The return of foraging classes, celebrating James Beard Week and more

Master Forager, Herbalist and Author Lisa Rose Foraging Classes Are Back!:

Southwestern Michigan’s best-known harvester of all things wild and edible will soon be outdoors and looking for leafy greens. As Lisa Rose says, her harvesting goes way beyond salads and end up as complements to soups, egg dishes, pizzas and tea. As she says in her recent newsletter, “Early spring greens are more tender and have a hint of sweetness. This is particularly true of bitter greens like garlic mustard, dock, dandelion, and chicory... greens our bodies are craving! As spring progresses into summer, greens grow larger and become significantly bitter, where they are best used as sautéed greens or cooked into frittatas. Use your senses to compare their flavors between the early and later months of the growing season and prepare them accordingly.

“Early spring is also an excellent time to gather tree barks, twig tips, and small branches for making tea and herbal remedies, as the sap is still running through the tree, which makes the bark easier to process. Tubers, roots, rhizomes, and fiddleheads should also be gathered at this time, before the plants begin to move significant energy upward to grow stems, leaves, and flowers.

If you are interested in learning more find Lisa (near Grand Rapids) at burdockandrose.com or on facebook and go on a foraging adventure she heads up during the year. I also follow Lisa on Tumblr. where she posts photos from her outdoor ingredient-collection sprees.

Richard Melman and Lettuce Entertain You Get Together for James Beard Week: Starting Thursday, April 30th there are a series of special events at the restaurant chain whose founder Richard Melman is being honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award by the James Beard Foundation. There is a “Rising Star Chef” Dinner Series, spotlighting the work of Alma’s Ari Taymor; Jessica Largey at Manresa; C.J. Jacobson at Intro and Girasol and Erik Anderson, also of Intro. On Saturday there is a demo and dinner with eighth-generation Tuscan Butcher Dario Cecchini at 7pm at RPM, followed by a Tiki Luau & Pig Roast at Three Dots and a Dash with three chefs and four mixologist on hand. That dinner has a limited number of seats and tickets are available for $100. Learn more at the Lettuce Entertain You web site.

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