In upcoming months I’ll be teaching a variety of classes on foraging, cooking, and writing in the Puget Sound region. One day maybe I’ll get organized enough to send out a newsletter to those of you interested in such classes. In the meantime, check back here on the blog periodically to see what’s being offered. I’ll post dates in the right column.
In an exciting new collaboration I’ll be working with the Bainbridge Island Metro Park & Recreation District to offer several foraging and cooking classes in 2011. The first will be a stinging nettles class with instruction both in the field and in the kitchen. I’ll also be teaching shellfish classes [dates TBD], including a geoduck dig!
Writing workshops are on tap as well. On April 23 I’ll be teaching an all-day Environmental Writers Workshop in Seattle. This is sponsored by the Burke Museum and will be held at the Center for Urban Horticulture. In September I’ll be at the North Cascades Institute for the three-day Thunder Arm Writing Retreat, and some time this fall I’ll be teaching a writing workshop at 826 Seattle. Stay tuned for updates.
- Feb 3, Mid-Valley Willamette Writers Speakers Series, Tsunami Books, Eugene, OR. Craft lecture: “Creative Nonfiction: How to Tell the Truth Like a Bald-Faced Liar.”
- Feb 8, Possession Sound Reading Series, Everett Community College, Everett, WA.
- Mar 23, Stinging Nettles Workshop, in association with Bainbridge Island Metro Park & Recreation District, Bainbridge Island, WA.
- Apr 23, Environmental Writers Workshop, in association with the Burke Museum, Seattle, WA.
- Sep 8 – 11, North Cascades Institute‘s Thunder Arm Writing Retreat, North Cascades National Park, WA.
Note: If you would like to organize your own field trip, you can contact me at finspotcook AT gmail dot com. I’ve taken groups up to 25 in number on nature walks and wild food walks around the Seattle area and Tiger Mountain. This is a good introduction to foraging and plant identification.
Some of you might be wondering what happened to all the hunting talk. After all, I took Washington State’s Hunter Education class and even went scouting and trap shooting with a friend of mine.
Since then I’ve also visited my brother-in-law in Arkansas to go squirrel hunting. I had high hopes of making this Squirrel Gumbo.
So what happened?
Well, for one thing, I got skunked. Seems those country squirrels aren’t quite as insouciant as their city cousins. I saw one all day and it made sure to keep plenty of brush between us before high-tailing out of sight.
More importantly, I must confess that I have not yet grown accustomed to walking the woods with a firearm. All my life I’ve been outfitted with binoculars or a compass or a mushroom knife—at most, a fishing rod. Bushwhacking around with a gun, truth be told, feels decidedly different. Suddenly I’m an interloper, an antagonist.
Yes, I realize this is all in my head, but that doesn’t make it any easier.
I’ve also made a conscious decision to embrace my love of mushroom hunting and see where that leads. No doubt you’ve noticed the uptick in fungal-related posts.
Maybe the hurry-up mode with which I first approached hunting, as if trying to make up for lost time, was a mistake. Some things are easier to learn as a kid. Foreign languages and skiing, for instance. Given a choice, I think I’d rather go a-wandering with shotgun in hand than try conjugating Spanish verbs. So this is not the end of my short-lived hunting career, just a speed bump.
In case you were wondering.