Oak Nut Marzipan; CA Bay Ice Cream; Manzanita Muffins: Bill McKibben Event

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Manzanita Muffins

MANZANITA MUFFINS Collect berries in summer. Gluten and Sugar/Sweetener-Free

1 1⁄2 cups flour (wheat, Oak nut, or gluten-free substitute); 1 1⁄2 cups Manzanita “sugar”(See “Condiments and Staples” section of Living Wild book for sugar and Oak nut flour recipes); 2 tsp baking powder; 1⁄2 tsp salt; 1 cup mashed ripe bananas; 1 cup soy, rice, oat or other dairy milk; 1 egg; 2 tbsp vegetable or sunflower oil; 2 tsp lemon juice; 1 1⁄2 cups fresh or frozen wild or local seasonal fruits.

METHOD – Preheat oven to 400 degrees. – Line muffin pan with paper cups or grease with vegetable oil. – Mash bananas in a mixing bowl and stir in milk, egg, oil and lemon juice. – In a separate bowl, mix together dry ingredients—flour, Manzanita sugar, baking powder, salt. – Add wet ingredients to the dry and then gently stir in fruit. – Bake for approximately 20 minutes. Makes 12 muffins. -Recipe prepared by Flour Garden, Grass Valley

Chocolate Oak Nut Marzipan

CHOCOLATE MARZIPAN WITH OAK NUTS Collect nuts in fall. Gluten-free

1 cup sugar; 1⁄4 tsp cream of tarter; 1 cup ground almonds; 1 cup prepared Oak nut flour (See “Condiments and Staples” section for recipe); 1 egg white, lightly beaten; 1 oz semisweet chocolate; Powdered sugar for dusting; Candy thermometer

METHOD – Finely grind almonds and Oak nut flour and combine in a bowl. – Heat sugar and 2/3 cup water in a saucepan until sugar dissolves. – Add cream of tartar and bring to a boil until the temperature reaches 240 degrees on a candy thermometer.

Notes: Watch temperature closely. – Remove from heat and place saucepan in a basin of cold water, stirring until thick. – Add flour mixture and egg white and return to low heat, stirring until creamy. – Pour mixture onto a surface dusted with powdered sugar. Cool slightly and then knead batter just until smooth. – Make balls using hands or an ice cream scooper and place balls on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. – Melt chocolate in a double boiler. – Use spoon to roll marzipan into chocolate. – Recipe prepared by Karouna Thompson, Nevada City.

 

California Bay Laurel; Photo@ Karen Callahan

 California Bay Leaf Ice Cream

1 1/2 cups organic heavy cream; 1 cup organic whole milk; 4-5 large fresh native bay leaves; 3 egg yokes; 3/4 cup granulated sugar; 1 pinch of salt; 2 teaspoons organic cornstarch; 2 pinches of nutmeg; 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Method 1. Using the back of a spoon, lightly scrape the top and bottom of each bay leaf, on both sides of the leaf. Repeat two times to release the oils, allowing more flavor to become infused with the milk and cream . 2. Warm the milk, cream, pinch of salt and bay leaves in a saucepan over medium heat stirring occasionally until the steam begins to rise. Continue warming for about two minutes while stirring thoroughly. 3. Cover and remove from heat. Let steep for 25 minutes then strain through a sieve/mesh and discard the spent bay leaves.

4. Whisk together the egg yolks, sugar and cornstarch in a large mixing bowl. Slowly whisk in the bay leaf flavored milk/cream. 5. Return to the saucepan and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until the custard thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon – (approx. 85 degrees C). Do not boil or the eggs will curdle. 6. Immediately pour the custard back into the mixing bowl and cool quickly using an ice bath (a bowl of ice and water into which the mixing bowl can sit and cool), or place in the refrigerator, until the custard is cool, about 15 minutes. 7. Add the vanilla and nutmeg and whisk. Cover directly upon the top with plastic wrap and cool in refrigerator for at least 3 hours to overnight.

8. Pour the base into the canister of an ice cream maker and freeze according to the manufacturer’s directions. 9. Transfer the ice cream to a covered container and freeze until it is firm enough to scoop, at least 3 hours or overnight.

Makes about 1 Quart  –Recipe prepared by Treats, Nevada City 

Manzanita Cider

Manzanita & Doug Fir Cider

Make Manzanita “sugar” by roughly grinding berries for about 1 minute. Press through a mesh strainer, keeping the “sugar” for later use in recipes. Add remaining seeds/skins (approx. 1 cup seeds/skins to 6 cups water) to boiling water. Simmer for 20 minutes. Turn off heat and add 2 cups of Doug Fir needles. Steep for 10 minutes. Strain and serve cold as a refreshing local drink filled with antioxidants and vitamin-c.

****I am serving these wild recipes for the Bill McKibben event 4/17/12 as a way to show my support for his efforts to bring attention to climate change. For me, eating wild foods native to the landscape I live in offers a healthy, tangible way to reduce my carbon-output. It doesn’t solve all the problems, but it is a start in the right direction. Humans still have an opportunity to be positive contributors to our ecosystem and follow the ecology methods developed by the indigenous inhabitants of this land. I attempt to eat native foods daily and wrote the book, Living Wild, to help myself, my family and my community to again remember our connection to the land we inhabit.