Exploring various aspects of the past often brings some surprising insights to the present. In Amy’s Choice (A More Perfect Union Book 2), Amy accompanies Samantha on her trips into the forest in search of particular plants to use to flavor their meals and also for medicinal purposes. Having sent them into the woods, I had to determine what Samantha would find. But to be more challenging, what would she find in November in South Carolina along the eastern seaboard?
I bought a couple of books on edible wild plants and began reading with an eye for possibilities. I had to make sure the plants were native to the south, grew near to the coast though not ocean side, since the manor house is in the country perhaps fifteen miles from the ocean. The plants also had to be growing in November, or at least living in some phase of its life cycle.
To be honest, I’d given myself quite a challenge! But I finally found a few plants she could locate and use. They included chickweed (at left), lamb’s quarters (at right), and white pine tree bark (below). Are you surprised by that last one? I sure was when I came across it in my reading as a good flavoring for stews and soups. (Images courtesy of the Edible Wild Foods and the National Arborists sites.)
I had considered searching the fields and woods behind my house for what we could harvest, but haven’t garnered the courage necessary. Imagine if I choose the wrong plant, or pick it at the wrong time, and it’s not safe to eat. Or if I didn’t prepare it correctly. My confidence is pretty low on this score, so I rather envy Samantha’s ability to choose the right plants and know the proper preparation and cooking methods for them.
Have you experimented with edible wild plants? Are you able to locate and use them, unlike me? Can you teach me how? (grin)
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