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  • HOME
    • LOCAL EATS IN NORTHERN CALIFORNIA’S CENTRAL VALLEY

    • LOCAL LIBATIONS INCLUDING BEER, WINE, MILK & COFFEE

    • FOOD FOR THOUGHT

    • GARDENING. EVENTS. TRAVEL. SHOPPING. MEET YOUR MAKERS.

    • FIND STORIES ABOUT LOCAL FOOD, FARMS, CHEFS, ARTISANS AND MORE IN OUR PAST ISSUE ARCHIVE.

    • FRESH, LOCAL, SEASONAL RECIPES AND KITCHEN INSPIRATION.

    • SUBSCRIBE TO THE MAGAZINE AND NEVER MISS AN ISSUE.

    • WHO WE ARE – HOW TO ADVERTISE – CONTACT US

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Edible Shasta Butte: Issue #53 – Spring 2020

Grist for the Mill

We didn’t mean for red bud to appear so often in the magazine. It does, though, much as it does right now on the hills of this canyon out my window.

THE MORE YOU KNOW.

This spring, I’m once again reminded of the way our brains link together memories from our own experience and bits of fact, hinting at the network of connections that marvelous, sometimes treacherous, organ is capable of. How did it come to be that the red bud throughout this issue of Edible Shasta-Butte magazine forms a similar netting over it?

For me, way back in the years of dendrology study, red bud (Cercis occidentalis, as those studies taught) appeared everywhere, its fuchsia blossoms heralding early spring in Humboldt County. Those flashes of color along roadsides meant spring. We could track spring’s arrival higher and higher in the tree’s later blossoming as altitude climbed. Cercis occidentalis, we’d recite until memorized.

I didn’t know red bud flowers were edible until five decades later. Two springs ago, my husband and I were walking in Bidwell Park when we came upon Wolfgang Rougle, writer/ illustrator of Sacramento Valley Feast, and her husband Michael feeding each other flowers from a red bud by the creek. It was our first taste, surprisingly sweet, even reminding me of honeysuckle. Trust Wolfgang, I thought, for foraging delights.

This year, I find myself wondering if she’s eaten red bud pods. Probably. I read we can sauté them up like snow peas (red bud is in the legume family), one of my favorite things to do with edible spring harbingers. I will do that this spring. Probably the pods will taste sweet.

Sweet is one of the reasons I wanted to pickle some. The white vinegar will drain some of the fuchsia from the red bud, and the flowers will soon be floating in pink solution. The ones I picked now pickle in such a small jar it’s likely they’ll be eaten all at once, though they could keep for weeks once refrigerated. I can’t wait.

We didn’t mean for red bud to appear so often in the magazine. It does, though, much as it does right now on the hills of this canyon out my window.

Our hope: this magazine inspires in you something like the red bud has inspired in me. The joy of flowers in spring. A link to springs past. A chance encounter with edible native plants. Something sweet and sour. Something brand new. Spring labor that leads to a sauté. A network of connections.

Enjoy. And wash your hands. Warm water.

Candace Byrne
Publisher/Editor