For many, an important part of the Christmas holiday season is reconnecting with traditions of the past. Before the modern era of frozen turkeys, boxed stuffing and canned vegetables, there was food from nature. It was a time when the outdoors provided the feast, rather than the grocery store.

The Missouri Department of Conservation is providing the opportunity to re-instill the food-from-nature connection by offering a Cooking Wild for the Holidays virtual class Tuesday, Dec. 15, from 7 to 8 p.m. The class is free and open to all ages.

The program will benefit anyone wanting to add Missouri wild game or other wild edibles found in the Show-Me State to their winter holiday parties.   

It will provide helpful ideas for those interested in eating more organic or locally sourced foods.

The class “menu” will include natural delicacies, such as smoked duck and trout. Black walnut biscotti with homemade blackberry ice cream will be featured, too, along with homemade hazelnut latte. Participants will also discover how to make waffles out of acorn and cattail flours.

All recipes featured during the class will be sent to participants following the event, MDC naturalist Shelly Colatskie said, so they can try them out for themselves. This virtual event will be followed by a question-and-answer session.

Cooking Wild for the Holidays is a free online program, but advanced online registration is required at short.mdc.mo.gov/Zbx for each person attending. Attendees will receive an invitation by email from the MDC Event Management System with a WebEx program link 24 hours before the program, as well as any important program information. If you do not see this email, check the spam/junk mail.