I grew up in New York City, so I’m not that familiar with foraging. But, presented with the idea of a guided tour to forage through a park and then cook the goods, I was curious. Despite complete trust in my friend Marc of No Recipes, I still had to double check. “Marc, I’m not going to die right?” I asked a few times, but he mostly just chuckled and said no one died last year. So I was taking a risk by joining in Forage & Feast a Lab 24/7 event, but I am still alive 4 days later, and I had a great time cooking with Stephane, Ulla, Giff, and others. We picked Stinging Nettles, edible Violets, and Fiddleheads. We dug up burdock, field garlic, and ramps. My favorite was the Japanese Knotweed.

Picture by Marc Matsumoto

I wish I had taken pictures, especially of the Japanese Knotweed. It is an invasive species that grows wild in many NYC parks as well as some backyards. It’s actually very pretty with a green stem that has pink speckles, and knots like a bamboo stalk. Young stems are juicy and reminiscent of rhubarb, a fresh and tart flavor. As the stems get older, they become more fibrous, eventually woody, and they are hollow.

So I had an idea for a cocktail. Young stems were peeled and muddled, mixed with Stone’s Ginger Currant Wine and soda to make a light and refreshing cocktail. The older stems were used as the straws in the cocktail. Awesome right?

If you’re thinking, yes Jessica, that’s rad, but I’m never going to go out and forage Japanese Knotweed… then forget that. Just sign up to win these shiny Mikasa Bottle Stoppers. This matching set of 4 will be sent to a randomly selected winner. All you have to do is leave a comment here (and a way for me to contact you) by Friday, April 23 at 3pm. Sorry, shipping to the US only (but you can enter as a non-U.S resident and give your prize to someone you know in the US if you want).

Mikasa Bottle Stoppers 5

Just writing up this give-away made me happy. I think I’ll be giving away more stuff from now on…

The winner is number 36…

Jessica! You have the same name as me!

posted by jessica at 07:58 AM Filed under Cocktails and Liquor, Drinks, Give-Aways, Un-Recipes. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.