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I integrated foraged food in the past month by replacing certain items in different recipes with the following herbs:
ASPARAGUS Coltsfoot, Hop.
DECORATION Cowslip, Daisy, Forget me nots, Hop, Larch, Lichen, Persian speedwell, Pine, Primrose, Spruce, Sorrel, Violets, Yellow rocket cress.
KALE Yellow rocket cress.
LETTUCE Bittercress, Bird vetch, Chickweed, Dandelion, Ground elder, Persian speedwell, Norway maple, Sheep sorrel, Wood sorrel, Yellow rocket cress.
NUTS Elm, Meadowsweet.
RHUBARB Japanese knotweed.
SPINACH Cowslip, Dandelion, Ground elder, Nettle.
When asking around what herbs they knew about and whether they knew dishes with them, nettle and nettle soup was the most common answer. Ieva, a fellow resident, even remembered the soup as a childhood festivity. One day, after confirming the recipe with her mother, the Rucka kitchen burst into activity. The smell of bacon, which was the finishing touch, filled the room. Not long after, everyone sat around the table together.
Lichen could grow in almost any part of the world. One interesting thing is that lichens are sometimes used to determine air quality because they don't survive in polluted air. Different lichens are edible but none really tasty. Only Usnea has many medical benefits according to my research. Raw lichen could cause stomach upsets so it's advised to leach them properly. This reminded me very much of the process I use to preserve seaweed I harvest at home. In turn, this motivated me to bake a lichen loaf, similar to a bread I sometimes bake at home with seaweed.
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