The day after tomorrow is Mabon, the Autumn Equinox, which in the Celtic calendar marks the high-time of this season. As Kim and I are both children of Autumn, this is always a special time of year for us. Also, there is still much to discover in Nature, which may also be found on the plate of one or another meal, later.
Last week the storm Sebastian swept over Germany with partial hurricane-like gusts – it also did so over our hometown Hamburg. A few days later, we had an appointment near the Osdorfer Feldmark and of course connected it with a walk through the landscape conservation area. There, one could still see some effects of the storm.
Everywhere whole pieces of branches were lying along the wayside, mostly from the oaks. The fruits of these trees also lay on the paths, mostly still green. Also, many beech nuts had come down and it even had torn the berries from the whitethorn bushes.
On our walk we gathered some stuff from the wayside – some for decoration, but a lot will also enter our diet. So also the two apples, which we found near the duck pond, which we like to visit before our walks. It should be mentioned at this point that in Germany, as far as I know, it is permitted to collect supplies from what grows by the wayside for one’s own use outside of parks and nature reserves – even in the landscape conservation areas. Of course, one may be mindful here, too, that one leaves enough plants and fruits in nature. After all, the plants are supposed to continue to grow, and they feed not only us, but also many other creatures, to whom they often also offer protection and a home.
We also had some animal encounters on our walk. The ducks and the coots at the duck pond kept their distance, this time. The fish were quite busy though, due to the high water level. We saw them only from afar, however, as we did not dare to step onto the little landing stage, which offers a view over the pond. The latter was filled with water so much after the storm and rain that it nearly overflowed. In the Feldmark we met more horses than usual on the pastures and they were already wrapped in warm blankets. A few dogs from the farms ran past us and the crows were very busy and talkative. We also still met a few snails of different species and sizes. When we came out of the Feldmark, even a bird of prey – probably a buzzard – flew across the road and landed directly in the trees on the wayside of the path which lay before us. We believe, it might have chosen the adjacent allotment gardens as a particularly clearly arranged hunting territory, for it flew there from one flagpole to the other, and for a while there we three looked at each other and acquainted ourselves with each other’s energies.
There are hardly any photos of this walk. I created a picture of the collected treasures of our walk. Only the two apples I forgot to add.
At the time when I am writing this post, the collected bounty was not yet processed. However, we already have a few ideas that we will be implementing, later.
As I often mention our diet, here, I still wanted to add a recipe. At the beginning of the month, we processed some apples from the wayside into a vegan spread, which we prefer to use instead of lard. The three jars that came out of it can now sit until the holidays while the flavours wed into a special savoury treat.
Below is the recipe and, at the end of the recipe, a premiere: Our very first cooking video!
- 1 Apple
- 1 Onion
- 3 Tbsps. Coconut Oil, virgin
- 1 tsp. Maple Syrup
- 1 Tbsp. dried Herbs (for example ½ Tbsp. each Thyme & Marjoram)
- 150g Coconut Oil, virgin
- Salt, Pepper
Method of Preparation:
- Peel the onion, chop into small cubes, core the apple and cube finely, as well.
- In a pot, heat 3 Tbsps. of coconut oil and roast the onion cubes in it until they get slightly brown. Be careful that the onions only take on a golden-brown colour – as soon as they get black the lard will taste bitter.
- When the onions are transparent it is time to add the apple cubes and the dried herbs, so that they get roasted with the onions, for a bit. Add the maple syrup, afterwards, and let it caramelise lightly. Then add salt and pepper to taste, stir, take off the heat and let sit for 5 – 10 minutes.
- Now, add the 150g coconut oil and stir. Mix well until the coconut oil has melted.
- This is it the time to fill the vegan lard into a suitable vessel (a 300ml twist-off jar should do), let cool a little and then set inside the fridge to harden through. Occasionally stir so that apple, onion and spices stay distributed within the mass. When it is hardened through and everything is distributed well the vegan lard can stay in the fridge or be stored in a cool storage area. It should sit and blend for at least one day and be allowed to get to room temperature before consumption so that it spreads well.
Tastes good on fresh bread with a little bit of salt on top.
Herbs and spices can be varied to according to personal preference and the vegan lard can be refined with smoked salt, as well. All according to the flavour of your favour! Those in favour of it can enhance their vegan lard-bread with some chives, chili or roasted onions, too. Instead of the dried herbs one can also use a hand full of fresh herbs.
Are you ready to be guided by Love, today?