Wild Seasons: Gathering and Cooking Wild Plants of the Great Plains

Wild Seasons: Gathering and Cooking Wild Plants of the Great Plains

by Kay Young, Mark E. Marcuson
     
 

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For nature lovers as well as cooks, there's plenty to whet the appetite in this unique field guide-cum-cookbook. Starting with the first plants ready for eating in the early spring (watercress and nettles) and following the sequence of harvest through the late fall (persim-mons and Jerusalem artichokes), Kay Young offers full, easy-to-follow directions for

Overview

For nature lovers as well as cooks, there's plenty to whet the appetite in this unique field guide-cum-cookbook. Starting with the first plants ready for eating in the early spring (watercress and nettles) and following the sequence of harvest through the late fall (persim-mons and Jerusalem artichokes), Kay Young offers full, easy-to-follow directions for identifying, gathering, and preparing some four dozen edible wild plants of the Great Plains. And since most of the plants occur elsewhere as well, residents of other regions will find much of interest here.
 
'This is not a survival book," writes the author; "only those plants whose flavor and availability warrant the time and effort to collect or grow them are included." The nearly 250 recipes range from old-time favorites (poke sallet; catnip tea; horehound lozenges; hickory nut cake; a cupboardful of jams, jellies, and pies) to enticing new creations (wild violet salad, milkweed sandwiches, cattail pollen pancakes, day-lily hors d'oeuvres, prickly-pear cactus relish).
 
Reflecting the author's conviction that just as we can never go back to subsisting wholly on wild things, neither should we exclude them from our lives, this book serves up generous portions of botanical information and ecological wisdom along with good food.

Editorial Reviews

Roger Welsch
"Kay Young knows more than anyone else I know about wild plants and their uses. . . . If you are interested in wild plants, the Plains, and good eating, you will want a copy of Wild Seasons in your library.”—Roger Welsch, Roger, Over and Out
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Focusing on the Great Plains, Young, a naturalist at the Chet Ager Nature Center in Lincoln, Nebr., tells us where to find and how to use various plants. ``When I was growing up in Nebraska, many families still used wild plants on a regular basis, and as a child, I helped my mother gather greens in spring and make wild fruit jams and jellies in autumn. When I had my own family, I carried on these traditions,'' she explains. And why? ``Not only are certain wild plants nutritious and tasty,'' she notes, but ``the gathering of them involves the important processes of exploration, discovery and learning. . . . Certainly, garnering part of one's living from wild things creates a keen awareness and appreciation of the natural world and its cycles.'' And so, we learn what to do with stinging nettles: dry them, pulverize them into powder, make noodles from them, or freeze them for future use. With mulberries: bake pies, stew jams, bake cookies; and more of the same for nuts, fruits, vegetables and various plants. Young's book awakens curiosity about the uses of nature, and it also rouses respect--she doesn't want to tamper with wild things, but merely to borrow some of their bounty. Illustrated. (Sept.)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780803299047
Publisher:
UNP - Nebraska
Publication date:
08/01/1993
Pages:
318
Sales rank:
867,784
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x (d)

Meet the Author

Trained in botany and folklore, Kay Young is a naturalist for the Chet Ager Nature Center in Lincoln, Nebraska. Mark E. Marcuson, who also lives in Lincoln, formerly worked as an illustrator for the Nebraska State Museum and is now a freelance artist.

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