It was frozen and snowing this morning, but my birthday. so I went fishing. Had over a dozen hookups on egg patterns and a pheasant tail nymph. I actual use only those 2 flies for almost all of steelhead season and usually do real well. Most of the fish looked nice and had god color, but some of them were pretty beat up from spawning. All and all it was a good trip. I kept 2 for the smoker and help a guy get a monster up on to the bank. You could not use a net because it freezes after the first time it gets wet. My boots and line froze up too, and hands. I could use some spring….

theforagedmeal:

FORAGING ONTARIO: SPRUCE/PINE/FIR TIPS

Like dandelions we walk by the coniferous tips all the time without knowing their culinary uses. When just emerged and harvested, these tips are tender and fresh tasting with a hint of resin and citrus. Be sure to rid yourself of the papery casing or of any hard stems before using them.  Careful when harvesting late because the flavour may be too intense. Our favourite way to enjoy these is to pickle them!

click title head below for link to recipe webpage.

PICKLED SPRUCE TIPS

Makes 2 half pint jars, scale as needed

Ingredients

  • 2 cups fresh, young spruce tips, papery husk removed
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup applecider vinegar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup sugar

Method

  1. Pack your 1/2 pint canning jars with spruce tips, stopping 1/2 inch below the lid
  2. Heat the water, vinegar, salt and sugar until boiling
  3. Pour the boiling pickle liquid over the jars of spruce tips, filling them almost all the way to the top of the jar, making sure to use a paper clip, UCT, or some other thin utensil to agitate the tips and release air bubbles if needed.
  4. Now place the canning lids on the jars of spruce tips and turn the jars upside down. Leave overnight to seal. In the morning you will find they have formed a natural hermetic seal  due to the heat of the boiling water. Filling the jars more full of liquid than usual also helps the seal to form, as without the pressure of boiling water outside of the jars, there is no danger of them exploding due to overfilling.

This is a back alley canning procedure I covered in the fiddlehead pickle post. If you prefer to can yours in a water bath, thats just fine. The low ph***in this recipe and the amount of sugar and salt is more than enough to ensure a bacteria-less environment though.

I have never tried this, looks cool

Went down the road to Hurry Hill Maple Farm for their free tour and some maple hot chocolate. They had trees taped but no flow( it is like 19 Deg today). They had a really cool tour of the sugar shack though and a bunch of exhibits on the history of maple syrup making. Fun day. I bought maple syrup, Maple candy, Maple cotton candy, Maple covered Nuts and sampled a ton of other maple products. Also I found another source for local raw honey, and really good local raw milk based cheeses. Both the farms are just a couple miles away.

erieforage:

Drawing/modeling up plans for the mobile chicken coop. I want it to look kind of like a gypsy wagon. I still need to decide if it will be light enough to use only one set of wheels. This is my concept drawing and some quick renders. I will post the pictures of the build and the completed coop. I plan to start on it in a week or so.

Drawn in Autocad renders were done in Navisworks

erieforage:

Drawing/modeling up plans for the mobile chicken coop. I want it to look kind of like a gypsy wagon. I still need to decide if it will be light enough to use only one set of wheels. This is my concept drawing and some quick renders. I will post the pictures of the build and the completed coop. I plan to start on it in a week or so.

Drawn in Autocad renders were done in Navisworks