The Gifted Blog

June 10, 2014

They Were Foraging Before it Was Cool



I was clicking through Groupon last year when I came upon an interesting item: "Forage for Wild Edible Foods". The deal was for a walking tour through the woods in Seward Park with a published nature writer, learning how to glean edible foods from the land.

Curious, I checked out his blog and book. Foraged foods are trendy here. A few years ago the neighborhood pizza place sold pizza topped with foraged mushrooms. In grade school we learned how to pick stinging nettle, crush it between our palms and eat it raw. It's a part of the movement to 'eat local'.

Funny thing, though, when I actually read the foraging book, the stories sounded strangely familiar. Squidding on a Seattle pier. Fishing for trout. Hunting morels in the mountains. Do you know who I realized the original foragers are? My grandparents. The O.G. foragers.

My grandparents were always giving us murky jars of smoked shad, Tupperwares of matsutake gohan (wild mushroom rice), and mysterious containers of Japanese-style pickled vegetables. They cooked shiners, went crabbing, shrimping, and clamming in their respective seasons, and never hesitated to share their bounty. This Sunday they left a cooler on our porch containing 4 trout their friends recently caught. It's just their way.

It was fitting that, after coming home with a respectable catch of razor clams from the family timeshare, my parents invited Momo and Popo over to share in the seafood feast. Razor clams are huge, caught by digging quickly into the wet sand when you see an air bubble surface. Our family went over, too, and we enjoyed a foraged meal with the original foragers.

Related on the blog:
One More (gift wrapping by my grandpa)

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