This book could have just as appropriately been in our cookbook section due to its 250 good quality recipes. Kay covers 52 plants sharing many insights and experiences along the way. She is a botanist, naturalist, folklorist, and wild food educator. Each two to seven page chapter starts out with high quality line drawings by Mark Marcuson that clearly depict the spirit of the plant covered. These illustrations will help in identification, but should be supplemented by plant identification guides.
Following the illustrations Kay systematically provides a mildly technical description of the plant, its distribution (range), its habitat, edible parts, seasons to collect, cautions, additional information, and recipes. This ‘additional information’ is where this book shines. Kay shares real life experiences learning about, finding, gathering, and preparing the plants for use in her dishes. There is often really good detail here. Following that are one to seven recipes using that plant as an ingredient.
Like Bill Beatty’s book (see cookbook section) Young’s recipe titles are simple (non pretentious) and straight-forward like “Traditional Gooseberry Pie”, “Creamed Lambsquarters with Mushrooms”, “Cooked Wood Nettle Salad”, and “Sandcherry Jam”. Highly Recommended as part of your wild food library – Essential for anyone in the Great Plains areas of North America, and valuable just about anywhere else.