Tag Archives: Apocalypse

The Survival Series Part Nine: Comfrey

Some day when all hell breaks loose, there will be a group of us who will be able to make our way in the wilderness and embrace survival.

A little knowledge goes a long way!

This series is inspired by my love for post-apocalyptic stories and foraging, and this week I’m looking at:

Comfrey

A hairy green herb with spear-shaped leaves and clusters of mauve bell flowers, comfrey can be found in ditches and damp places.

The root itself is edible raw or cooked and Darina Allen in her Forgotten Skills book has a lovely recipe using the leaves, if you’re willing to try comfrey fritters.

Common_Comfrey_(Symphytum_officinalis),_Bishopstone_-_geograph.org.uk_-_1360418
(Image via WikimediaCommons/Trish Steel)

Not only that, but this great plant also has medicinal purposes and was historically used to treat ailments such as sprains, arthritis, gastric and varicose ulcers and acne.

Like all things that are edible, it’s best that you don’t overdo it on the comfrey but it’s perfect for if you’re looking for something different (or of course, if you’re in an apocalyptic scenario). Moderation is key.

Whatever you do, do NOT confuse this plant with the deadly Foxglove or that will be the end of you!

As a side note: If you’re a keen gardener, comfrey can be your best friend, as it’s an excellent fertiliser when it’s mulched down and perfect for organic growth.

Movie to watch: War of the Worlds

 

(Lead image via WikimediaCommons/BernardDUPONT)

The Survival Series Part Eight: Pepper Dulse

If you’re a fan of foraging food and finding edible treats in the wild, this series is for you.

For those who’ve been following this blog for a while, they may have noticed that I have a love for zombies and post-apocalyptic scenarios and so, this is how the survival series was born!

This week I’m looking at more seaweeds. Presenting:

Pepper Dulse

Also known as Osmundea pinnatifida (if you’re being fancy), this very small seaweed can be tedious to harvest but perfect if you’re looking for a snack on-the-go.

The taste? Well, you guessed it, it’s salty and deliciously peppery, and can be a great addition to any salad to give it more of a kick.

The colour can vary from a dark purplish brown to a musty yellow and it’s mostly found on rocks on the upper to lower middle shore.

You need to be very careful to forage this particular seaweed sustainably, so only take a bits of it from a place at a time using a scissors.

Containing about 8% protein, pepper dulse is also high in fibre and low in fat with up to 32% concentrated sea minerals.

As good as it tastes though, I’d advise not eating too much of it because people do tend to get a bit queasy if they gobble it down!

Movie to watch: Dawn of the Dead

(Lead image via Akuppa John Wigham on Flickr)

The Survival Series Part Two: Wild Garlic

Last week I started a new food series here on the blog focusing in on my fascination with survival (and coincidentally the ever-looming apocalypse).

Each week I’ll feature a wild food resource that can be found lurking where you least expect it.

See it as a guide for when things start to go down; if anything you’ll be prepared! This week:

Wild Garlic

T’is the season. Spring is truly here when wild garlic is in abundance.

It’s often remarked that wild garlic has been prized for many years in Ireland and I can see why.

These glorious tufts of green, fragrant leaves and flowers are filled with the most wonderful flavour.

Preferring more acidic soils, you’ll find the plant on the deciduous woodland floor where it grows like a carpet, spreading around trees and walkways.

What’s great is that the entire plant is edible, but unless you actually own the land where the plant is growing, it’s illegal to uproot the whole bulb (incidentally uprooting can prevent the plant from returning the next year so it’s better to be a sustainable forager!)

Ramsom_or_wild_garlic_-_geograph.org.uk_-_427580
(Image via WikimediaCommons/PhilipHalling)

Your best bet is to take leaves, from a few plants around the area and pop them into a foraging sack.

Be wary that there may be dogs who have had to the understandable urge to pee in the woods, so it’s safer not to clip the leaves that are just beside a pathway.

There are a few plants that look like wild garlic but are highly poisonous (I’m looking at you Lily of the Valley), but use your nose – the plant should smell distinctively like garlic and be very pungent. Don’t pick it if you’re unsure.

For those with a little bit more time on their hands and are not in a hurry to feed their camp or run away from zombies, why not try to blend up the wild garlic with Parmesan, rapeseed oil, lemon and pine nuts to make a delicious homemade pesto – perfect on crackers or on pasta.

As always, happy foraging!

Movie to watch: Contagion

(Lead image via WikimediaCommons/michaelclarke)

The Survival Series Part One: Wild Sea Spinach

It’s no secret that I absolutely love survival, post-apocalyptic, dystopian and zombie-related things, so when this idea sprung to mind, I got very excited.

In a new feature series, each week I’m going to highlight a certain wild food that you can eat, should you ever find yourself in an apocalyptic situation.

The chances are unlikely, but better to be safe than sorry! First up:

Sea Spinach/Sea Beets

Similar looking to garden spinach, this wild and edible plant has shiny, green leaves and a fleshy stem (see image).

Despite its similarity, it’s actually more strongly flavoured and has a wonderful hint of saltyness from the sea.

Surprisingly common, it can be found on dry shore, on sea walls or sometimes on canal banks.

The plant tends to make its first appearance in spring (though I’ve seen it throughout the year) and it’s very straightforward to cook.

A distant cousin of chard, for the best flavour, pick the leaves when they’re young and tender. The great thing is, the whole plant is edible.

Treat the sea spinach exactly like chard, kale or garden spinach but just cook it for a little bit longer as the leaves are tougher.

You can cook them whole or remove the stems but if you’re trying to keep moving away from zombies or the infected, I wouldn’t waste my time trimming!

Should you however find yourself with an abundance of ingredients and electricity, sea spinach goes very well with eggs (like in a frittata) or with fried potatoes.

All in all, I actually find sea spinach to be far superior to its garden version, and would happily eat it for days on end. It’s a wonderful plant and it’s worth giving a shot.

This is a coastal plant, so it wouldn’t be particularly helpful for those living in the midlands, but don’t worry, there are plenty of other wild foods that I plan to highlight.

Happy foraging!

Movie to watch: 28 Days Later

(Image via WikimediaCommons/Rmrony)