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Jackson Newspapers - Ripley, WV
  • Wild Foods Group reports January meeting



  • The Jackson County Wild Foods Group met in late January at Ravenswood’s First Christian Church. “Our wild food knowledge is our special bond, but we share our lives in other ways as well,” said Edelene Wood, the group’s instructor.


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  • The Jackson County Wild Foods Group met in late January at Ravenswood’s First Christian Church. “Our wild food knowledge is our special bond, but we share our lives in other ways as well,” said Edelene Wood, the group’s instructor.
    The day was special for Sherril Sargent of Given whose birthday was on the day of the meeting.
    To celebrate her birthday and the earlier birthday of member John Sheets, a king birthday cake had been baked with thimbleberry jam and a hidden Mardi Gras prize for participants to discover. Two members absent due to illness, Linda Gibson and Judy Casto, were remembered with the cake as well.
    Many “My Favorite Judy Casto Wild Food Recipes” were prepared for the luncheon and plans for a cookbook were discussed. Members invite other Jackson Countians to contribute. Member Sue Curry  of Sandyville prepared Casto’s recipe for venison and zuchinni casserole.
    “I’ve made it dozens of times since Judy first shared her special recipe,” Curry said.
    The group hopes to gather other “Judy favorites” for a cookbooklet which they have named Rockcastle Favorites. It will comprise some of the many wild foods she prepares from the historic farmland that she and her husband Marshall cherish.
     Some “Judy favorites” will be the recipes which have won her first prizes in the Hazel Wood National Wild Foods Cooking Contest which takes place annually at North Bend State Park’s Nature Wonder Weekend.
    Birthday honoree Sherril Sargent was one of Casto’s early wild food recruits. An outstanding cook herself, she saw the possibilities of using free foods from the farm that she and her husband share in Given.
    “In organizing a cookbook of our Judy Casto favorites, each member has been invited to make a suggestion,” Wood said.
    “But anyone who has eaten one of her wild food offerings may make a suggestion as well. Some of us have found her ‘old time salves’ such as her balm of Gilead interesting and may want to include the salves among the recommended favorites.”
    “Among my favorite Judy memorables is a wild rose cake which brought us together,” Wood said. “I made the cake for a Jackson County Historical Society meeting where I spoke about wild food use, and Judy and Marshall were present. She took some wild rose petals from my cake and grew them into a wild rose plant and wild friendship with many of us.”
    Anyone with a “Judy” recipe recommendation is invited to submit it to Sue Curry, Sherril Sargent, Mary Ellen Friend, or other member of the Jackson County Wild Foods Group.

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