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  • Writer's pictureFeathers the Wonder Dog

Kelp or Kelpie?

Hello friends! Thank you so much for your feedback about my last Blog. I appreciate how the previous topic touched so many of you. This week I thought I’d focus on food and survival. Why? Well in the past few months while living in Tasmania, I have started learning about foraging. I know that we all need protein, carbohydrates and fat and that these provide every dog with essential nutrients. Here, at the end of the earth, I’ve been exploring being resourceful at finding food and goodies myself (resourceful seems to be one of the GO words with the Covid19 crisis). I am lucky to be living in such an ideal spot with access to countless essential nutrients that keep me, as a working Kelpie, going. Today I’m just going to touch on a few of my finds.

KELP or KELPIE Actually, you don’t need to make a choice. Here in Tassie it’s true that one owner can harvest 100 kg of real kelp every day! Oh what to do with it all – skin balm, exfoliant or sushi wrapper?

While humans need to wash, clean and prepare the giant kelp (to get rid of sand and grit), I prefer having a quick kelp snack on the beach – especially after a big tempest like last weekend (with a swell well over 6 metres!). The tempest left so much seaweed on the beach, it was a hard choice deciding that to eat!

I’ve found kelp deliciously salty, tasty and reminiscent of all those Japanese food scraps from our old Sydney kitchen bin - YUM!

MUSSELS or MUSCLES Have you ever tried the tiny crispy mussel seedlings that live on the rock platforms?

While Klady collects the big ones for the typical French steamed mussels in white wine (as recommended by the owner of the local service station), I personally go for the au naturel. And while it takes phenomenal tooth muscle power to enjoy these tiny morsels, I can confirm they are a little chewy, very crunchy and with just a POP of meat. And talk about crunchy, I’ve just discovered the spectacular taste of crab bits that wash up on our beach. On any day there can be legs, pincers and a few shells. There’s a lot of competition amongst us local dogs to find these tasty morsels and most days you can find us sitting and crunching on crab claws – and all for free! A LITTLE BIT OF GREEN So while we’re on my gourmet tour of southern Tasmania, I’ve also helped Klady discover the delights of Tassie greens. So far, we’ve tasted native pigface; in contrast to Sydney, down here they grow HUGE with both pink and yellow flowers and I hear that they are juicy and almost sweet, like dragon fruit. While Klady has harvested the juicy buds and leaves for jam, I’ve found that they are perfect to pee on. Ha Ha! Beware! In the large rockpools we’ve collected Neptune’s Necklace seaweed. I like to eat the ‘grapes’ or ‘bubbles’ straight off the beach, but Klady always fusses more. She has turned the harvested ones into Neptune’s Necklace Capers with Chilli – a recipe modified from Eat Wild Tasmania. A FINAL PIECE OF ADVICE Now while I know all of this sound fascinating and you’re about to rush down to the beach to start working on your own foraged feast, you also need to bear in mind that not everything can be recycled or repurposed. There are countless opportunities along Australia’s clean and isolated coast to discover new and exciting tastes but personal experience compels me to share one final piece of advice…. DO NOT on any account eat dead seagulls. They give you worms.

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