For several years I've followed the adventures of other cooks who were lucky enough to get their hands on green walnuts, and who parlayed their good fortune into sweet, spicy, delicious green walnut liqueur. Yes, green walnuts are good for more than feeding squirrels and littering sidewalks; they also transform inexpensive liquor into an apparently transcendent liqueur. I wished that I could get my hands on some green walnuts, but until last week I didn't realize that I had an enormous walnut tree of my own in the alley behind the house. More