I've posted about my foraging trips many times before. There is a surprising amount of food along our highways and byways. Today was all about gathering something up.
We made a drive last night, three large reservoirs provide a lot of scenic shoreline. It was bright and hot. The air conditioner was well appreciated in my truck. Before we left, I grabbed this photo.
Several of you asked for a shot of the hammered copper hatband my brother made me. After I monkeyed with it, there is some shiny, some aged, and just a tiny bit of green patina. I wanted more green, but the clear coating turned most of it dark.
We spotted a surprising amount of both wild and feral fruit. I keep bags in my truck at all times for just such an event. We pulled over and filled a tiny mesh bag with beautiful blackberries right before the monsoon started. In fact right now, I'm sitting under the awning in the middle of another thunderstorm. I have my prickly pear lemonade beside me. If the awning retracts, I'm making a run for it.
We stashed our blackberries and finished our drive in the rain, making notes of what we spotted and where. We saw deer everywhere. This young mule deer buck stopped long enough for a quick photo. It's one of my crappy iPhone snaps, but you can see his small velvet covered antlers.
We spotted wild elderberries, choke cherries, plums, hawthorns, and the blackberries. I call the other stuff feral, because it isn't native, but there are quite a few loaded apple trees, and for the first time ever apricots. These likely originated from someone's discarded pit or apple core. It's too early for apples, choke cherries, and elderberries. It ought to be too early for wild plums, but it isn't. It ought to be too late for any apricots, but there are some decent ones left.
I learned my lesson long ago about taking home baskets full of this stuff. A jar of jelly is nice, as is the occasional bottle of syrup. Beyond that, I enjoy a few and leave the rest.
I'm intimately familiar with the tiny golden plums. Today I found a red variety I've never seen before. We're on the Oregon border, so it's a bit outside my usual orbit. The red ones looked like cherries, but cherries usually come on a monstrous tree. I thought they might be someone's feral pie cherrie. Nope, plums.
These things are like tiny balls of sugar, with a pit inside. I have to remind myself that the genus is prunus, and they effect me the same was as prunes. Still, a few make me happy. I grabbed a snack sized portion of everything that was ripe.
We stopped at a marina and bought a pint of vanilla ice cream. Those blackberries are headed there. The rest are snacks. Wild fruit isn't green grocer beautiful, and if you want perfect you should stick to your favorite market. It tastes wonderful, and if you're cooking with it, you probably won't care.
I could have filled my truck bed with this stuff, but why? A few snacks are enough for me. If I want a few more, they are waiting on the tree.
I wonder how hard it is to make an Asian plum sauce while camping. Could be the makings of a fun meal sometime.