Day 21 I’m Back!

Hey guys,

Apologies for being absent this weekend. I don’t really have a good excuse other than I didn’t want to write, and it got late in the day and I didn’t want to stay up late to think of something to write.

Today was an unexpectedly busy day. As you know, Austin started a power washing business and has been pretty successful in his first week! It’s crazy, you can work for someone else your whole life and never make enough, and the second you take matters into your own hands and start working for yourself, it all changes. I noticed that with Austin anyways (not so much myself, but my business takes a lot of time to get established...). He had 4 jobs already in his first week and almost surpassed his monthly wage from the last job he worked. It’s incredible and I’m so happy for him! This morning, we went to meet the new job he got called to do - a lake house on a little lake outside of town. It turns out that the guy who built the house in 1910 was the Oscar Meyer Weiner guy’s brother. What do you know?! I tagged along so we could go hiking afterwards, so I got to meet the couple who owned the place.


Afterwards, we found ourselves at a trailhead the couple recommended. We arrived looking for morels, but found oh so much more! The first thing we saw on the trail was a dilapidated truck from the 40's, filled with plants and rust. Surrounding it were the starts of the garlic mustard, sprouting up all around. As we continued on the trail, we found all kinds of new growth - bloodroot (don't eat it!), more garlic mustard, and a new one for me - scarlet elf cups. Now, I saw one of my friends post about the scarlet elf cups, but she is in Ireland and I didn't know they existed here until today. I saw one... then another... then a cluster... hell, they were everywhere under the leaf litter! Though we didn't find any morels, we found plenty of the scarlet elf cups, and I decided to collect a few to try out in my food today. As we continued along the trail, we saw other edibles, one of them being cowslip. My favorite foraging YouTuber talks about cowslip in one of his videos. I started designing a t-shirt yesterday with a painting of cowslip on a pile of shit with "beauty blooms from the shit" written above it. I will share all of this on Instagram or my blog whenever I can find a minute to sort through my pictures and finish the painting (thank goodness for rain the next three days!). Anyway, Alfie explains in the video that historically, cowslip would grow straight out of cow shit, and the old english word for cowslip literally translates to cow shit. I thought it was funny and wanted to make it into a shirt.


We walked down by a watery part of the trail and found a whole slew of cowslip! Here, it is called marsh marigold, and looks a little different than the cow slip I've seen on the internet, but in my foraging book it is indeed both. Though not entirely edible raw, it is edible if you cook it through many times. That's okay, I will pass... but if I find a different kind of primrose I will try it out somehow!


I was so pumped about those elf cups though, I had to fry them up in some vegan butter and give them a go. Which is what I did when I got home. I was a bit nervous to try them... they didn't get the cleanest underneath because they've been eating decaying branches... but I mustered up the courage and put one in my mouth... surprisingly, they tasted like shiitake mushrooms!! I ate another... and another... then decided to let them be to make sure my body liked them and didn't react in a negative way. So, when it came time for dinner, I decided to put them on the vegan burger my mother in law and I crafted up together. Man... between the lentil burger, the home made buns, the scarlet elf cups, and the curry mustard we made... those burgers were bomb dot com.


I will have a new vlog and some pictures out sometime this week about this!


I really reallyyyyyyy need to start writing earlier because here I am again, 10 pm! I love you guys, thank you for sticking around through my madness. Hopefully someday I will get into a steady routine with this to be able to write more.


Much love!!


Ashley

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