Next up, we found a nice patch of elderberries. They were sweet and delicious right off the tree, but we loaded up a baggie of these berries and carried on thinking of all the uses for these sweet treats.
After a few other items, mustard seeds, Toyon leaves and lemonade bush berries, we were set. We picked up a whole perch at the fish market, and headed home to work on our menu for the evening, which included the following: Cream of Nettle Soup, Charcoal-Grilled Perch, and a Smoked Pork Pancake.
First, I started prepping the nettles for the soup.
21 young nettles
1 litre vegetable stock
3 tablespoons flour
100 ml milk or cream
salt, white or black pepper to taste
1 teaspoon thyme
Next up, we prepped the perch and the grill.
1 kg perch
2 teaspoons salt
1 pinch pepper
4 tablespoons butter
50 ml dill, finely chopped
50 ml parsley, finely chopped
1 tablespoon chopped chives
Gut and clean the fish thoroughly. Sprinkle with salt and pepper both inside and out. Mix the butter and herbs together and refrigerate for a few minutes to harden up. Then, pack the fish with the herb butter. Grill it over charcoal, 8-12 minutes on each side depending on the thickness of the fish.
Our fish had been cleaned and de-scaled at the market, and in hindsight, we probably would have left the scales on, because I’m guessing those scales protected the fish from falling apart on the coals in the days before aluminum foil. Half-way through the cooking, we wrapped that bad boy in foil so that we wouldn’t lose any meat to the fire.
Lastly, we made a smoked pork pancake.
1/2 kg smoked pork
500 ml milk
150 ml flour
Slice the pork and fry it lightly. Keep half the pork fat in the pan. Whisk together the eggs, flour and milk and pour the batter into the hot pan. Lift and prod the batter with a spatula from time to time to stop it from sticking to the pan. When the pancake seems firm, slide it onto a plate. Put the pork back in the pan with some of the fat, and then slide the pancake (uncooked side down) back into the pan. When golden brown on both sides, serve with jam.
I had some trouble removing my pancake from the pan, so it ended up looking a bit more like scrambled eggs. Despite the ugliness, it was still tasty.