Lessons Learned the Hard Way- Foraging!

I have stubborn children-children that must learn some lessons on their own (I have no idea where they get it from).  Fortunately for us-up to this point in time, no one has seriously gotten harmed.  However, we have had some close calls already this year!

Second up-Foraging!  Earlier this year, we began learning about wild herbs and edible plants.  The boys find wild edible plants exciting as they learn about survival in the outdoors.  Sawyer imagines that she is a wizard as she concocts potions out of the herbs and plants.  I enjoy learning about natural remedies and how we can use “weeds” in our everyday cooking.

The kids forage in the woods for different plants that we can eat.  Typically, they bring home mint and wild spring onions.  They know these plants well.  Thus when Parks brought home a handful of spring onions, we gladly washed them and prepped them to add to our dinner-lettuce wraps with tempeh, vegetables and peanut sauce (one of my favorites).  After dinner one of Nick’s friends dropped by for a bit.  About ten minutes into the visit, Parks popped over to me and whispered that he had just gotten sick in the sun room.  So I quickly closed up the sun room and got him into the shower to get cleaned up.

I headed back into the kitchen to clear the dishes and immediately, the feeling rushed into my body.  You know the feeling- the OMG, am I going to make it to the bathroom fast enough? How do I sneak out without being rude and without losing my dinner in the process?  Luckily, I made it to the bathroom to pray to the porcelain god.  I then got cleaned up and headed back out to the kitchen only to see Nick’s face turning a nice shade of red.  Note that at this point, Nick knows nothing except that in his mind my peanut sauce is not sitting well on his stomach (what? really?  my peanut sauce? uhm…no).  I nicely let him know that maybe he should excuse himself (because I know that it comes on fast).

With one more down, we start the investigating.  Three of five people down and out with vomiting and a splitting headache.  Since Sims and Sawyer did not get sick and they did not eat the onions, I quickly put it together.  We obviously did not eat wild spring onions.  At the time, I had no idea what we ate.  After a google search, I could only come up with death camas-luckily for us, those only grow in Western states of the US.

We all survived the night and visited with friends throughout the week.  While telling the story of our near poisoning to death,  one of my friends filled in more of the puzzle.  The morning after the dinner, I noticed a beautiful array of daffodils on my nightstand.  My friend asked if Parks found the “onions” near the daffodils.  Parks looked surprised and answered, “yes.”   Well, you guessed it.  We ate immature daffodil bulbs.  When you research are daffodils edible?- you find out that all parts of the plants are poisonous!

Fortunately for us, no ER visit this time!  However, we still learned a tough lesson!


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