Thursday, February 11, 2016

After the Rainchill (edible poetry)

I feel the raindrops splashing on my raincoat on this dark and stormy day in the woods, beating out a soothing rhythm on my sore shoulders like a micro-massage. I am swimming through a mist of tiny droplets like a Swiss Cheese ocean. I am a pixie. I am a mermaid. I am present. The rain makes everything fresher and as I hike, I nibble. A bitter fir needle here, a sweet clover leaf there. Rose hips glow brilliant red in the dim light and I put one to my lips, expecting the familiar waxy texture and tannic flavor. But this one is different- it bursts in my mouth, releasing a silky paste of tart brightness with just a little sweetness to it. These rose hips are January rose hips, softened and sweetened by repeated frosts and thaws. I gather a bucketful to take home, wondering what I should do with them. When I get home, I fry up some cold-day-in-the-woods-comfort-food: bacon. And then the answers come. 
Crispy pork belly with rose hip puree and candied ginger, a delightful balance of rich, sour, and sweet. 

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