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From the Sequoia National Forest of California, check out our latest recipes and thoughts.

Kids taste scorpion candy

Kids taste scorpion candy

“We can just eat it but not eat the scorpion part. Are you with me?” asks Alastair and the boys set off on their goal wondering if the dead and dried scorpion is going to sting them while they suck on the sucker. The kids also crowd source an answer to the important question: “Does…

Here are three methods to preserve your lemons with salt!

Here are three methods to preserve your lemons with salt!

Since you are even looking at this post, I assume you either love North African food or you have 337 ripe lemons on your tree in the backyard and you’re wondering what in the world to do with them. I offer you three tasty ideas. Preserved lemons sound exotic to those of us in North…

Opening a can of Pillsbury crescent rolls, like a jack-in-the-box?

Opening a can of Pillsbury crescent rolls, like a jack-in-the-box?

Inspired by the popular Facebook meme, the Half Pints opened a tube of Pillsbury crescent rolls for the first time. Do you remember the first time? It had been many years since I’d even been around a can of rolls or biscuits that I have to admit, it was a lot of fun and brought…

Herbs for hair loss in a lesson from India

Herbs for hair loss in a lesson from India

Amanda’s note: Here is another wonderful contribution from Ramya Venkateshwaran who writes from her home in India. Ramya describes traditional remedies for hair loss. Find her on her website WildTurmeric.net for more ideas on healthy living. ~~~Hair loss is a common problem for both men and women and it is only increasing over the years….

Kids taste “ant candy” and even survive

Kids taste “ant candy” and even survive

What would kids do if faced with tasting ant candy? The Half Pints work it out, eating as little ant as possible. Some quotes: “I think I tasted a little bit of ant!” “Can we get this candy without ants?” “Why would people want to eat ant candy?

 Flavors of the Forest

Take a walk and find something edible. Taste it in a tea. Taste it in a soda. Taste it in a cocktail. ;) Taste it. Check out these tasting ideas. (Read more about our flavors here.)


Try some of these bay leaf uses. You’ll be amazed.

Try some of these bay leaf uses. You’ll be amazed.

As part of our adventures on “The Lost Road” (here) discovering new flavors, tracking wild beasts, and simply getting fresh air and exercise, my boys challenged me to use bay leaf in a new way and we have been enjoying bay leaf dessert treats ever since. You probably know bay leaf as that leaf you…

Dandelion jelly — Your springtime meadow in a jar

Dandelion jelly — Your springtime meadow in a jar

From the mountains of dandelions we have gathered in the forest (that I have raved about for the past couple of weeks), I had to do it. I tried the jelly. The jelly is a lot of work and so I had put it off until this season, but it was a fun project. The…

Turn these weedy flowers into culinary treasures and even improve your skin!

Turn these weedy flowers into culinary treasures and even improve your skin!

This year was really our dandelion year. We’ve been gearing up for the last few: gathering a small batch here and there in the spring and making little recipes. This year we went big with about three big harvests — one in March, one in April, and one in May. The strange weather of California…

Violets. Spring. Hope. Renewal. Frivolity.

Violets. Spring. Hope. Renewal. Frivolity.

Amanda’s note: I offer you another post from Carol Little of Studio Botanica. Carol is about as bananas over edible flowers as anyone I’ve ever met and she suggested we need a post here on violets, a favorite spring time flower. We do not have mountains of violets in our area and so I was…

Gather this berry in the forest and then season your salad with it ;)

Gather this berry in the forest and then season your salad with it ;)

Herbal vinegars are a fun hobby. They are quite simple to make: place and herb in vinegar and let it sit. Strain out the herb and use the vinegar. It is so easy, in fact, that many of us have a shelf of vinegar ready to be used on something and we wait patiently on…

What's Hot

Whether it's a forest flavor, a turmeric flavor from India, or grandma's simple salad, these are the most popular posts on our site.

It’s the world’s healthiest chocolate and served with pumpkin. You can’t go wrong.

It’s the world’s healthiest chocolate and served with pumpkin. You can’t go wrong.

On our first snow as we shivered getting used to the suddenly-freezing temperatures, this warm drink was fun to make and a huge hit with all ages. I used fresh pumpkin puree. You could use puree of any winter squash. Of course, you could also use canned pumpkin puree. Substitute a strong cocoa drink for…

Strawberry lemonade concentrate — A new beverage experience

Strawberry lemonade concentrate — A new beverage experience

Strawberry season hits in the valley below us about two months before our own berries begin to ripen. Strawberries cause the two little guys in this house to go into orbit. Alastair got the attention of all the shoppers at a local fruit stand when he squealed “stwawbawwies!” Then he announced to anyone who would…

These simple citrus salts may make you very popular among your friends…

These simple citrus salts may make you very popular among your friends…

Last year I was inspired by Heidi Swanson’s post to make my own citrus salts. The process is such a no-brainer, drop-dead easy one! Heidi offers suggestions on how to most enjoy these salts as “finishing” salts on things like avocado slices. I was inspired. It took me a whole year to work on the…

Friends thought Hidden Valley had stolen this ranch dressing from us but it’s a classic that predates the bottle…

Friends thought Hidden Valley had stolen this ranch dressing from us but it’s a classic that predates the bottle…

Who doesn’t love ranch salad dressing? Homemade ranch dressing is that much better. Ranch dressing may be the most requested dressing in restaurants. Before ranch dressing became a commercial blockbuster, I made this type of dressing for sandwiches at home. When Hidden Valley hit the market some decades ago, my friends thought Hidden Valley had…

Turmeric Benefits, Uses: The weird and the wild and the really orange…

Turmeric Benefits, Uses: The weird and the wild and the really orange…

You have likely heard of turmeric and its cancer-preventing and disease-inhibiting property curcumin, at least if you have eyes to read or ears to hear. It is now the most-studied spice on the planet. It has a long history of use in traditional medicine and increasingly is being recognized in western circles. We are here…


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