Plate of Potstickers

My tastes in food are pretty simple. Part of that comes from living in a place where there aren't a vast number of choices in foods, especially the more exotic fresh foods. More than that, though, is that I eat exactly what I want when I want to and my wants are not complex. Potstickers are one of my favorites. A plate of pan-seared potstickers with a nice dipping sauce on the table and a good book to read on the tablet's e-reader app and I'm about as happy as I've ever been or ever will be.

A fast, easy meal of the gods I haven't always been able to enjoy. Living in poverty for extended periods of time transforms any meal into a feast. Everything tastes fantastic when starving and there's no money to spend buying expensive groceries–especially meats.


For a few years struggling during the harshest stretch of the Great Recession as a self-employed creative services consultant that no one knew about and wouldn't have hired even if they had, I turned to nature for many of the meats I needed and a few vegetables and fruits as well. Hunting and gathering is not something I'm inclined to do at all when flush with cash. It's a lot of work and fraught with risks (like a bear intently feeding on chokecherries and not happy with my company while I'm trying to pick some for jelly making), but there for a little over two years I did a lot of fishing, hunting and browsing for edible plants and fruits to stay well fed. And as it turned out, it was a good solution to my extended food shortage problem. I thoroughly enjoyed every moment of the mini-adventure and learned a lot about what is actually available in this area and ways to prepare meals with the raw fare gathered.


Obviously having survived those leanest years of my life with no ill effects, in retrospect I could have done things differently to keep the pantry stocked with plenty of store-bought foods (like moving back to a city to live and work), but I wouldn't enjoy reflecting over those times nearly as much as I do now. I've dined in penthouse restaurants chowing down on dishes like chateaubriand flamboyantly set ablaze by a waiter preceded by an escargot appetizer and followed up with cherry brandy drizzled over ice cream, and meals like that were damn tasty. But nothing will ever compare with the wild foods dishes gathered just outside my home with my own hands and tools, cleaned, prepared and cooked to perfection on a wood-fired stove and wolfed down with wild delight.


Ahh, the potstickers are ready!