Friday, January 22, 2016

A Memory of Growing Roots (edible poetry)

I lay on the mossy ground, feeling the softness of dirt under my wandering fingertips. As I lay here, breathing deeper and deeper, I can almost feel myself growing down into the earth like a rooting plant. I sink in softly and become one with the forest floor. The earthy scents of damp lichen and mycelium fill my nose and I start to feel more connected to the world around me. I notice the tiniest sounds I completely missed before; the sound of a beetle walking over a leaf by my ear, and of a bird's wings opening as it prepares to take flight. I smell the pear trees in the neighboring orchard, and start to dream... "Pears Cooked in the Forest Floor," based on a recipe by Chef CJ Jacobson (which I learned from Pascal Baudar, an excellent forager/chef in California.) I lined a small pan with usnea, lungwort, and oakmoss lichens, then added some white fir needles and fresh mint. I added a ripe pear and roasted it slowly in the oven to infuse with forest flavors, then ate with a spoon. Soft. Creamy. Foresty. Delicious with cream anglaise or vanilla ice cream. 

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