Bellagio to Brooklyn

One of the neighbors in Bellagio

One of the neighbors in Bellagio

Eight days ago I was in Bellagio, Italy with Ricky.

Bellagio, on Lake Como

Bellagio, on Lake Como

Now I’m back in Brooklyn and full steam ahead with my summer schedule of foraging tours, classes, writing, and other busy-ness.

But first, a couple of pics from my holiday: dscn1624


I came home to an overwhelmingly overgrown – I mean lush – ¬†garden. It’s been rainy this past week, so I haven’t gotten much work done out there. The elderberries are already in bloom. Time to make elder flower syrup and “champagne“!

I did dodge the raindrops long enough to pick some juneberries (mayberries?), nettles and radishes.

A trip to the Park Slope Food Coop had me grinning because there were lamb’s quarters for sale and I’d just picked a ton for free. lambs-quarters-for-sale

I also collected lots of burdock “cardoons,” one of my favorite wild edibles.cardoons-sm1

Tonight I’ve got guests coming over and I’m going to make bean burgers with lamb’s quarters (my guests are vegetarian), champ (mashed potatoes with nettles), and a Moroccan-style carrot salad with preserved lemons. For dessert, I’ve still got some of that Japanese knotweed-strawberry sorbet in the freezer, but this time I’ll top it with freshly picked juneberries.

Here’s to abundant harvests…and awesome vacations!


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Comfrey growing wild near Mullheim baden, Germany

Comfrey growing wild near Mullheim baden, Germany

I spent my day off visiting fellow forager Kat Morgenstern in Germany. It took several trains to get to her from where I’m staying in Switzerland, but it was worth it.

Despite a few rainy hours, we got in two good walks out in the hills, past berries-to-be,


Salsify blooming amidst dandelions already gone to seed,


Solomon’s seal (Polygonatum multiflorum, not the P. biflorum I’m used to back home),


wild garlic (Allium ursinum, a close cousin to ramps or A. tricoccum)


and tons of nettles. We picked some of the garlic flowers and some nettle leaves to add to a casserole-style “bake” that Kat made. She’d already harvested lots of immature burdock flower stalks for it (one of my favorite wild vegetables).

Kat also shared some of the elderflower syrup she made last year, which was wonderful with strawberries and yogurt for breakfast. I’m really hoping I won’t totally miss the elderflower season back in Brooklyn.

The food was delicious, and the company was wonderful. It is always a pleasure to spend time with Kat, and on this visit I got to see her husband Tino as well. Here’s to the next time!

Upcoming Foraging, Cooking and Gardening Workshops

The Locavore’s Handbook: The Busy Person’s Guide to Eating Local on a Budget

Botany, Ballet, & Dinner from Scratch: A Memoir with Recipes

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