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Foraging for Edible Wild Plants (or Parts Thereof) in Winter

Wait, what? Foraging for Edible Wild Plants (or Parts Thereof) in Winter, seriously? Yup! Trust me. Don’t stop reading. Stay with me here. Gathering wild foods in Nebraska IS NOT … I repeat IS NOT just a spring, summer or fall outdoor activity, it can be done in winter. And I have done it successfully. If I can do it, you can do it! Plus foraging this time of year it helps beat the winter blues or  what is referred …

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Tapping for Liquid Gold

Story and photos by Renae Blum The tree sap begins to flow. It looks — and almost tastes — like water. But, after being boiled for an hour, it reduces into what Dan Hejl calls “liquid gold” — syrup he collects himself. It’s a tradition Hejl looks forward to every year. The Pleasant Dale, Nebraska, man collects sap from the same woods he hunts in, and gifts landowners with a jar of the highly prized black walnut syrup. Black walnut …

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Venison Pot Pie

By Jenny Nguyen-Wheatley Servings: 4 Prep Time: 15 minutes Cook Time: 4 hours and 30 minutes Ingredients: • 1 pound of venison stew meat, cut into 1-inch cubes • 1 sheet puff pastry, thawed but cold • Salt and freshly cracked pepper • 4 tbs. all-purpose flour, separated • 1 pound of baby bella mushrooms, quartered • Cooking oil • 1 medium onion, chopped • 1 medium to large carrot, peeled and large diced • 2 anchovy filets packed in …

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Stocked Trout are Fun to Catch, Healthy to Eat

They strike often. They fight hard. They are easy to clean and cook. They are wonderful to eat and have tremendous health benefits! THEY are stocked rainbow trout in Nebraska waters. A hooked, pan-sized, stocked rainbow trout puts up a fight as it nears the shoreline of the Nebraska state recreation area lake. Photo by Greg Wagner/Nebraska Game and Parks Commission. A major asset along with many of its excellent qualities as a cold-water game fish is the fact that …

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6 Favorite Wild Foods of Fall

It’s autumn. It’s heavy sweatshirt weather. It’s the season for football and pumpkin-spiced everything. And, it’s time to pick pumpkins and harvest the last of the tender crops from your vegetable garden. But, did you know that beyond the pumpkins, the squash and the tomatoes, fall marks the time of year for gathering and preparing tasty fare from wild places? Sure does. The landscape that surrounds us in Nebraska is actually more lush with wild edible material during autumn than …

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So what do you want to know about Dutch oven cooking?

I love to eat, but admittedly do not cook much. I am the chef’s sampler indeed, but not a chef. There is one thing connected to the great outdoors regarding cooking that truly intrigues and amazes me though – Dutch oven cooking. The lid is lifted off a Dutch oven containing an Apple Butter Pecan Cobbler dish ready to eat! MMMmmm … Photo by Tara Marrero of Ashland, NE. I have been around Dutch oven cooking for some time, but …

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Foraging for Wild Fruits and Berries in Nebraska

I always get rather impatient this time of year. Is it because of the weather being so hot, humid and hazy? No. Is it that the hunting seasons are just around the bend? No. Then, why? Well, I am a gatherer, a prairie wanderer, and I am anxiously waiting to harvest elderberries during these dog days of summer. However, it’s not quite time yet. Here I am checking out wild elderberries for ripeness on a Saunders County, NE farm in …

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Mulberry Muffins

By Jenny Nguyen-Wheatley Mulberries should be peaking right now, and one of my favorite ways to eat them is in a muffin — or two. A couple hints on using mulberries: One, collect a combination of ripe and unripe berries for better flavor; ripe mulberries are sweet, but flat-tasting, and the acidity of unripe berries will improve the end result. Two, mulberries are so delicate that they can be a pain to handle. Forget about trying to remove the stems …

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Ernie’s Snapping Turtle

Recipe by Kim Rutten, Edited by Jenny Nguyen-Wheatley Ernie was Kim and Ben Rutten’s mother, who prepared the family’s favorite meal of fried and steamed snapping turtle before her passing in 2018. Below, Kim shares her mother’s recipe the way it was taught to her. To read Jenny’s story on the Rutten family’s tradition of hunting turtles, visit: https://magazine.outdoornebraska.gov/2022/06/the-turtle-family/ The season for snapping turtles is year-round, with a bag limit of five turtles and possession limit of 10. Ben Rutten …

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Fun to pick, good to eat; mulberries offer much summer fun!

Maybe it’s just the kid in me, but I love to pick and eat mulberries! Growing up on the rural western edge of Gretna, NE, my buddies and I would always bug the area neighbors and farmers for permission to pick and eat ripe mulberries along their woodland edges and fencelines this time of year. It marked the start of summer for us. Ah, those were the days … Mulberries on the tree. Photo by Greg Wagner/Nebraska Game and Parks …

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