Are you familiar with a traditional food that’s just come into season: Mayhaw. It is so named for May Day, its peak season. According to mayhaw mythology, this wild, apple-like cousin of the hawthorn tree thrives in swampy coastal Louisiana and Texas.
Tomorrow is Earth Day. While I risk sounding cliché, every day should be Earth Day. Instead, we treat the planet like trash. So, what is to be done?
For those of you who are discovering the joys of growing and cooking with fresh ingredients, might composting serve as one small step towards ecological responsibility? I know that sticking out of my market bags are voluminous carrot tops and leek greens. And that’s only that which I couldn’t fit inside the bag. Sometimes, I make stock with this excess fiber. Other times, I cut and disregard.
With spring comes wild foods that inhabit our region. Last week, I met a group of visiting culinary students from France at a market.
Mid-conversation, the group’s leader took several steps away to harvest a lone mushroom on an adjacent patch of grass. He was elated to discover this fungus, like a familiar friend. “This wild mushroom is popular in France,” he said. To prove his point, he took a bite. I chose not to remind him that dogs favor that spot for cocking their legs.
Earlier this week, I had one of those enviable New Orleans moments. There I was: standing in a farmers market, debating with a group of market-goers as to whether Lent’s Gumbo des Herbes does or does not contain meat.
The other week, I experienced poetry whilst shopping for seedlings at a market. Has this ever happened to you? To begin with, I bumped into a delightful yet unsung hero: Sister Lilliane Flavin of Hope House.
It is only right that we embrace the ebb and flow of the seasons. So out with the king cakes and in with fish on Fridays. Out with spirits and in with beverages that cleanse the soul and the colon. Yes, I said colon. I too find it a bit awkward to utter on the radio. So, let me move on to the point.