So it turns out that foraging for food is not the most productive use of one’s time. Nevertheless, I’ve always loved searching for anything food related (mushrooms, berries, chocolate eggs, etc.). It’s like a treasure hunt, even more so because you get to eat your booty! Still, it wasn’t until I recently picked up a pine cone and saw a pine nut literally fall out of it and into my lap, that I realized that pine nuts really and truly do come from pine cones and not from some mysterious magical pine tree factory manned by very wealthy little elves (because I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but pine nuts are expensive!).
Within a short period of time, I’ve become a bit of a pine nut addict. As I walk the streets of our village, I constantly scan the ground for the errant fallen pine cone and whenever I find one, it’s enough to cheer me up for at least 45 minutes (unless the pine nuts are rotten or have already been picked out by birds in which case I descend into half a minute of bleak despair). Unfortunately, my overall success rate has been rather low.
That may look impressive but it’s from about a month of foraging efforts.
Frustratingly, I have discovered that the biggest bonanza of pine cones in the vicinity is tantalizingly close yet completely inaccesible. On the way down to the kids’ school there is an enormous house on a hill with fences all around it. Just on the other side of the fence that goes along next to the sidewalk there are literally hundreds of pine cones, all bursting with pine nuts. Everyday I walk wistfully past them but aside from one exciting day when I made Alex literally pry the chain link fence up in order to scoop out the the nearest pine cones, they are completely out of reach. People must wonder what it is that I’m doing when I suddenly stop while trudging up the hill and then proceed to stare balefully into the wires of the fence for several minutes before giving an extravagant sigh and continuing up the hill.
A more satisfying venture has been harvesting the olives from the olive tree in my garden!
(That portion of a playpen you see behind the tree is usefully holding up the tomato plants).
Look how beautiful! And I didn’t even get pine sap all over my hands when I picked them! Now they are busy curing in a bucket of brine.
Then what will I do with all those olives? Here are 6 yummy recipes using olives!