my foraging

I am first to arrive –

under the ruins, you are watching,
in the daylight, in the back of your spine

you will be the eyes
the piercing tense, the calamities

and the 

clear sky of a writer
and her medieval fingers

         I can be the descendant
        of the land unknown to you

   robust yet intangible
   words penned with black salivas    
   uncombed, explicit and sober

your empty hands foraging my sanity

and my ink bleeds in disguise

O, purple fixation, asphyxiation 

on my neck, your palms 

and the breaths of mourning

turning blue, turning bruises black

/&

I am last to leave –

D C de Oliveira
24.10.2017

Foraging was a success yesterday! My best friend Maya and I didn’t find a lot but we found enough. Lobster mushrooms, slippery jacks, and one single cute wee puffball. We found some boletes we weren’t familiar with too, took a few home to identify and test. I also gathered some old mans beard moss.

‘Kids Will Climb Into Ovens To Roast Themselves Alive’: 5 Questions With Gordon Ramsay

With a culinary empire that includes dozens of top-tier restaurants and numerous hit TV shows, Gordon Ramsay is the food world’s biggest star. He was kind enough to sit down with us and share some of the secrets behind his astronomical success as a chef and entertainer.

1. You just wrapped up your fifth season of

MasterChef Junior.

How does working in a kitchen full of kid chefs differ from working in one full of adults?

It requires a lot more patience and attention. If you turn away for even a moment during a challenge, all the kids will climb into their ovens to roast themselves alive. If you don’t accompany them to the pantry, they’ll inevitably stuff a seabass full of forks and radishes and use a pressure cooker to turn it into a dirty bomb. You can’t get mad at them—kids will be kids, after all—but you’ve really got to watch them closely.

2. What is the most important factor in putting together a successful dish?

It all comes down to ingredients. Use only the best, most stunning ingredients, and source them as locally as possible. I try to only use ingredients that can be found within a 10-meter radius of my kitchen, which essentially amounts to whatever can be foraged from my laundry room and bathroom. That may sound limiting, but it’s not. Nothing dances on the taste buds quite like the L.A. Looks hair gel I find under my bathroom sink. There’s no better aromatic to brighten up a roast than the dryer sheets in find in the cupboard above my washing machine. Trust me, local is the way to go.

3. Your name is synonymous with fine dining, but do you have any culinary guilty pleasures? Perhaps some junk foods you secretly like to pig out on?

In the U.K. we have this snack called Gromfrey’s Aerated, which is basically warm cod fanny that’s been whipped into a parfait and stuffed into a tube of sheep intestine with large deposits of salt and wet wool—sort of like a British Twinkie. Anyway, the Gromfrey’s Wagon comes around every morning at sunrise, and when I’m back home I’ll invariably be the first one out to greet it, eagerly waving a fistful of quid while the schoolchildren queue up behind me, all of us chanting the famous jingle, “Lord Gromfrey, Lord Gromfrey! Bring us your hot and viscous treat! Lord Gromfrey, Lord Gromfrey! Our favorite aerated meat!” It’s all empty calories and sodium, but I can’t get enough.

4. If you could give aspiring chefs one piece of advice, what would it be?

Keep your damn cock-hole the size it is. Don’t go stretching it out to the point that it hardly functions as a cock-hole anymore. Just stick with the cock-hole size God gave you, and work with its limitations. I see so many great young chefs get ruined by thinking they need this gigantic cock-hole like Wolfgang Puck or Daniel Boulud. No. Sure, cock-hole size plays a part in being a great chef, we all know that, but it’s just one of the three factors that go into creating great cuisine. Don’t let it hold you back.

5. What is one trait you’ve noticed that great chefs have in common?

A very large cock-hole.

Dude.  Dudes.  Look what I found today!

It’s a giant puffball mushroom!  I’ve never seen a giant one before!  I used to play with these things when I was a kid, but those were always little like… tennis ball sized at best.  

Fun fact I didn’t know until recently:  Puffballs are edible.  I didn’t intend to take it home with me, but I broke it away from its base while I was checking it out, so home with me it came.

Don’t worry - I cross-referenced it extensively online and double checked with someone who knows mushrooms first.  It’s definitely a puffball, and definitely safe to eat.  I cooked some up with onions and steak for dinner and it was super tasty.  Gonna be trying a bunch of puffball recipes over the next few days because daaang I have a lot of mushroom to use up.

New foraging toy for the hedgies! I’m super excited about this one, it was made specifically for small mammals like rabbits, guinea pigs, etc. There are three levels of difficulty to it as well, and I think the hedgehogs should be able to handle all three pretty well. I’m going to be trying it out on Pancake tonight! Will update tomorrow on if she gets her treats out. :) 

2

I don’t think I’ve shared this here yet, but my two animations, Forage and Really Lost, made it into our college’s student art gallery last term! I was amazed and excited that it got accepted, since it’s the first time the school has displayed an animation :)

Packing up forest treasures for their new owners today. I love filling a box up with forest finds I’ve foraged on my hikes. It feels like I’m building a miniature version of where I am from to share with people. I know some folks don’t live near forests so I hope these little boxes bring a bit of calm, delight, and wonder to their day. A little whisper of how it feels to wander through the majestic temperate rainforests I have the honour of being near. 🌲🍄🌿

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