It’s very easy to forget that there is magic in food. But just imagine if every day we tucked a small amount of appreciation and magic onto our plates? If we braided in a dash of adventure or tried something new in the simplest of forms? I long to bring the same discovery and nourishment to the table for my family. I am here, nestled in a home in the woods, cooking and baking for my family with foraged and earth-grown goods. These are my tales from a forager’s kitchen.
It began when I was pregnant with our first baby girl. I don’t think anything or anyone quite prepares you for motherhood. The all encompassing way it simultaneously strips a woman down yet builds them up and adds a new meaning to every corner and essence of life is astounding. It changed me from the inside out. The love for my girls fuels me on such intense levels, and there is no greater joy than to be their mother. Nothing will ever top that. To be in the kitchen cooking meals or baking goods for the bear and them makes me feel human again. It wasn't until I lost myself in motherhood as some women do, that I actually ended up finding myself in a whole new way. I found myself there in the kitchen, standing with a sleeping baby strapped to my chest and holding goods from my own backyard. Slicing an ingredient that I’d never worked with before, gave me a feeling of curiosity and wonder and I longed to bring the same discovery and nourishment to the table for my family. I found when I nourished my mind as a Mother, I was able to give more of myself to my little ones.
I began to collect recipes. Writing them down one by one until finally I felt like I could share them with someone else. I put together a proposal and got connected with Rodale Publishing in the Spring of 2016 and I still have to blink my eyes in humble amazement that I received the opportunity to write and produce a cookbook.
My hope for the cookbook is to provoke an essence of allowing ourselves permission to dream again, to look at food and meals and the act of cooking and baking with such appreciation and wonderment. To remain open to the inevitable change that drifts into our world. To reconnect with that bewilderment that we have all felt as children and marvel at life as grown adults. Imagine a child picking cattails by a lake just as they start to bloom and expand in pollen. The lake is so calm and the tails reach up towards the clear sky. Plucking each section of fur-like pollen to throw in the air to be joined with the wind. Over and over and over, she tosses the pollen. She is not thinking of what task needs to be completed next or what is due, when. There is so much happiness in her eyes and she is completely present in that glorious fluttered, magical moment. I want to bottle up this feeling and somehow pour it into our adult lives, onto our table and offer it to our families using ingredients that are foraged, gathered at the farmers market, grown, or even found from the most conventional of grocery stores.
With over 80 recipes and foraging tips, Tales from a Forager's Kitchen: the ultimate field guide to evoke curiosity and wonderment is currently available for pre-order! Photography by Matt Lien. Illustrations by Bear Fox Chalk. For more samples and excerpts from the cookbook, please visit me on Instagram. Thank you for your support for our family through the purchase of this upcoming book! It is truly a piece of our hearts, in written form and I look forward to sharing it with you.