Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Wecome to Wild In Georgia

Well, spring is just around the corner, which means wildflowers, mushrooms, abundant opportunities to forage and fish.  How good can life get?!

I’ve been meaning to start this blog for many, many months but you know how time flies.  Other things take priority (like a new website*), and well, we just get behind a bit.  Nevertheless, I am now committed to write at least one edition of Wild in Georgia every week and keep you abreast of what is going on in the woods and hinterland.  I will cover edibles, discoveries, activities, and anything else related to wild Georgia. 

We’ve had a few days of perfectly gorgeous weather.  The temperatures have been in the 70’s and the sun has shone her heart out.  Of course, this isn’t normal for the beginning of February but I’ll take it.  Cold is not my forte’; nevertheless, nature continues regardless of the weather. 

Mouse-ear chickweed
This week I have noticed that the mouse-eared chickweed is coming up and that means soup.  What could be better with this fluctuating weather than a soup that contains the promise of springtime?  I love it, look forward to it, and am sad when the chickweed season ends. 

Chickweed can be found just about anywhere the soil was disturbed.  It grows in the lawn, in the flower pots, on the edge of the woods, and in the park.  Most folks think of it as a weed.  I think of it as gourmet eating.  A clump of it spreads out in a thousand directions so, to collect it, you encircle the center of the plant from underneath, slowly lifting so as to gather up the runners and then tear this handful from the base of the plant, leaving the root system for another season. 

And finally , if you are like me, you would now like a recipe for chickweed soup so here goes.  This one takes no time at all. 

Per person ingredients:

1 handful of chickweed – washed and chopped.  Flowers are okay.
½ tsp. diced onion
1½ C chicken stock
1 tsp. olive oil
  1. Put the olive oil in a soup pan and add the onions.
  2. Let the onions sweat for around 2 minutes to soften.
  3. Add the chicken stock and the chickweed.
  4. Bring to a simmer and wait 5 minutes until the chickweed is well cooked.
  5. With an emersion blender (stick blender) puree the contents of our soup pan into a fine green broth and serve.  Be careful  when you blend– the soup is hot and you don’t want it to splash back at you.
Optional:  Once the soup is pureed, you can add heavy cream and bring it back to the simmer and then serve.  This is like living in Paris!
So now that you have something to eat, I shall leave you to it and get back with you next week with yet another discovery. 

*Our new website, which is still under construction is:  http://www.wildingeorgia.com/.  Please visit to find our activity schedule.  Thanks.

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