Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Foraging class in Brooklyn

Chokecherries - Prunus serotina

Registration has just opened for the Brooklyn Botanic Garden's fall classes. If you'd like to sign up for my November 18th class, Cooking with Wild Foods and Weeds,  or know anyone who might like to, please head over to the BBG's website.


The class will be a virtual foraging romp through New York City's underbrush, month by month, with recipes and ideas for using these new and wild foods. We'll also talk about foraging do's and don'ts, and I'll share some of my favourite foraging spots after threatening blabbers with death.

Sea rocket - Cakile edentula

It's an afternoon class and I'm weighing up whether to feed attendees delicate butter cookies spiced with local flora, tea sandwiches laced with...something, or whether to mix some berry- and leaf-infused drinks. I'd better check the alcohol rules. I suppose it could be a syrup, with sparkling water?

Juneberry compote - Amelanchier sp.

What do you think? Cookies? Sandwiches? Drink?

Small budget ($5 per person)...

Sweet fern-infused gin - Comptonia peregrina

And if you were to come to such a class, what would you like to learn or see? I've yet to finalize it, as my nose is still deep in my book manuscript and pressed to my camera for the same reason, but I will come up for air to put it all together in October. So suggestions are welcome.

Pickled field garlic  - Allium vineale


  1. A handfull of june berries in a cherry pie is marvelous. The almond/marzipan flavour added in delish.

    Lisa, London

  2. If it is a day-time class then I say a cookie and a non-alcohol infused drink. If in the evening and permits allow - I would say an infused cocktail. I am so eagerly awaiting your book.

  3. I've heard that it does not matter WHAT we choose for our online writing, only that it be something we love. If we love it and write about it, readers will come. I think it is true.

    I live on 22 acres in the country and have TONS of space. I have no interest in cooking. I don't drink. I dislike large cities. I garden, but only grew flowers until just this month.

    And yet, I am HOOKED on all three blogs.

    Okay, I DO love words, serendipity and cats. So there is that.

    I think it's the voice that's got me. Honest, unpretentious and compelling. Even the cat.

  4. Lisa - great idea , but I rarely get them overlapping, as ours are ripe at the beginning of June, before the cherries...

    Barbara - good point. Thank you.

    Jule - that's funny. And thank you. But yes, sadly, it is the cat. Everyone comes for the cat. He's basically bait.

  5. Oh, I'd love to take this class, but I live in VA! I would want to learn the do's and don't of foraging, what to look for, and what look a like to avoid. Also good resources for finding more information. I guess the thought of infusing my gin with a poisonous berry scares me a bit!

    For your class, I would suggest an infused syrup for drinks, as the syrups look beautiful and you can show them the foraged food before they drink. It is more visual and less abstract than cookies infused with something. Also, I would think infused syrup, oils, liquors are an easy recipe and something one could do with just a handful of foraged goodies (if that's all you were able to harvest). Fun!

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  7. Definatley a syrup with sparkling water, maybe some more unusual nibbles, sweet and savoury - day lily buds etc, whatever's around. Your words and thoughts will inspire for sure, but involving other senses will consolidate! So wish I could attend! :)

  8. How I wish I could attend. Everytime I walk the fields, I wonder what you would find. (Beyond the blackberries, strawberries and red raspberries.)

  9. Hi Marie! Haved been traveling with little access to wireless. Missed reading your blogs! Will plan to attend your foraging cooking class NEXT YEAR if there will be one! Aloha.


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