Tuesday, October 1, 2019

October Slide Presentations















Hey Washingtonians, I’ll be giving several slide presentations across the state this October about wild foods, foraging, and my books. Come by and say hello!
Lastly, on October 20 I’m hosting a Fall Foraged Dinner at Lark restaurant for the Field Trip Society. This will be a feast to remember with the season’s bounty.

Thursday, August 15, 2019

Fall Foraging Classes

This fall I'll be teaching wild food classes by land and sea.

Shellfish foraging and cooking classes, in partnership with Bainbridge Island Parks & Rec and Sound Fresh Clams & Oysters, will take place on Little Skookum Inlet in south Puget Sound near Shelton, WA, on the following dates:


Introductory foraging classes for wild plants and mushrooms will be offered through the Field Trip Society in Seattle, with the first class scheduled for September 26.

Check back here for additional classes.

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Stir-fried Oyster Mushrooms with Chicken

West Coast woods from NorCal to BC are loaded with oyster mushrooms right now—and it's nice to see the excitement they're stirring in foraging communities. Lately I've been seeing photos of oysters all over online message boards and myco groups. Morels have traditionally commanded most of the vernal ink among mycophagists, but for a majority of us west of the Cascades the oyster is really the local fungus of springtime.

I start looking for oysters (Pleurotus sp.) in lowland forests as soon as the temperature begins to warm and a few days after the first good rains. Some years I find them as early as late February though April is more typical. They'll keep fruiting throughout the spring and sometimes well into summer if regular rain continues, and then again in the fall.

The saprophytic oyster mushrooms in the Northwest will usually be found in association with dead red alder or cottonwood. They look like clam shells growing off the sides of standing snags or fallen trees. Fresh specimens are creamy white, with hues of pink or tan. They have gills and stems that are off-center.

While you can buy farmed oysters at the market, I find the wild variety to be more flavorful, and I use them in all kinds of dishes from around the world, east and west. My go-to recipe of recent years has been a quick, delicate Chinese stir-fry that will appeal to those who prefer a less spicy Cantonese style, which allows the oysters to really shine. If you're vegetarian, skip the chicken or swap in tofu.

3 tbsp peanut oil
3/4 lb oyster mushrooms, cut into half-dollar pieces
3/4 lb chicken breast, thinly sliced into a similar size as mushrooms
4 green onions, cut into 2-inch pieces
3 large cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1 large thumb-sized piece of ginger, thinly sliced
salt and white pepper, to taste

Marinade
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp Shaoxing wine
1 tsp potato starch

Sauce
3 tbsp chicken stock
1 tbsp oyster sauce
1/2 tsp potato starch

1. Combine sliced chicken in a bowl with marinade ingredients, stir, and set aside. Whisk together sauce ingredients in a small bowl and set aside.

2. In a wok over medium heat, sauté oyster mushrooms in 1 tbsp oil, stirring occasionally. Remove to a bowl when slightly browned.

3. Heat 2 tbsp oil in wok over high heat and add marinated chicken. When the chicken is partly cooked but still pinkish, add garlic, ginger, and green onion. Cook together, stirring, for 30 seconds until aromatic before returning oyster mushrooms to wok. Continue to cook together another minute or so until chicken is barely cooked through.

4. Pour in sauce, stir to coat, and reduce heat. Season to taste and serve immediately with rice.

Serves 2




Monday, February 25, 2019

Spring Foraging Classes

I've partnered once again this spring with both The Field Trip Society in Seattle and Bainbridge Island Parks & Rec to offer spring foraging trips by land and sea. Some of these classes are already sold out, so don't delay.

Below are the classes and dates. Please do not contact me for registration—click on the links. Also, check back for additional classes.
  • March 22: Wild Edibles Hike, Issaquah, WA SOLD OUT
  • March 23: Shellfish Foraging & Cooking, Little Skookum Inlet, WA SOLD OUT
  • April 18: Wild Edibles Hike, Issaquah, WA SOLD OUT
  • April 22: Shellfish Foraging & Cooking, Little Skookum Inlet, WA 
  • May 5: Shellfish Foraging & Cooking, Little Skookum Inlet, WA SOLD OUT
  • May 7: Shellfish Foraging & Cooking, Little Skookum Inlet, WA 
  • May 31: Wild Edibles Hike, Issaquah, WA
  • June 5: Geoduck Foraging & Cooking, Little Skookum Inlet, WA 


Monday, February 4, 2019

Huckleberry Snow Cone

What do you do when it snows in Seattle? Make a Huckleberry Snow Cone!

While I was out skiing around the neighborhood this morning, my daughter Ruby was busy cooking down a cup of frozen huckleberries with water and sugar, then blending it in the Vitamix. After a quick straining she had a deep red, sweet and syrupy liquid to pour over packed snowballs—a perfect treat for a no-school Snow Day.