Friday, June 9, 2023

Apocalypse forage

Some likened our apocalyptic skies this week, and the pervasive smell of smoke, to 9/11. But the smell of the Canadian wildfires was misleadingly wholesome and pleasant, like woodsmoke. Even through my N95 mask, from our Covid stash.

9/11 was a terrible smell. Like burned wires and bone. 

I went foraging, masked. 

The air grew progressively worse; it hadn't been too bad when I set out. So the world was sepia. A few days before 9/11 I dreamed that my mother and I were hiding in a bombed-out building in lower Manhattan. This was the light in the dream. In the dream three old WWII-type bombers flew low over us.

9/11 was a beautiful day, crystal clear and blue.

I collected good things in the smoke and have many projects, now, most to fuel future forage picnics. The cones will be blanched, then pickled or/and turned into jam.  The bayberry will be turned into a vivid green oil, to be frozen and scooped when needed. Also poached with summer fruits. The green peaches will be salted and fermented. their leaves will infuse white wine. The sweet clover will be dried for future biscuits, breads, and cakes.



  1. I am very curious about how you pickle the cones and then how you use them. That is an interesting idea...

  2. I forget that you were "there" on 9/11. All these years later and it's still as fresh as yesterday in my mind, and surely much more so in yours. Interesting comparison. We got a little of your smoke last week - enough to make trying to paint the sky in my plein air "class" interesting, but not nearly as orange as your sky. Maybe you should go back and pick ripe peaches and sell them. It sounds like you might make a fortune.


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