Sunday, August 31, 2008

Le Retour du Foragers!

"T.Mixeur, you have Le Mixeur Cinq to prepare for. October 4th will come sooner than you would believe. Surely you do not have time to pursue such cherished, yet unrelated, endeavors as monitoring the life span of your beloved wild berries of the old growth forests!"

"Mon cher ami, it is for pursuits such as these that god created three day weekends. The third day of such weekends are when we may wander into the forest with utmost serenity, without forced effort or pretense, and find ourselves obeying the edict of the pre-Catholic, Monastic era Irish: Do Simple Things With Perfect Love."

Faites Des Choses Simples Avec L'amour Parfait.




The Hawthorne berries are ripe and ready to be picked along the sunny edge of the forest, looking out over Lake Washington. Competition for these berries is none, as they are mostly tasteless and feature only a thin layer of flesh encasing a large seed. Their benefits: a slight tangy tinge on each side of the tongue, a lingering tickle on the front, and powerful medicinal value to the heart...which we need to work well.




Yes, cherries grow wild here. Rainier Cherries. They are not ripe yet. A few weeks more. Then a full report.



These are unripe Evergreen Huckleberries. Some are ripe, these are not. Were we to throw Berry parties, Evergreen Huckleberries would be the staple. Sweet enough to satisfy any palate, complex enough to pacify palates of particular refinement. The Cointreau of the berry world, one might say.



The Salal berries have been lingering, ripe on their branches, for too long. They still will provide sustenance, but nothing in the way of flavor. See you next year, Salal. Thanks for all your hard work.



Alcohol is hard on the kidneys. Horse Tail is perhaps their most beloved salve. Horse Tail predates human kidneys by hundreds of millenniums. During all those years before we came along, how did it have the wisdom to know it would one day save us all?



Horse Tail needles fit neatly in my hip pouch pocket. Party in T.Mixeur's kidneys this eve!




Oregon Grape is everywhere right now. Everywhere. It is sour, bitter, astringent, filled with seeds, and oddly delectable.

And it was Oregon Grape, le O.G., that inspired me to turn all this foraging into a cocktail venture.

O.G. (Original Gangsta) Liqueur

6 oz Boca Loca Cachaca
1/4 cup Oregon Grape
teaspoon agave nectar

muddle grapes gently, add cachaca and agave, stir
let sit, covered, for two hours
strain out grapes with fine mesh strainer


And this was good. Why with cachaca? Call it a hunch. The grapes bled their juice into the cachaca, turning it purple. Yet the flavor of the grapes was subtle enough to not mask any of that cachaca sweet-funky.

Let's make a drink with it, shall we?

O.G. Ice-T

2 oz O.G. Liqueur
1/2 oz lime
1/2 oz ginger syrup
dash peach bitters

shake and strain into cocktail glass
garnish with a lemon twist


Here's what part of it looks like:


(T.Mixeur enjoyed a few sips before photographing...blush, blush)

Enough simple things and perfect love. There's a Mixeur to be planned.

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