Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Recent Acquisitions

I love considering other ways of being, of doing. When we were visiting Amanda in Maine this past March, at one point our conversation turned to schooling and education. She articulated her views on the importance of presenting children with different ways to living one's life, that the path from point A to point B, in terms of career and livelihood and education, needn't be always the same one, that there's a multiplicity of ways to achieve what you want in life.

Those sorts of "Well, what about?" or "Have you ever considered?" ways of thinking always grab me by the throat, pull back my cranium and make me realize that there are so, so very many different ways of living and doing and thinking on this lovely planet of ours. Which is wonderful, and challenging, all at the same time.

I think about those alternate views often. The way I parent my child, though similar to that of many of our close friends, is wildly different from many. The vocation and manner of our livelihood is unusual for many. And I think, underneath it all, is a pervasive love of "wildness" that calls to Hubs and I so very strongly.

We love wild, open spaces. We love wild, open thinking. We love wild, uncultivated foods. The idea of spaces and mindsets and foods untouched and unbound by human hands calls to us on a very core level, so much so, that it's our son's middle name, Huxley Wild English.

And so, owing to this love of wildness in all of its permutations, when Hubs recently gifted me with the book above, I couldn't have been more elated. The Wild Table: Seasonal Foraged Food & Recipes is stunning, and inspiring, and everything a good cookbook should be, in my estimation. It traverses the calender year (and even includes "Indian Summer", which is pure genius). Foraging huntress Connie Green and chef and culinary consultant Sarah Scott are highly innovative while inherently primitive, all at once.

The book is teeming with forest-to-fork recipes (Hedgehog Mushroom and Caramelized Onion Tart? Yes, please!), while also packed with stories, essays, tips and techniques for turning 40 mushrooms and plants into fresh and preserved dishes. Hubs scored this gem at the bookstore in the Screen Door. Locals, if cookbooks or gardening books or children's books or decorating books and saving money are your thing, you must go there, immediately. The deals to be had in that store are jaw-dropping.

I heard mention today of fiddlehead ferns 'a plenty nearby. There's also two big patches of woodland nettles on the way to the chicken coop begging to be rendered into pesto. And before too long, the wild wineberries on our property and the wild blueberries along the Blue Ridge Parkway will be ripening. I can't get enough of it! Let the wild rompus begin!

9 comments:

mandi said...

What a fantastic book! And so thoughtful of the hubs to get it for you!

Alicia (Nika) said...

Oh, what a fantastic book! I am a second-year student and assistant in a wild edibles, medicinals, and sustainable-living class (called Wisdom of the Herbs). This book would be an awesome addition to the reading list.

ecogrrl said...

Excellent! Have you read 'women who run with the wolves '? Reminds me of this...

Taryn Kae Wilson said...

We love wild things and places too. We prefer to spend most of our time on our wild homestead and love foraging wild foods.

P.S. Love that Huxley's middle name is Wild

Stacy said...

Let the wild rompus begin! Love that and can't wait to get my hands on this book! I'm a foraging fiend these days!

Modern Bedroom said...

Hi there,
Small Measure
All vital points covered! I want to say that this post is awesome and I thank you for taking the time to share it.

Dixie J said...

We found the Screen Door on our last trip to Asheville. Love that place and we did our share in supporting the local economy there! Another great post Ashley.

Erin said...

This looks like a fantastic book! I do a bit of foraging but would love to get into it more. After reading The Hunger Games, I'm convinced there's so much more for me to learn in the way of wild edibles.

Alicia (Nika) said...

I found a copy of The Wild Table. The book is stunning. I have already tried a few recipes.