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June 2013, the month of plenty

What’s in season? So much! Our menu says it all.. Jardins Sauvages summer menu July

No actually, not even quite – there is only so much you can jam into one five course meal..

Photos:  Until I can find the time to fight with my blog, this will have to do: 

C’est l’abondance! In St-Roch, this is the best time of year for variety of wild edibles – shoots, greens, roots, flowers, vegetables.. And with all the rain we’ve had, everything is green, the wild plants better than ever, gorged with water hence less bitter; things are going fast.  As long as there is the occasional sunny, dry spell, this is all good for us. Except that we have to be on our toes; if mother nature is on speed, we have to follow or miss out for the season, not to mention our mission of putting up for the year.

Our mesclun has morphed, officially more summer than spring now with lambs’ quarters, live forever, daisy, lady sorrel, garlic mustard leaf, some crinkleroot leaf still, a variety of petals for colour and zip.. The last of the spring beauty, violets and acacia, rose petals and day lily moving in..

The marine greens are starting to come in from Kamouraska: beach peas, goat’s beard, sea parsley.. It won’t be long before we happily add sea spinach and sea asparagus to the basket.

Thanks to a wet month of June, local mushrooms are showing up early – its still morel season in some parts of Quebec, but here already some choice boletes like the yellow (bolet granule) and orange cap, as well as wine caps.

Milkweed broccoli is out, daisy buds too. We have a few weeks ahead focused on the oh-so-popular (but labour intensive daisy buds). The cattails aren’t far off, another big job with a short window. We peel the young cattails and then harvest the next stage – the pollen, drying and pulverizing it to make a flour/seasoning. For a week, my kitchen is covered in yellow dust and I blow my nose yellow at night.  Goes with the territory, like black fingernails in mushroom season.

Let’s just say that cattail season (also elderflower, sweet clover, wild strawberries, the first mushrooms..) is not good timing to take off.. But as it happens early, François will be in ‘le grand nord’ for a week of fishing and prospecting, and I will be in Toronto representing Jardins Sauvages for the Ace Bakery Incubator Awards; hopefully we won’t miss out on too much with everything sprouting so fast..

Amidst it all, I try to occasionally get my coureur des bois and forager for the stars (or as he prefers to be called, Jardinier de foret) on tape. It’s all very on the spot and amateurish, but a fun start.. I promise we will make a point of capturing the moment more often and hopefully get better at it in time, with more English too once I get used to my phone/camera, keeping in mind that following François is never easy. So, anyway, here are the little videos on foraged wild plants we have so far.. (In French, although I usually throw in a word or two of English if I remember to): http://www.youtube.com/my_videos?o=U 



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