Saturday, April 16, 2011

Spring? Forage--Wild Leeks (Allium tricoccum)

It was a warm and lovely spring week; the baby and I spent nearly every day all day outside. But today, the first day of Thag's vacation, was cold--39 degrees--and windy. Still we bundled up in our winter things and headed out, determined to make the most of "spring."

We went up to our precious leek field, crossing the ice and snow still covering the shadier sections of trail. The logging that happened this fall significantly reduced the leek cover, but there are still more leeks there than anywhere else we have seen. The leeks were relatively small--about 5 to 6 inches, the trout lilies were only in leaf, and the spring beauties were no where to be seen. It was far from the day dreams I'd had deep within January. But still, they were there; spring must be coming...

When Yub Yub began to shiver, we headed back. The leek smell was wonderful and powerful--when the baby smelled them she said, "Deez smell like onions!"

At home, Thag cleaned the leeks and I prepared scrambled eggs with leeks--one of our all time favorites. So as we huddled under blankets on the couch, drinking our tea, we ate spring.

(Meal 3--rating 4)


  1. Cowslip success!!! I cooked the Marsh Marigold in more than the recommended changes of water. I didn’t count the changes but maybe I did it about 6 times? So overall I probably cooked it for a much shorter period of time than Samuel Thayer suggested. The cowslip was well cooked but still intact and not a slimy mess. I ate it with umeboshi vinegar. I thought it was quite good, much better than I expected. (As baby yub-yub would say, “It was better than carrots!”) I ate way more than I should have for my first time trying it. If I digest it without a problem, then I’m going to go back and gather more.

    An old book that I have (Edible Wild Plants by Oliver Perry Medsger) has a recipe that I thought you might want to try: “Cook the cowslips, add salt, drain well, and chop fine. Put a tablespoon of butter into a saucepan, add a tablespoon of flour, and mix thoroughly. Salt and pepper to taste. Add greens and one-half cup of cream or rich milk. Stir until well mixed and you have an appetizing dish ready to serve.”

    It looks like we saw 2 (or 3?) varieties of toothwart that all have edible roots. I regret that I didn’t dig up a root to try.

    Good foraging with you today. There’s a sense of double fulfillment. There’s so much satisfaction in gathering wild plants from an exquisite habitat. And then the nourishing contentment of consuming healing food that connects one to a deep primal place. I have cowslip dejavu.

  2. I wanna try leeks with eggs, where can I find leeks her in CT?

  3. We'll bring some to Easter at Grandma's.