February Wild Journal
1 Acorn Peanut Butter: We took leached acorns, in small pieces, and roasted them on 350 for 15 minutes, then blended them in the vitamix. They needed more oil, so we mixed in some peanuts and a little salt. It actually spread really nicely and tasted great. Goal: Try roasting them for a longer period or adding acorn oil when grinding.
2 Toyon Collection: Gathered as many Toyon berries as I could from the bushes around our house. This is the last call for collecting them for the year and I’ve actually fallen in love with my Toyon Tang, made by simmering the dried berries.
3 Buckeye: Planted Buckeye seeds I gathered from trees around the house; Soaking some to attempt to leach them and actually taste them. Goal: Find any research between horse chestnut seed extract in Europe and our Western species.
4 Manzanita Cider: Ground 2 cups berries on low for 2 minutes in Vitamix. Covered with 12 cups water and simmered for 10 minutes, steeped for 10 minutes and then strained into a glass jar. I really think this method tastes better than the cold water extraction and it is a beautiful deep orange in color.
5 Driftwood Discoveries: The river produced so many treasures from the last storm and each piece of wood, twisted into unusual shapes, tells its own story. I gathered up some of my favorites for inspired art projects.
6 Manzanita Cider: So delicious. I’ve been keeping it in the refrigerator for several days and it still tastes great.
7 Manzanita Salad dressing and two different cider recipes
8 Making Yerba Santa Chocolates
9 Wild Dessert Class w/Friends of the Herbarium, Chico: Cracking Acorns and Grinding Manzanita Berries; Eating Yerba Santa Ice Cream from Treats, Enjoying Oak Nut Marzipan, Yerba Santa Chocolates
10 Make Poison Oak Away: Oak Bark, Acorn Shells, Manzanita Leaves, Dried Ceanothus Flowers to dry up rashes. Boil for 10 minutes and then strain. I can’t believe just the stems are still so resinous.
11 Gathered Yerba Santa for use as a decongestant tea; Toyon Fruit Leather: Tried to make this again and it failed because it was too thin. Goal: Try again with less water.
12 Alder Catkins: Tasted these which are delicious but tasted too bitter to be delicious. It reminds me of the uses of Alder I want to do more experimenting with. Goal: Try bark tea for headaches, stomach disorders and colds.
13 First Wildflowers! Shooting Stars; Miner’s Lettuce
14 Miner’s Lettuce on Salad Greens
15 Chokecherry Fruit Leather (dried, gathered in summer); Madrone bark tea
16 Yerba Santa: daughter still congested so back to the Yerba Santa tea (dried)
17 Pearly Everlasting: clearing the heat and fever out of my daughter; drinking Yerba Santa tea, 2x daily
18 Pearly Everlasting tea (dried)
19 Nettle tea (dried)
20 Oak Nuts: Cracking more acorns for leaching
21 Rose Hips: they are a bit soft, but still readily available and useable for a Vitamin C-rich tea (fresh)
22 Yarrow: greens starting to come up; slightly bitter but delicious in stir fry (fresh)
23 Manzanita Blossoms: beautiful emerging blossoms, but still not quite sweet enough (fresh)
24 Oak Nut Gingerbread: good but cooked 10 minutes too long; should be 40 minutes exactly (dried)
25 Divide Garden Club: Lecture and Tasting with Oak Nut Marzipan, Rose Hip Tea and Manzanita Cider
26 Chickweed: Delicious fresh on salad
27 Chickweed (fresh); Gathered Bay leaves for laboratory testing at a university
28 Miner’s Lettuce (fresh)