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Becky Weisgerber

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since Apr 01, 2015
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Recent posts by Becky Weisgerber

Lew Bivona wrote:As a basic test of whether I'd be able to eat the outer pod as well (if ground up according to the Carob/Honey Locust powder recipe I listed in my last post, above), I bit the pod and chewed a bit, trying to get out the "honey" that way. It worked, but I felt like there was a faint "spicy" feeling in the back of my throat (felt more like way on the back of my tongue).

Thank you so much for the detailed description, Lew! I'm researching honey locust processing prior to buying some Calhoun, Millwood and Hershey cultivars - and I can find a lot more practical reports of processing results for the related Mesquite pod. Desert Harvesters' mesquite processing tips strongly supports your idea that it was the specific tree itself that caused you the problem.

Desert Harvesters wrote:Once you have found a tree that you want to pick from go ahead and TASTE one of the pods (watch out for the very hard seeds). If it tastes good to you, go ahead and pick from that tree. The flavor can vary widely from one tree to the next. If you are unfamiliar with the taste of good mesquite, it is a good idea to sample pods from several different trees..... The four undesirable characteristics you want to avoid in any pod are: bitter, chalky, or causing a burning sensation in back of the throat, or drying of the mouth. ... Keep in mind that no matter how you cook or process your mesquite pods, if you start with any undesirable characteristic in your pods, this will carry through into your end product.

I'm used to the idea of specific plants tasting more bitter than their neighbors, but this specific symptom being an individual trait is surprising!
3 months ago

So, there's no way to prevent it?

The best way to reduce the risk of checking is to dry it SLOWLY.
David F Fisher has some good tips about drying green bowls - he puts them inside a paper bag on a shelf that won't be disturbed for a couple months, then does the finish work after they're dry. I've also had success with drying the item inside a paper bag full of the green shavings you took off the item while shaping it; and I've tried putting the item in a plastic bag that you have to turn inside out every day. (Forgetting the daily part of this gets you mildew.)

If you get a crack anyway - you can prevent further movement by inserting a separate piece of wood across the grain of the crack. Check out the nice butterfly in the post I linked above.
3 months ago
The whole drying thing was one of the reasons I liked mushrooms as a farm crop - if you can't sell the product fresh, it's possible to dry or otherwise value-add-process it, and not lose the entire value.

Have you seen the Shiitake Bacon recipes (I've also seen the technique used with King Oyster.) Smoking some of the fresh produce wouldn't require much additional hands-on time, but give a new point of intrigue. I plan to use this when I get my mushroom setup actually selling things - I am still working on timing flushes for a more even supply.
2 years ago