Before this class, I did not even know what the verb "forge" meant. In fact, when we were talking about it and discussing the plans to meet at Kate's, I was on my phone, on my dictionary app, looking up forging (yes, without the "a"). The definition of forge on this website was not helpful as it was about welding metals... I somewhat started to panic as I thought I was missing out on some unsaid details about this whole forging thing due to everyone else's excitement because I knew we were not welding anything in a course titled: The Meaning of Food. Turns out, forging and foraging are different. Not only did I not know what it meant, I also didn't even know the correct spelling...
(Remember when we were talking about how being educated on such matters made a big deal? I'm embarrassed to say, this is one of those times.)
In the simplest of definitions, it is the act of searching for food by hunting, fishing, or gathering plant matter.
As it also turns out, I too was excited to forage once I understood the concept of what we would be doing. But the excitement to forage was in no way lasting...
Reason #1 for Dwindling Excitement
When the foraging began, I was worried about poison ivy, which I later decided was the least of my worries when a tick was crawling up my neck within the first 20 minutes... Did I mention the tallness of the grass, the prickly plants, or the trees that had vicious thorns? Yeah, the overall experience started off a little rocky and I just didn't recover.
Were our ancestors afraid of poison ivy? Was that even a thing?
Reason #2 for Diminishing Excitement
EVERYTHING around me was green and it all looked the same.
The conversation between Sherill, Ashley and I went something like this for everyyyy single plant we stumbled upon:
Me: Do you see this kind of leaf in the book?
Ashley: No, I can't find it.
Sherill: Let me smell it. Smells like garlic.
Me: Okay. *bites it* ... *doesn't die* ... *adds to bag*
Do you know how irritating that was for an hour?
And what if we bit down on something that bit back?
How did our ancestors survive if they were scared to try something new?
Reason #3 for Declining Excitement
Today, we braised some of the tougher, chewy greens we collected and made a salad with the tender ones... this was the most upsetting part of the whole experience because the taste of the greens was so BAD--they made the salad, which I had previously turned my nose up to, taste like a 5-star dining experience, seriously.
Why was this experience a disappointment?
So, the real question: Was it me or was it the food?
I was not born into a foraging society and the lifestyle does not really fit into the way I was raised. Not only was foraging a new thing to me, eating salads and being more healthy are also "newer" to me. Growing up, I was always on the run playing softball, basketball, and soccer all over the tri-state area and fast food was often the way to go. My taste buds did not agree with the rabbit food we were eating and cooking because they are not accustomed to those foods. Believe it or not, we train our taste buds...
The training process can take 6-8 weeks--I trained mine at 9am this morning to be brave and open-minded about what the day would bring, but I certainly did not train them for the taste, but you can bet that I was going to give it a try to get an "A" for the day!! I was successful! #winning
So, the real answer: IT'S ME!!