by the handful

Nutritious culinary and healing recipes collected from the North American garden, orchard, forest, river and ocean

Herbal Teas

herbtea4Making tea out of your fresh garden herbs is so easy you will wonder why it took you so long to start doing it, I did at least. Any fresh herb can be dried and made into tea. You can make tea from just one herb variety or combine several to make a more complex tasting herbal tea.
This quick drying method is fast, simple and works the same for any fresh herb you have on hand. Rather than let the leaves slowly air dry (which does work) using the oven on low heat quickly achieves the same result. Read more…

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Acorn Flour

The incredible edible acorn. The Oak tree is one of the most wide spread trees in the world and the acorn was a staple of the human diet going back literally forever (human forever at least). It is seldom used anymore because other grains and nuts are easier to make into flours on a large scale. I think it’s a worthwhile project to collect acorns and process them into flour which it can be stored long term. The flour is sweet and earthy, a really interesting flavor. Read more…

Wild Mushroom Tacos

From time to time I like to come up with recipes utilizing foraged foods that are a departure from the simple routine preparations. That is not to say I don’t like simple foraged recipes. Straightforward with minimal ingredients is central to serving up foraged foods but it is sometimes nice to mix up these ingredients in more random ways. I think this recipe does the trick and puts the flavor of your fresh and tasty mushrooms right up front. If you are up for giving handmade tortillas a try (yes!), the recipe follows. Read more…

Handmade Tortillas

I sense a bit of uncertainty for many folks that like to cook when it comes to making your own tortillas, but they really are quite quick and easy to make. And of course they are one of a kind. I have made them for a long time and have used numerous instructions. I can now throw them together like clockwork and have tried here to both combine all the tips and tricks necessary to make them easy for the first timer.  There are only two ingredients but making tortillas is all about the method and the details. Read more…

Gelatin Jigglers

There really is nothing like food gloriously suspended in gelatin animation. Grandiose jello mixtures seemed to be quite popular with my grandparents’ generation. To be honest, I was never a fan of these preparations to say the least. I have always liked contrasting flavors but not so much with the random ingredients peering at me from the inside of their jello world. Real gelatin however is such a great ingredient to include in the diet and we do often in our house. Read more…

Spot Prawns with Fig Compote

The fig is not native to North America but it sure likes it here. These wonderful plants grow and produce a crop almost anywhere. Figs are an unusual plant as the warmer the climate the more waves of crops they will produce. In a warm and dry climate you can get 3 or as many as 4. In the more northerly climates it will still produce 1 or even 2.The darker colored figs tend to fit best in this recipe, such as Brown Turkey or Mission varieties. The sweet and tart fig compote pairs quite well with the savory prawn. Read more…

Summer Shrimp Cocktail

Recipes that pair well with a cold glass of white wine on a hot day are a good category I would say. This is an arrangement of fresh ingredients and there are no melding of flavors with this summer style dish as you would commonly encounter with a winter stew or sauce that has been slow cooked. Each ingredient stands out completely on its own and is easily recognized individually as you take each bite. Thus the appeal of seasonal eating. Read more…

Cod with Crunch Salad

When the weather gets warm, I want fresh foods and I want crunchy foods.  A light fish with a whole bunch of crunch fits the bill. The combination here is a little unique but it works and most seem to like random combinations of ingredients these days, so here you go. Read more…

Spring Asparagus Garden Mix

I planted asparagus in my garden two years ago and this spring my patience paid off. I have gardened for my entire life but this is the first time I have eaten fresh asparagus from my own garden and it was well worthwhile. Asparagus has the distinction of being one of the few perennial vegetables grown on a regular basis, that is, those that can be harvested each year without replanting. Read more…

Wild Rice & Mushroom Chicken Soup

There is a variety of wild rice native to North America and of course a whole bunch of mushrooms too. You may have noticed that common wild rice mixes usually have a minimal amount of this really long dark brown rice included in them. Well, that is our native rice. It’s delicious, chewy and adds a great texture to soups. Might as well mention it is also high in folate, antioxidants, protein, and several minerals. Read more…

Dandelion Greens n’ Garlic

When you put just a few ingredients together in just the right way it is very satisfying and this is what I believe cooking is really all about. I also really get a kick out of shopping in my own yard for the ingredients. I have prepared dandelion greens many times and I prefer them smoothered in garlic, olive oil, salt and pepper. It makes for a great side to just about anything. Read more…

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