Everyone knows that morel mushrooms are delicious, but our forests and fields hold a lot of other wild delicacies too.
Host Charity Nebbe talks with veteran forager Mike Krebill of Keokuk about how to go out find your own food, and how to use it for such things as dandelion donuts and mulberry taffy. You can check out the recipes below. Or you can hear Mike's presentation at the Wild Edibles of the Midwest workshop, July 8th in Webster City.
Then, Extension Horticulturist Richard Jauron and DNR District Forester Mark Vitosh answer your questions about the trees and plants in your life.
1. Separate dandelion flowers from their bitter-tasting green base until you have 1 cup of yellow flowers. The technique: roll the green flower base between your thumb and forefinger. Gradually increase the pressure, squeezing the yellow flowers loose. With a gentle shake or a pull, they should come free. Discard the base & stem.
2. Begin heating the cooking oil to 3750 F.
3. Mix together 2 cups of Bisquick HeartSmart™ Baking Mix, 2 eggs, and 1 cup of milk. Stir in 1 cup of flowers.
4. Gently drop teaspoonfuls of the dough into the hot cooking oil. Do only six at a time so that the cooking
oil doesn't cool off and start soaking into the donut.
5. Turn when light golden brown on the underside.
6. Drain on paper towels. Roll in sugar, cinnamon & sugar, or powdered sugar.
Makes about 40 donuts
Mike's Mulberry Taffy
2 1/2 cups white sugar
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1 cup corn syrup
1 1/3 cups mulberry juice
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon vanilla
1. Butter and set aside two large baking sheets.
2. Stir together the sugar and cornstarch in a medium saucepan. Add the corn syrup, mulberry juice, butter, and salt. Stir to blend. Insert a candy thermometer. Over medium heat, bring to a boil, stirring occasionally so it doesn’t stick to the bottom and burn. Cook until the temperature reads 250 F. Remove from heat, and quickly pour onto the baking sheets. Let stand until cool enough to handle.
3. Butter hands of helpers. Pull the taffy until it lightens in color & becomes stiffer. Roll into a rope the thickness of your finger, then cut into bite-size pieces 1” to 1 1/4” long. Wrap in 4” squares of waxed paper. (Don’t use plastic wrap; the taffy will dry out and crumble into powder when chewed.)
Makes 120 to 140 pieces