Advanced Foraging Class–August 2017!

coral mushroom small

A coral mushroom. They can be delicious, or make you regret eating them. Do you know how to tell?  Click the image to learn about the class.

Did you know that if you learn the process of taxonomy and telltales, the number of plants you can forage goes from a handful to tens of thousands. For example, if you learn how to differentiate the mustard family, you have added over 80,000 species to your list of forage plants.

In this advanced class, we will take an in depth look at plant and fungus taxonomy, the use of telltales, and reinforce it all with daily field expeditions to give students opportunity to practice what they’ve learned.

Classes are kept small to give each student personal attention.
Only one month away. Register soon!
Twa Corbies Hollow Homestead & Bushcraft School is located in semi-remote northeast Nova Scotia, roughly one hour from Antigonish.
Click the image for full details:
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A Day In the Canoe

It’s a fine July day in the Canadian north woods. Let’s get in the canoe and glide over a lake. Who knows . . . we might find some interesting things. Perhaps even some lovely Labrador tea.

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July 2017: Wild Foraging Class Almost Here!

Only one week til the July foraging class. There are still a few openings. Get ’em while they’re hot! First come, first served!

To find out more, click the image:

coral mushroom small

A coral mushroom. They can be delicious, or make you regret eating them. Do you know how to tell?

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ForestNS Loves Nova Scotia’s Great Outdoors!

They love Nova Scotia woods so much, soon there will be none left.

logger love clear cut“No one loves the forest more than the people who care for it.
We live, work and play in the forest – it’s a part of our lives.”

Quoted from ForestNS’ propaganda video: Taking Care of Our Forests.

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First Foraging Class Next Week!

beaked hazelnut small.jpgOnly one week til the first foraging class of the season! And the forage is abundant this year! Looking forward to seeing all the students. Some are returning for a refresher.

 

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Cliff’s Quick Pugliese

first pugliese smallToday, through pure serendipity, I invented a short cut to pugliese bread that uses whole wheat flour, durum flour, and mashed potatoes and skips the need for the preparation of a biga. I baked it a couple hours ago and, without exaggeration, it is the best bread I have ever tried in my entire life. I am glad I wrote down the recipe and preparation method. It takes very little kneading but about 24 hrs to chill, rise and ferment before baking.

Cliff’s Quick Pugliese

1.5 cups ww flour
.5 cups durum flour
3 oz potatoes mashed smooth
1 tspn yeast
1 1/4 cups water
1 tspn sea salt
1 heaping tspn white or golden sugar
2 ice cubes

Preparation:

In a mixing bowl, without adding water, thoroughly blend ww flour, durum flour and sea salt.

Heat 1 1/4 cups water to about 90F or lukewarm. Pour water into 500 ml or larger jar. Add 1 heaping tspn sugar and dissolve. Add 1 tspn yeast and stir in. Let sit 20 minutes in a warm place til the yeast is vigorous and foaming well over the water.

Add mashed potatoes to flour blend, and yeast-water. Stir with wooden or plastic paddle til it is the consistency of wet paste. Slowly sprinkle in more ww flour and stir til it is more like a damp putty that you can then work by hand.

Dust hands in ww flour and knead for five minutes in bowl, thoroughly blending yeast-water and mashed potatoes with all the other ingredients. If some dough does not stick to your hands, it is too dry. If so, carefully add just a little more warm water. It should be the consistency of damp putty.

After 5 minutes kneading, cover the bowl so it is sealed and place in refrigerator. Let chill for 12 hours. This encourages a glutinous texture.

The next day, remove from fridge and remove cover. Cover with wet towel and place in warm area to rise and ferment for 6 to 8 hours.

Preheat oven to 400F.

Dust a work area with ww flour. Gently remove from bowl onto dusted surface. Flip so top and bottom now have dusting of ww flour. Gently shape dough into a rounded cake. The dough should be air filled, rubbery and glutinous now. Pinch outside and pull out then wrap over, drawing the stretched dough toward the center. Do this all around the dough ball, reforming the ball. This encourages air in the dough and develops the gluten.

Lightly oil a baking sheet and gently place ball of dough on it. It should 8 to 10 inches in diameter at this point. Gently round the sides. Score the top with a sharp knife in a cross pattern.

Place two ice cubes in a small, metal bowl and place in a corner of the oven. This will create humidity that helps form a chewy crust.

Dust the top of the dough with ww flour.

Spray the dough ball with cold water.

Place in oven and let bake at 400F for 40 minutes.

Remove and let cool 20 minutes before serving.

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Into a Listless Spring

Last winter may have crashed over the highlands like a tidal wave, but spring was fickle. Weakly warm days gave way to snow at the slightest breath of northern breeze, and snow gave way to balmy rain when the breeze turned to the south. Only timidly did the sun ever peek through the clouds long enough to make a difference. Yet bit by sure bit, spring took hold and the meadows and woods slowly greened beneath lengthening days. Let’s head into the back country and discover the forest the moment after it wakens from its long, cold slumber.

 

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Into the Woods: Barnyard Forage–Wild Mustard, Lamb’s Quarter, Red Clover & Stitchwort

As winter struggles to keep hold its grip of our mountain hollow, and spring comes listlessly, let us hearken back to late last summer again and enjoy a little warm sun and soft green grass, the braying of goats and the clucking of hens, as we learn about some of the forage to be found in the rich, hoof and claw turned soil around barns. In particular, we’ll examine wild mustard and lamb’s quarter.

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Due to Demand, Second June Foraging Class Being Offered

king-bolete-cep

Click here to go to the second June foraging class page.

The June foraging class has filled up. Because I am still getting many requests, I have decided to offer a second June class. Those of you wanting to take part but who weren’t able to register on time for the first class, here’s your chance. Please register quickly. Once it’s full, that will be it for June.

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2017 Classes

twa corbiesThe full roster of 2017 classes is now up.  Just go to the top and look up Twa Corbies Courses.  This year, you’ll find classes on foraging, cheesemaking, survival and bushcraft for the fun of it.  More courses will likely be added over the next month on organic gardening, brewing and other essential back-to-basics skills, but at this time we have a full roster available.  Email me if you have questions.

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