The Last Frontier

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Wild Greens for Supper

Wild Edibles  for Fritters
Wild Greens for Fritters

One of the things we love about this time of year is that we have so many wild edible plants right outside our door. I have discovered (and invented) some delicious recipes. Fritters are one of our favorites, whether they're made with Fiddleheads, Dandelions, Wild Chives, Alaska Ginseng (Devil’s Club) or just about anything else we find in the woods or in our garden. We are especially thankful for all these wild greens because we can’t even plant our garden until the end of May.

While my husband has been away guiding for the last 7 weeks, our boys and I have been working extra hard all day. Well, the boys do get a lot of well-deserved play time at the creek. They have been such a help to me while their daddy has been away. The last couple of weeks have provided special treats of new wild plants. Lately, we’ve been stopping work an hour or so before suppertime to go for a walk and gather part of our next meal. It is incredibly satisfying to be able to do that (not to mention FUN), and I am so thankful that we live in such a place. I was brought up in a very large city, and I certainly do not take this lifestyle for granted. I know we have been blessed.

I grew up in the Deep South, where a meal was not a proper meal if it didn’t include something deep fried. Tomorrow night, I’m going to add some wild greens and Dandelions to our pizza (not fried, but I’m not complaining!) Tonight we had one of our favorite meals --- Fritters!

You can make fritters from just about anything. If you don’t have the wild plants I used this time (recipe below), use whatever edibles you have, even if they’re from the grocery store or a patio garden. Cabbage, broccoli, mushrooms, onions, and many more vegetables all work just fine. Use just one, or a mixture. Add meat, if you like, or leave it out. Add other herbs and seasonings for even more variety. Careful on that. It's easy to overpower the wild greens with too many spices.

When I want a sweet fritter for breakfast, rather than a savory fritter for supper, I’ll usually stick with flowers. Dandelion or Elder flowers work great for this. Just remember to use no more than half the salt in the recipe below, and omit the pepper. You can make the batter sweet by adding a few tablespoons of honey, brown sugar, or other sweetener. You can leave out the sweetener in the batter, and serve the fritters with maple syrup, jam, powdered sugar, or whatever else you like. Or, just toss some flowers into your favorite pancake batter.

You really can’t go wrong with fritters. If you want them a little lighter, add a tablespoon of baking powder per cup of flour. If you want eggs, use them. If not, leave them out. I use powdered milk and eggs because we live in the bush and I don’t have fresh at the moment. But if you have the fresh milk and eggs to spare, use them if you like. Your fritters will turn out delicious.

Wild Fritters
(This recipe makes a LOT, so you might want to cut it in half the first time. We like to reheat the leftovers. The texture changes --- they become a little soft, more bread-like instead of crunchy, but we still enjoy them.)

4 cups of edible wild greens and flowers
1 pound of meat - optional (ground moose or beef, chopped chicken or whatever you like)
3 cups rice flour (wheat flour works well, but the flavor and texture are a little different)
2/3 cup powdered milk (or 2 to 3 cups of fresh milk)
3 Tbsp. powdered eggs (or 2 eggs)
1 tsp. black pepper (or to taste)
2 tsp. salt (or to taste)
2 to 3 cups water (omit if using real, liquid milk)
Oil for Frying (I like coconut oil)

Prepare wild edibles for cooking, and set aside. Preparation will depend on what you use. Today, the boys and I picked some Alaska Ginseng (Devil’s Club) buds, Lamb’s Quarter, Chickweed, Dandelion flowers, Watermelon Berry leaves and Wild Chives. I chopped the Lamb’s Quarter, Chickweed, Watermelon Berry Leaves and Chives. I removed the stems and most of the calyx (green part) from the Dandelion flowers (scissors help with this). The Alaska Ginseng buds required no preparation, but you can chop them if you prefer. A few Fiddleheads and young Fireweed shoots would have also been nice, but it was getting late and I needed to start supper. If your plants have dirt, wash before chopping. Try to avoid places where the plants are near car exhausts, and don’t use plants that have been sprayed with chemicals.

If using meat, cook it and set aside. If it is really greasy, drain and discard the fat.

Combine flour, milk powder, egg powder, salt and pepper. Stir in 2 cups of water. If it seems dry and thick, add a little more water. If your batter ends up too thin, stir in a little more flour. Stir in the meat and prepared wild plants. The batter should not be like dough, but it should not be watery, either.

In a heavy skillet, heat oil for frying. You should have about ¼ to ½ inch of oil. More won’t hurt. Drop tablespoons of the batter into the hot oil. When the bottom is brown, turn and brown the other side. Watch to make sure they don’t burn. If you fry too slowly, they become greasy. When done, remove fritters from oil with a slotted spoon, and drain on paper towels. Serve with mustard, barbecue sauce, or just eat ‘em as they are.  We had them with a green salad of new Watermelon Berry leaves, Chickweed, Lamb’s Quarter, Wild Chives, French Sorrel from my garden, and Wild Geranium Flowers. I’ll try to remember to take a picture of the salad next time.
Wild Edibles - Fritters 1
Wild Edibles cooked up into Fritters

Monday, June 6, 2011

The Simplicity Primer

Hooray! The Simplicity Primer is here at last! Some friends who have a cabin across the lake flew out and brought our mail. What a treat! And in that big box was my review copy of the new book by Patrice Lewis, The Simplicity Primer, published by World Net Daily (WND Books).

THANK YOU, Patrice, for sending The Simplicity Primer to me for review. I got a kick out of your note to me inside the front cover. I probably should have asked before copying your note here, but since it's really more about us, I didn't think you'd mind:

To Jenny & Chuck:
Most folks would say you're living the ultimate "simple life". These are the people who never met a grizzly bear face to face -- right?
I think Patrice is right about that. As I initially browsed through the book, I kept shaking my head up and down. "Simplicity" doesn't necessarily mean without complications such as a bear walking up on you. I believe that simplifying life has more to do with attitude (along with a healthy dose of determination) than anything else.

The description of the book on its back cover states, ". . . readers learn how a simple attitude adjustment can vastly affect their lives; how a few concrete changes can streamline daily life; how to stop financial leaks; how to simplify and strengthen relationships with partners and children; and how to avoid 'The Gospel According to Madison Avenue."

This book looks wonderful! I only wish I'd received it sooner so I could have been more help with her "Book Bomb" tomorrow, June 7th, which is the day of the book's official release at The idea is to have everyone who wants the book wait and order on the release date. That gets her ranking up (It's already pretty high. Congratulations Patrice!). So, head on over to and order your copy of The Simplicity Primer by Patrice Lewis.

Now, for a little about the book. I have only had a chance to skim through it, since I wanted to post something before her Book Bomb Day at Amazon. But, so far, I love it. As Patrice said in her note to me, many folks probably think my family and I live the ultimate "simple life" out here in the Alaskan bush . . . The Last Frontier . . . the Wilderness. But this book is filled with ideas that will help folks like us, as well as people in the city.  Often, we overlook the obvious or forget the basics. Patrice is a wonderful writer, and through The Simplicity Primer, she provides ideas that have me saying, "Glad that wasn't a snake, or it would have bit my nose", or "So true", or, "I never thought of that, but she's absolutely right", "I couldn't agree more". This is a very useful book.

The subtitle is "365 ideas for making life more livable". Each of the ideas gets one page. Simple, which makes it easy to read and ponder. It's not a book you have to carve out a lot of time for. Just a minute or so each day (but you'll want to read much more).  The 365 ideas are divided into twelve sections: Getting Personal, Getting Along, Teach Your Children Well, Amazing Grace, Home Is Where The Heart Is, To Your Health, Your Daily Bread, Nine-To-Five Simplicity, It's Easy Being Green (not what you may be thinking, or at least not in the "greeny, politically correct way), Time Off For Good Behavior, Nothing New Under The Sun, and Radical Simplicity.

For a more thorough description of The Simplicity Primer, go to either, or to Patrice's website about the book.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Project Appleseed

Project Appleseed - April 19, 1775 When marksmanship met history, and the heritage began . . .
Recently, I learned about Project Appleseed, an activity put on by The Revolutionary War Veterans Association (RWVA). My sons and I are thrilled that they are planning a weekend event here in Alaska! They hold these Appleseed weekends throughout the country. I'll post more about it after we've actually attended in late July. I'm sure we'll have a great time and learn more than we imagined. Check their website for an Appleseed weekend near you. Here is an excerpt from the Appleseed website that explains more about it.
"Project Appleseed is an activity of The Revolutionary War Veterans Association, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, dedicated to teaching every American our shared heritage and history as well as traditional rifle marksmanship skills.  Our volunteer instructors travel across the country teaching those who attend about the difficult choices, the heroic actions, and the sacrifices that the Founders made on behalf of modern Americans, all of whom are their “progeny.”

Our heritage program vividly portrays the Battles of Lexington and Concord with the kind of care and immediacy that is absent from most formal schooling. Modern listeners are confronted with the danger, the fear, and the heartbreaking separations that arose out of the choices made on April 19th, 1775. They are also reminded of the marksmanship skills and masterful organization that ultimately helped set the colonists on the path to success. Those who attend gain a better understanding of the fundamental choices faced by our ancestors as they began to set the stage for the nation we now enjoy."
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...