By Dina Falconi and illustrated by Wendy Hollender
Foraging & Feasting: A Field Guide and Wild Food Cookbook celebrates our local bounty and traditional foodways. The book features beautiful, instructive botanical illustrations and delicious, enlightening recipes. We share this project with you out of our long commitment to connecting with nature through food and art. The effort weaves together Dina’s 30 years of passionate investigations into wild-plant identification, foraging and cooking with Wendy’s deft artistic skills honed over 15 years as a botanical illustrator. For the past three years we have been writing, drawing, designing and testing the recipes for this book. The result is an abundance of recipes and illustrations that celebrate wild plants and creative ways to bring them into our lives. We hope you will join us in this tasty culinary adventure.
We are self-publishing this book and hope you will purchase it now to help us pay for production and printing costs! We believe you will appreciate Foraging and Feasting as an educational tool that can foster a more sustainable, regenerative, ecological way of eating. Foraging offers an adventurous and satisfying way to eat locally and seasonally. Our book will help readers reclaim the lost art of foraging and become immersed in the “Kitchen Arts.” Readers will be able to identify, harvest, prepare, eat and savor the wild bounty all around them. Surely everyone will appreciate learning to create delicious, nutritious, healthy meals from scratch for a modest amount of money.
Foraging and Feasting will make you feel a wise and experienced guide is holding your hand in the field and kitchen. The book is designed to boost people’s confidence in plant identification and meal preparation. It will serve as a constant companion. All kinds of people will be attracted to it—especially those who love gardening, cooking and eating with conscious attention to personal and environmental health.
Among those who will find the book valuable are the health-conscious members of the Weston A Price Foundation, ever in search of nutrient-dense, traditional whole foods. Slow Food enthusiasts will appreciate how focusing on ancient, seasonal and native foods helps move us in step with the rhythm of nature. Locavores will relish just how local eating can be with wild foods. Edible Forest Gardeners, who are part of the agricultural ecology movement, will value how this book demystifies unusual edibles. “Just exactly how do you prepare that mallow, or make American black currant ice cream, or elderberry anise hyssop agua fresca?” Questions such as these, which most cooks never even thought to ask, will be answered here.
Part One: Visual Instructional Field Guide (In full color) The book opens with a dramatic burst of color illustrations. This first part of the book serves as a visual guide, tracking 50 plants through their growing cycle. The images illustrate the culinary uses of the plants at various seasons. Readers will find these details immensely practical, as the plants we cover are wild, abundant and very common in many of the temperate zones throughout the world. The book also includes a few plants that started as cultivated specimens but then freely spread themselves, becoming wild in the landscape. The illustrations, drawn in color pencil and watercolor, are both botanically accurate and aesthetically pleasing. A clear, concise written commentary accompanies each illustration, elucidating plant identification and application.
Part Two: Visually Appealing Reference Tables (In full color) The second part of the book contains easy-to-use references: Plant Chart Centerfolds, Seasonal Flow Charts, and other subcategories.
Part Three: “Kitchen Arts” Cookbook (In black and white w/one color) Part three brings the forager into the kitchen. This section contains more than 100 delicious, nutritious and economical master recipes, each formulated to help the reader easily comprehend how wild plants can be turned into culinary delights. And from these master recipes thousands of recipes variations can be made. The book offers basic, easy-to-follow cooking techniques and preparations, providing a strong foundation for kitchen creativity.
The recipe categories are as follows: Beverages, Salads, Relishes Spreads & Condiments, Sandwiches, Soups & Stews, Wild Eggery, Meat Dishes, Wild Vegetable Side Dishes, Savory Fruit Sauces, and Desserts. Please note that these recipes are not limited to wild ingredients; they can be used with cultivated ingredients as well, purchased or homegrown. Many of the recipes can be made to accommodate various dietary restrictions: gluten-free, casein-free, dairy-free, grain-free, and sugar-free. This portion of the book will be thorough enough to stand alone as a helpful and inspiring cookbook.