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"?
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.
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.
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.
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.
Weird but wonderful, the morel mushroom makes its appearance for a very short season each year in mid-Spring. This incredibly tasty member of the mushroom family is all but impossible to propagate, so in order to get a basket full you either have to know how to forage for them yourself or know someone who does.
The first route is a bit difficult, as the first rule of morel foraging is that you don’t talk about morel foraging. Or, at least, you don’t talk about where to look.
Neighborhood Fruit is a Google map mashup that shows citizens of San Francisco, Seattle, and Los Angeles (as well as a growing list of other cities) where to find fruit growing on public land. In other words, fruit you can forage for yourself at no cost!
Bostonians, you don't have to travel far from home if you'd like to do a little fishing this summer! Many lakes and ponds right in the city are annually stocked with fish by the Division of Fisheries and Wildlife - all you need is a fishing pole, some bait, and a license. Do you have a favorite Boston-area fishing hole?