Sunday, July 20, 2014

Hunting and gathering, minus the hunting


Greg and I have always liked the idea of gathering food in the wild. This past week in my Swedish class, we talked about various rights and responsibilities with regard to nature in Sweden, and I think it gave new life to that interest.

So yesterday we went out for a hike in the woods, with a strong emphasis on keeping an eye out for berries or edible mushrooms (chanterelles, specifically). While it is still too early in the season for the mushrooms, we had really good luck with berries. Primarily this is because my husband has eagle eyes for spotting berries, apparently.

First he spotted the blueberries. And then we couldn't stop seeing them! There were loads of them, and they were incredibly delicious. We also spotted a few raspberry bushes, but those were not quite ripe (I think we each got one ripe berry). The best find of the day was when he paused and crouched down to verify that, yes indeed, he had found smultron! The Swedes go crazy over these wild strawberries, and I never understood the appeal. At least not until yesterday when I got my first taste of them. This must be one of the most delightful flavors of the world.

We stopped and sampled several on our outgoing portion of our hike. We decided to continue on, since we heard some people coming and didn't feel the need to let them in on the secret if they weren't keen enough to find them on their own (totally selfish, totally worth it). Plus there could easily have been more further down the trail. Unfortunately we didn't come across more. On our return trip, as we approached their location, we started to smell them before we could see them, which was a really lovely thing to experience.

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