This Sunday I was suppose to go out and gather skunk cabbage with friends. Starting last night all but one started calling with reasons they couldn't come. So we decided to try again on Wednesday. Which was fine because my talented nephew invited me over for lesson on the forge. When I was younger my father use to work with me on the forge almost every weekend. He passed away when I was 17 and I lost interest in blacksmithing.
Come along my nephew, Hawken, (yes, we are rednecks, we name our children after rifles lol), and he just LOVES to work with the forge. If there is such a thing as a metal whisperer, my nephew is it. A couple months ago he volunteered to start re-teaching me how to work the forge. Forty six is a long way from seventeen though and I find I have a lot to re-learn. We had a good morning and Hawken and I made four hinges for my new summer kitchen that I will start building in March (hopefully).
We spent the afternoon gathering sap and on our way over the creek we found an area where the snow had melted and left a muddy mess. There, in the mud was a bunch of sunchokes or Jerusalem artichoke tubers.
Sunchokes are native to the tallgrass prairie and our farms are right on the edge of the taiga (big northern forests) and the tallgrass prairie. So while many people plant sunchokes in their gardens for an easy starch source, we just gather them out of the mud in the fall and spring. They are sweeter in the spring though. Here they are almost considered to be a weed plant.
So we gathered up a handful of them and took them back for a quick venison stir fry. The venison we took last fall, the broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, and garlic came out of the garden, and the sunchokes added a nice, water chestnut-like crunch. The stir fry was served over homemade egg noodles with homemade garlic soy sauce over the top.
Now I'm sitting out in the sugar shack watching maple sap become maple syrup while typing on the lap top just to prove to myself that I still live in the 21st century. lol It's been a good day, though I really need to start treating my Sundays like the day I get caught up on all the work I didn't get done the rest of the week. My basement isn't going to finish cleaning itself!