With less than two weeks before Christmas, there’s still plenty of time to make some wild Christmas cookies, whether you plan to leave them out for Santa, or to eat them all by your lonesome. Here are some of my favorites, each with a different wild ingredient.
I’m a big chutney fan. I love the juxtaposition of sweet fruit and savory vinegar. I especially love chutneys in summer, because they’re the perfect accompaniment to cold meats and cheeses. Add a little chutney to yesterday’s roasted chicken or the last few slices of sharp cheddar, and you have yourself a picnic. This savory feral pear chutney isn’t a thick, syrupy condiment. The firm, barely sweet flesh of the feral pears is bathed in vinegar, foraged spices, and just a little brown sugar. It’s sharp and spicy and goes with just about everything. Read more
Making wild ginger syrup is a great way to preserve our native wild ginger. In liquid form, wild ginger can flavor cocktails, soft drinks, sorbets, crepes, or marinades with its complex and versatile taste.
For years I’ve used wild ginger freshly chopped or dried and powdered. That’s great for baking, but liquids are better for certain applications. By making wild ginger syrup, you get both. When the syrup is done, you’ll be left with candied wild ginger, which can be frozen or dried, and used later as a spice. Read more
When it’s time for me to cook or bake something really special, I look through my foraged spice cabinet. I don’t do this for just anybody. Foraged herbs and spices take time and effort to gather, and I only use them when I’m cooking for someone I think will appreciate their specialness. Read more
Our native wild ginger is a lovely, low maintenance ground cover perfect for a shady garden. It’s also one of my favorite wild spices. Read more
Have you ever asked yourself, “What does HERE taste like?” Foraging for local herbs and spices lets you add unique flavors to all sorts of dishes; combine your favorites in an easy foraged dry rub. Read more
Making a Merry Woodsman cocktail takes a little planning, but the flavor combination is enchanting and it’s totally worth a few days’ steeping and a little blending and boiling. The bright, lemony flavor of the spruce tips comes from two infusions: a spruce tip simple syrup and a spruce tip infused vodka. Read more