pine brine

I made a regular brine & added fresh groun pine needles to the brine. I brined a cornish hen (small chicken) for ~20 hrs, then cooked it. Good results, except not enough pine flavor, so next time more pine.

I also used the pine brine to boil collard greens in, but it didn’t work as a side since the greens were salty.

A good side is quinoa with sauteed wild mushrooms, but don’t add much salt to the side, because the meat is so salty, otherwise it’ll be an imbalanced plate.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

an off-topic comment about a book

I want to mention that the only author in the world to ever receive all the major awards for a sci-fi/fantasy (including Hugo & Nebula) is about to release a novel that’s for many is one of the most anticipated novels of 2015:

The Grace of Kings (The Dandelion Dynasty)

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

pigeon pea & veggie soup (including fresh common mallow) with detoxified pickled Lactarius and detoxified Amanita muscaria

I’ve found adding common mallow leaves to soup w/o any preparation besides chopping works well, because it softens up nicely during the cooking process. Mallow can also survive sub-freezing temperatures to a good degree, so it remains available in many climates for a long time.

Detoxified pickled Lactarius adds some acid, and should be added after cooking to retain its acidity.
Detoxified A. muscaria stipes I find best, because I don’t want to drown out the flavor of the caps (stipes are not as flavorful). I sauteed them in butter, then added at the end. This allows them to take on a buttery note, while nothing else does, making them also uniquely flavored in the soup.

(Pic attached).

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

roadside foraging

Perhaps underlying my points in the attached are inconsistencies in how people make foraging decisions vs other eating decisions.

Isn’t it funny that many people will eat produce from grocery stores and restaurants that were grown with herbacides, pesticides, fungicides, and lots of fertilizer on otherwise low-nutrient dirt that came from farms w/in 50′, and sometimes 15′ of busy roadsides, but when it comes to foraging, they’ll not eat fruits of plants or fungi that grew w/in 100′ of a not-so-busy roadside? Unless there’s good evidence something is dangerous to eat at times from near roadsides (e.g., daily eating of a mushroom that takes up heavy metals from a busy roadside), I doubt a person is better off avoiding roadside foraging. I’d wonder if generally roadside foraging is better than most farmed produce.

Does it really matter if only 5% of one’s total diet is from roadside foraged foods?

We can guess and theorize at all of the above, but after all is said and done, the biggest danger of roadside foraging is getting hit by a car.

Sam Schaperow, MSMFT, LMFT
Clinical Director (Psychology CT)
Based in New London County in Connecticut

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

foraging near roads, etc.

I commented on this topic in an article:

Use the above link, search for “schaperow”, then you’ll see it.

Or, to see some or a segment of the section I was in, see the picture in this blog entry.

Sam Schaperow, LMFT

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

A. muscaria flavor analysis & w/stipes vs. caps

A. muscaria flavor analysis & w/stipes vs. caps.

via A. muscaria flavor analysis & w/stipes vs. caps.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

A. muscaria flavor analysis & w/stipes vs. caps

(Also posted to my blog,

I’ve now tried 2 specimens of fresh, post-boiled, A. muscaria. I continue to find the stipes are pretty bland, while the caps are pretty flavorful (even a tad of sweetness). But, my 2 specimens were both immature. So, I can’t say this holds for all. Also, I’m using Amanita muscaria var guessowii.

I find the 10-minute boiled caps to be sufficiently flavorful to enjoy w/o even adding salt or doing anything beyond boiling.

Tasting and spitting a piece of cap w/o cooking showed me more about its flavor. It has a good well-rounded flavor (umami, I suppose), along with a nice sweetness (different than some other mushrooms w/sweetness, typically found in stipes, and different than sugar or other sweeteners, I’d so far say) that makes it especially enjoyable.

Of course, it could be interesting to see how adding things like wild northern bay or spice berries to the boiling water would alter the experience.


P.S. I have a feeling in the only person in CT who’s now (December) eating fresh, previously cooked, A. muscaria. But, I’d like to know if I’m wrong.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment