Mr, Cupcake at Craters of the Moon

Mr, Cupcake at Craters of the Moon
Mr. Cupcake at Craters of the Moon

Friday, August 13, 2010

hunting and gathering

The trout seem to be evading us. Why? We don't know. We saw fish in the stream yesterday, nine of them. Some of them were even interested in the bait on Dan's hook. Alas, we went home empty handed.

We hatched a plan to wake up before dawn today to try again, and then gather some berries. We did some driving around the back roads after our failed attempt at catching salmon and saw so many berries just screaming to be made into jam and sorbet. Alas, when the sun came up, neither of us felt like getting out of bed. The fish go uncaught, the berries go unpicked.

We haven't had much of a summer here, despite the reports of record-breaking temperatures on every other part of the continent. It's sunny now, probably our third or fourth weekend of sun. Otherwise it's been foggy. That was one of the reasons we went fishing yesterday: looking for summer.

The other day we went and picked a gallon of salal berries. They are a coastal berry that are a bit on the tart side but when you cook them up into a sorbet it is fantastic. I've just made a wee batch of jam, we'll see how it goes.

I know the First Nations people of this area (NuChalNulth, I think) have a long history of using these and other local berries. Thimbleberries. Huckleberries. Salmonberries. What about the Kinnickkinnick? Is that edible? And given that they are so abundant, why isn't anyone doing anything with them?

I'll go gather another gallon of something today and every day until berry season is over. No one else is harvesting this free fruit and we have some time on our hands, so we might as well make use of this bounty.

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