Our son told us that last week a friend of his went foraging in the rural ditches around Brookings, SD, and came home with 75 pounds of asparagus. My mother loved asparagus, and said they used to find it in the ditches and along the fence lines in Pipestone County when she was a girl. She was saddened when spraying and mowing of ditches eliminated it. I bet she would be really happy to know that, with reduced used of herbicides and ditch mowing, the asparagus is back. She was reduced to buying canned asparagus when I was a child, fresh asparagus an unheard of commodity in the Luverne grocery store. She lived to be 92. All her aunts and uncles lived into their 90’s, too. She said it was because of all the dark, homemade bread they ate. I bet they ate asparagus from the Pipestone County ditches, since that is where they lived.
My paternal grandmother was a very picky eater who would only eat pork and sweets. She hated vegetables. She wouldn’t eat asparagus if her life depended on it. She lived to be 91. My dad didn’t like vegetables, but he loved strong coffee and really spicy food. He lived to be 93. I guess spice and sweets and pork and asparagus are aids to longevity.
Our Italian landlords in Winnipeg were avid mushroom hunters and found loads of mushrooms to eat in the middle of Winnipeg. We attended a mushroom dinner at the Dante Alighieri Cultural Society to which they belonged, and the food was incredible. All the mushrooms were foraged from Winnipeg and surrounding environs. One of the members had married a non-Italian University of Manitoba biologist who vetted all the mushrooms for safety. Imagine every pasta and Italian meat dish you can think of filled with mushrooms.
I spent last weekend at our grandson’s baptism with a bunch of our son’s in-laws who are picky eaters, people who wouldn’t touch asparagus or mushrooms or anything spicy. They love fast food. It makes me sad.
How would you define your eating habits? Do you forage? Know any picky eaters?