Saturday, June 30, 2007

Edible Day Lilies



The Incredible Edible Day Lily.

The other day in the garden I noticed that the lily were up and fecund in their proliferation. Having to mow around the damn things all the time really got my goat.

Dialing into the "wayback" machine I remembered that one could eat of the lily, I decided to pluck a few pods and a few blossoms to try them myself. I carefully picked the choicest blossoms in full sun, any blossom that was wilted or looked otherwise "ugly" was skipped. I washed the blossoms and pods and took a nibble of this wild plant... It was delicious sort of a cross between a lettuce and a radish sort of well.. spicy, a spicy lettuce then. Next the pod. The same reaction! this was a fine tasting plant indeed! Each time the entire blossom or pod was eaten. I can just imagine it sprucing up a dandelion salad with its happy orange blossoms!

Stalking the wild lily stand..
On my way to work I noticed several patches of lily free standing in the wild along the roadside. These were back a bit from the road, but not hard to get to at all. They would be back far enough to not bear the brunt of the road crew and close enough to be readily picked without any discomfort.

Posted Notes.
If you run across "Posted" signs, invariably nowadays you will, take down the name and number of the owner. Give him or her a call and ask them if it would be alright to forage on their property. Usually trading garbage clean up for a little foraging will go along way. Try to start out with the benefit to the owner( cleanup ), then swing the conversation to your needs. Most of the time the owner will want to have the unsightly debris picked up at no cost to them, a true bonus for you.

Another great place to wander is on State Game Lands or Federal Forest Lands. Check with the state offices first to see if foraging without a permit is allowed, or if it isn't see how much a foraging permit costs.


AS ALWAYS IF YOU ARE UNSURE OF IDENTIFICATION OF WILD PLANTS, ERR ON THE SIDE OF CAUTION!


Now for the technical errata.
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Science Content.....

Day Lily Nutrition Facts

Day Lily (per 100g)
Hemerocallis fulva

Calories 42
Protein 2g
Fat .4g
Calcium 87mg
Phosphorus 176mg
Iron 1.2mg
Sodium 24mg
Potassium 170mg
Vitamin A 3,000 I.U.
Thiamin .16mg
Riboflavin .21mg
Niacin .8mg
Vitamin C 88mg

Day lily buds, raw (per 100g)
Hemerocallis fulva

Calories 42
Protein 2g
Fat 0.0g
Calcium 87mg
Phosphorus 176mg
Iron 1.2mg
Sodium 0.0mg
Potassium 0.0mg
Vitamin A 3,000 I.U.
Thiamin .16mg
Riboflavin .21mg
Niacin .08mg
Vitamin C 88mg

Weed Nutrition
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Cooking with wild edibles
Please Do Eat the Day lilies

Both the buds and the blossoms of day lilies are edible, a fact I regrettably learned only after I had dug out numerous flowering clusters encroaching on my lawn. But now I get a kick out of astonishing friends when I casually pluck a daylily "bean" from their backyard patch, and take a bite. Next thing you know, they're inviting me to gather a handful, which I'm happy to add to my next stir-fry. And they're happy to know that when the vivid flowers bloom, they will make a sweet-spicy bonus in the kitchen.

Day lilies are a common garden plant that have "gone wild." They're found throughout most parts of the United States from late spring through summer, often near sunny fields, roadsides and empty lots.

Buds are distinguished from the plant's non-edible fruits by their layered interiors. Choose smallish buds that are just beginning to open and cook them as you would beans: boil and serve them with butter or add chilled, tender-cooked buds to salads. Or, if you happen upon a spicy batch (they're typically mild-flavored, like beans or zucchini), stir-fry them with Asian flavors.

Day lily buds will keep in the refrigerator for several days, but the delicate flowers (trumpet-shaped blooms that grow in multiples on a leafless stalk) should be consumed the same day they are picked; they are very short-lived. You can add the petals to egg dishes, soups and salads, or dip whole flowers in batter and deep-fry them, as you would squash blossoms.


Day lily Recipes
Orange and Ginger Glazed Day lily Buds
Tapioca in Day lily Blossom Cups

If you’re planning a hunt...

..check with the appropriate authority before setting out. Foraging restrictions vary on public lands, and on private property you must get the owner’s permission. Reference a reputable field guide book, preferably one that’s specific to your region, or apprentice with an experienced hunter. Never eat a wild plant you can’t positively identify. And please, don’t get greedy: pick only a portion of what you find, to allow the plants to replenish themselves for next year.

In case you can't find enough in the wild or at the market, we've provided substitute ingredients for each recipe.

When you get home, take care to thoroughly clean your cache. Tender greens, especially, should be rinsed well under or in cold water and often require several washings. Dry them in cotton or paper towels and keep them chilled in plastic bags. This will help prevent loss of moisture and vitamins, but not for long--most wild greens decline after a couple of days.

If you’re new to a particular wild edible, make your first serving a small one. As with any food, allergic reactions are rare, but possible.

Finally, whether you gather, grow or purchase the wild foods of spring, get them now, for all too soon, they’ll be gone.

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Nature's bounty used wisely will never mutiny...

Saturday, June 23, 2007

SOCK BATH

Awhile back Jim over at Bison mentioned about saving soap chips.

"A use for soap scraps. Place several in a wash cloth, tie shut ( plastic security tie? ) and wet and use like a scrubber. I once saved three years worth of soap scraps and couldn’t think of a use for them. Now I can save again, as I hate wasting anything."

Instead of using a washcloth why not try an old nylon stocking. Tie the bad part of the stocking shut and fill her up with soap scraps. This will lighten the load if you are packing, the nylon scrubs you gently, and it air drys almost instantly instead of having a sopping wet mess to deal with when it comes time to head out of camp. The nylon can be easily be tied ( with a knot )at the long end and sways in the breeze. I used this method while hiking in NM to the chagrin of fellow hikers who spent several dollars on soap caddies.

Another variation is to use a lost mate sock in the same principle. However I would turn the sock inside out to maximize scrubbing.

Watch out for hotels in your area going out of business or changing hands. Inevitably they will be changing shower products to standardize with home office. you can pick up all the little bars of soap and shampoo you could ever use!


Be wary of a clean man in the middle of a mud fight...

The Ubiquitous Kerchief

You've probably one in your pocket right now. Thats right your instant first aid kit. Just think of all the times it was the first thing you grabbed in an emergency. Why when walking in the woods you sometimes carry two just in case.

From keeping the sun off your neck, to keeping all of your blood inside where it belongs lets not forget the usefulness of the handkerchief!


We made these kerchiefs or cravats out of feed bag material when it was still cloth like. You remember, your sister had a dress made out of them. They had floral prints and were made of soft quality cotton material. Nowadays most material within my price range is stiff and thin. Useless for a utilitarian item such as a hankie.

Over the counter hankies are great for tooting our snoot, however if you need to put your arm in a sling, make a stretcher, or tie up a splint a homemade cravat is your obvious choice. The cravat must be made out of a medium weight material, ( you can cut two from the back of a nice goodwill name brand long sleeve casual shirt the largest you can get. ) since it must withstand anything you could throw at it. Also it must wash soft, i.e. imagine wearing a burlap sack against your skin for days at a time.

Square cravats take up more material, but are stronger, and thicker. Triangle cravats are just one half of the square, are thinner, and standard in a first aid kit. If you are going to make kerchief and cravats I would make several types of each to carry on your person, and also to put in your emergency kit replacing the inferior lightweight type included in the kit.

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HOW TO MAKE A CRAVAT / KERCHIEF.





Time to complete:
unhemmed triangle kerchief - 30 minutes
hemmed triangle kerchief - 2 hours


Supplies:


Fabric:
A 30 inch square of medium to light-weight fabric for the boy's kerchief. A 33 to 36 inch square of medium to light-weight fabric for the girl's kerchief. The square may be cut diagonally to produce two triangular scarves. A checked material with small, even, woven checks is appropriate, and easy to measure and cut.

Scissors

Fabric glue, sewing machine, or needle and thread

Background:

Working men wore kerchiefs tied around their necks. Wealthier men wore a neck cloth, which was like a cravat, or a stock. They might wear a kerchief for informal occasions. The kerchief was folded or cut into a triangle, and worn either on top of the shirt collar or underneath it. It was tied in a double knot at the front of the neck. They could be made of dark or light colored material, some had polka dots or checks, and some were printed with pictures or designs. They could be made of homespun, or expensive silk. They often had a woven border the way kerchiefs do today. But whether he was feeding animals or going to church, the working man would wear a kerchief.

Women wore kerchiefs folded or cut into a triangle, over their shoulders, and pinned to, or tucked in their front. They wore them for warmth, and for fashion. Poor women and rich women all wore kerchiefs. The kerchief could be made out of a material so fine that it was translucent and edged with lace, or it could be made of wool for warmth. A utilitarian kerchief would be made of linen or cotton. It might be solid colored, or checked. White or light colored kerchiefs were the most common, but blue, brown, and red or orange-red were also popular. Women's kerchiefs also might have a woven border. Women did not always wear kerchiefs. They might not wear them working, or for very dressy occasions. But usually they wore both a kerchief and an apron.

Directions:

1. Cut a square of cloth. Cut as straight and as smoothly as possible.

2. To make two triangles, fold the square across the diagonal. Make a line for cutting the diagonal by ironing the diagonal fold, or marking it with a pencil. Cut as straight and smoothly as possible.

3. The kerchief can be left unhemmed. If you want to continue to wash and use the kerchief it should be hemmed. A 1/8 inch, hand-sewn narrow hem would be the most authentic. Do not hem selvedge edges. Make the smallest hem that you can in all of the raw edges. Glue or sew the hem down.

4. In the 18th century, people sometimes cross-stitched their initials in a kerchief's corner.

Directions courtesy of www.1771.org
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Help is only a triangle away.

Pizza Dough Surprise

I finally went out and broke the bank.

After pondering about what it would be like to have a bread machine (for rising and baking bread in the oven turns out much like my microwave popcorn.) for several weeks and seeing the cost of bread recently i was delighted to receive one as a birthday present. well of course the first thing i did was stampede out to the store to buy a ready boxed mix at $1.86 to $2.09 per box. So now my bread was costing $2.41 with electricity for baking. WOW thats the cost of a "gourmet" loaf of bread, there had to be a better way.

A friend at a local pizza shop suggested that i take their old dough and freeze it (they throw it away by the tens of pounds at the end of the week). Basically free bread now only costing $.32 per loaf to bake it in the machine. I don't have to purchase the flour, mix it, knead it, i have to just slap the ball of thawed dough into the machine and off it churns away to make me fluffy fresh bread. Of course you don't have to make bread out of the dough, you could make a Stromboli, or even just plain pizza.

So in the end i learn about bread making in the modern age, the understanding of how it works today will help me retrofit the skill later.

Some from scratch bread machine recipes.
Breadmaker.net
Better Homes and Gardens Bread Machine Recipes

Its always better to start these from scratch, the bread machine will do most all the work. The modern machines do require that you layer the ingredients in a certain order to make the best of your loaf.

Experimenting today, becomes experience tomorrow.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Tube Squeezer

This is a neat little item I found in the checkout isle at Walmart. It reminds me of the days that a wooden non-spring clothes pin would do the trick, or even a piece of dowel rod to roll out the last drop of product. Of course if you purchase this item attempt to do it at the least expense, not the MSRP listed here!

Tube Squeezer

Survival tomorrow begins with living frugally today.

Cream of "X" Soup

Ran across this recipe awhile back, I always keep some in stock and handy. This is a great little mix to throw in your B.O.B. and will enhance the eating enjoyment of any fare you care to put in.
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Cream of "Anything" Soup Mix
Compliments of Budget101.com

4 c. powdered milk
1 1/2 c. cornstarch
1/2 c. instant chicken bouillon granules
4 tsp. dried onion flakes
2 tsp. dried thyme
2 tsp basil - crushed dried
1 tsp. pepper

Measure all ingredients into a Ziploc Bag. Shake well, transfer to vacuum seal bag, seal and store up to a year.

To Use:
1/3 C mix
1 C water
Cook over low/med heat until thickened.

Variations: add 1/2 c. minced or chopped *_________*

*Choose One*:
Onions, Mushrooms, Asparagus, Broccoli, Celery, Cooked Chicken, Diced Potatoes, Tomato, Cooked Shrimp, etc.

Use as you would in any Cream of "Anything" Recipe