Friday, June 26, 2009

Food Foraging, the Picking is Easy

The salvage slave is famous for her yummy meals cobbled together with leftovers and what she can snag from the great outdoors. When funds are scarce you can still eat well, but you need to think creatively. Believe it or not there is free food to be had fresh and abundant if you just know where to look. I'm not talking about dumpsters and handouts or garden theft, I'm talking live food growing all around the city yours for the picking. Last week's heat in Detroit ripened all the mulberries growing on this commonly thought of "weed" tree and they are abundant. My son Wyatt and his pal Marlaina visited our friend Danielle who took us on a tour of mulberry and cherry picking in downtown Detroit! Look for the tell tale stains on the sidewalks and little dark or pale lilac raspberry-looking berries on this 10' and taller tree. I even have a tree that volunteered in the backyard at my shop. Sweet and plentiful, make some wine, toss it in a salad with kiwis, salad greens and citrus vinagrette or go all out like I did and whip up an elegant dessert. I made pavlova, an easy meringue cake layered with whipping cream and berries, it was a big hit with my dinner companions. Just the other morning I spotted numerous cherry trees bearing fruit on Woodward in Huntington Woods in front of the apartment buildings at Lincoln, almost over but still some ready to eat. Raspberries and blackberries should be on too, look for that thorny vine-like shrub at the tree line of city parks. On the savory side, there are onions and chives galore and mint. I picked some by the railroad tracks at 11mile and Washington here in Royal Oak. The grapevines have taken over the backyard at my shop, so when you want to make grape leaves just come on by and pick for free. When you have to spend money, hit the local farmer's markets sprouting everywhere. Other than Royal Oak and Eastern Market, try the one in Birmingham or Warren. There's even one Wednesday's on Wayne State Campus north of Warren on Cass. There are many others, has an online guide and you can head out with your reusable bag. Shop local, splurge on organic, see the movie Food Inc. As my friends at Avalon say "Eat Well, Do Good"

1 comment:

Riveted said...

I often hear people refer to mulberry trees as weed or junk trees...which I just don't get. I have really fond memories of seeking them out (around my neighborhood and the surrounding woods) as a kid. Glad I haven't really grown up in this regard.