Ah, the joys of foraging for food. It does my heart good whenever I can get something to eat for only the cost of a little bit of labor. Twice I've found apples on neglected apple trees - enough to juice, making into apple crisp and freeze for pies in the winter. With my limited freezer space now that we've downsized this is a challenge, but I'm rising to it, squishing things ever which way into the bottom of my new fridge, which I hate. I think we're going to actually buy a tiny freezer chest meant for boats from our neighbor and stick it in our closet. (Hey, a girl's gotta do what a girl's gotta do.) But, back to the foraging. Yesterday my friend Kathy and I went into the deep dark woods in search of Chanterelle mushrooms. These things are costly (currently $12.99 a pound), so finding them is like finding gold.
They are costly in other ways, too. I always forget in between seasons how filthy I get wading through ferns and climbing over fallen branches. Appropriate 'shrooming attire is old jeans, flannel shirts and ran coats and sturdy shoes. I wore my workout pants, which, sadly don't cover the bottom of my legs. And I paid dearly for my lapse. As we were forging a path out of the woods we traipsed through a patch of ferns. And let me tell you, I traipsed fearlessly. It was only when we were three-quarters of the way through that I realized I was also going through stinging nettles. I'm sure you can guess how I figured this out. Yow!
One remedy for stinging nettles is to rub the underside of a fern on the affected area. I enlisted the aid of several ferns and thought I had the problem licked ... until I was in the car on the way home and then my legs began stinging like crazy.
And I almost went crazy trying to fix the problem. Calamine lotion didn't really do it so I tried Noxema (my go-to recipe for sunburn). That didn't help. Then I read on line about using duct tape or masking tape to get the little stickies off. That, I think would have worked much better if I hadn't previously coated my legs with lotion.
Ah, well. The stinging finally subsided by bedtime and today I'm enjoying my mushroom harvest. Can hardly wait to go again. But next time I'm wearing the proper uniform.