Quite frankly, I don’t feel like this foraging challenge business at all today. I just want to open the fridge, eat and get on with my day. Getting on with my day? What does that involve anyway? Gardens and food. It’s a catch 22. I’m married to mother Nature. Through thick and thin. Till death and thus compost brings us even closer together. Sigh. This is the kind of mood I’m in today. It’s a rare one, a weird one, but it’s a mood so I’m going to roll with it.
I’m dreaming of someone cooking me breakfast, rubbing my feet and telling me to stay in bed. Tinned baked beans and bacon on toast with the curtains closed. I stumble to the kitchen determined to stay true to myself. Breakfast. I grab the box of goodies I collected around the food forest yesterday. Luckily I have 2 eggs left. You’re saving my day, I whisper in their calcium rich ear shells. I glance over some pumpkin, tomato and chili peppers until my eye meets half an eggplant. You’re going see my cast iron griddle, I continue in my whispering voice. I’m whispering to produce, what’s next? I decide to head out and pick some flowers. Some of these are edible for sure, whilst for others I’m about to find out. I scramble my eggs in a big slug of coconut oil, with basil, chives and tarragon. My mother always advised not to play with my food. Today I feel rebellious enough to go right against that. I artfully stuff a metal ring with roasted pumpkin, scrambled egg, fermented pumpkin, pickled cabbage, char grilled eggplant. I sprinkle the lot with flower petals which I think are all fine to eat. (famous last words) I whiz up some tomato, papaya, chili and sea salt into a raw salsa. Dollop, dollop, done:
I spend the morning exploring our gardens with guests. Determined to forage for lunch today I bring a carry bag and a pair of scissors. The tour was great, a real honour to help a bunch of curious people reconnect with nature. Lots of soil smelling, leaf pinching and laughter has me completely forget about my lunch. When I get back to the kitchen there is not even a small part of me that has the energy to go back to the garden. That’s when I remember the pulled jack fruit, the herbs, the crispy cassava and the miscellaneous veggies in my forage box. Why waste them? The world is a great place after all. I’m 5 minutes removed from a delicious young jack fruit and various vegetable salad:
These 5 days of living off the land, it’s more confrontational than I thought it would be. I’m naturally not good with limiting myself and perhaps part of today’s strange mood has roots in just that. Having said that, I feel very blessed to have access to all these wonderful plants, and to wake up to a view like this. This is perhaps the real reason I made it out of bed this morning, without my hug and breakfast in bed: