Don't make the mistake of trying to eat the dead outer layer of the pine tree bark. It is the moist white living inner bark (cambrium layer) we are after. The cambrium is located just underneath the dead outer layer and it is here where the tree`s girth growth occurs. The best way to get a supply is to peel off some large chunks of bark, being careful not to girdle the tree lest you destroy it, the carefully fillet the moist layer of cambrium clinging to the inside of that. You can prepare it immediately or dry it for later use. If dried, be sure to soak a couple of hours before cooking.
Late spring is the best time, when the tree is richest in sugars. Use the largest trees possible. Width is more important than height, the wider the tree, the thicker the cambrium layer. The best way is to find a logging operation and obtain permission to peel the stumps. This is where the cambrium is thickest and best, and you can get the most food with the least work.
Boil for a half hour, or until the water turns red from resins. Change water and boil a second time for a half hour. Change water and boil a third time for a half hour. On the last boiling, the bark will be fairly tender and the water will only be light pink. The "bark" will have a color like fresh ham, with a texture exactly like cooked turkey breast. The bark has no particular
flavor at all, which makes it an excellent meat substitute with the proper seasonings.
After the last cooking and draining, add four cups of chicken stock ( made by dissolving four chicken bullion cubes in four cups of water) and simmer for one hour. To half of the pine chicken add some Chinese noodles, some green onions, a dash of soy sauce, and a beaten egg to make a superb "Pine Ramen" soup.
From the other half, remove the pine bark and set aside. Melt 1/4 cup of butter in a skillet and add 4 tablespoons of white flour to make a thick past. Into this add 2 cups of pine chicken broth, adding slowly and stirring in to a nice lumpless gravy. Take an uncooked pie shell and heap it full of the leftover pine bark. Add cooked potatoes and carrots, a
coarsely chopped onion, and a handful of peas. Cover it all with the gravy, put a pie shell lid on top, and cook in the oven at 400 for about 40 minutes, or until nicely browned.
Tips for living in the new Obama economy.