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KITCHEN LAB

INTEGRATING
FORAGED HARVEST

 

I integrated foraged food in the past month by replacing certain items in different recipes with the following herbs:

ASPARAGUS  Coltsfoot, Hop.

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DECORATION  Cowslip, Daisy, Forget me nots, Hop, Larch, Lichen, Persian speedwell, Pine, Primrose, Spruce, Sorrel, Violets, Yellow rocket cress.

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KALE   Yellow rocket cress.

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LETTUCE  Bittercress, Bird vetch, Chickweed, Dandelion, Ground elder, Persian speedwell, Norway maple, Sheep sorrel, Wood sorrel, Yellow rocket cress.

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NUTS  Elm, Meadowsweet.

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RHUBARB  Japanese knotweed.

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SPINACH  Cowslip, Dandelion, Ground elder, Nettle.

LEARNING FROM
LATVIAN TRADITIONS

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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.

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EXTREME EXPERIMENT

 

LICHEN

Foraging period

AUTUMN-WINTER-SPRING

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.