Duncan Suzuki

Widgetized Section

Go to Admin » Appearance » Widgets » and move Gabfire Widget: Social into that MastheadOverlay zone

Natural foods surround us

Pheasant under glass must be mighty good, as well as lobsters from Maine and any of the other fancy American dishes. But for ones that are most pleasant to the palate, my thoughts turn to the good old earthy foods.
The fields and mountains around us contain enough natural foods to keep us all healthy. I call them the simple things.
There was a time not so long ago when it was a familiar sight to observe people walking through the fields in early spring, bending over occasionally to cut large clumps of dry land cress. Cress is one of the first plants to come up in the early spring and, in my opinion, is one of nature’s finest offerings to the mineral-starved human body.
Talk about a meal, well I’ll tell you, a bushel basketful or less of these greens, freshly picked, trimmed, and washed, then boiled with about a quarter pound of country cured side meat is a meal fit for a king or a pauper. And it is almost as cheap as dirt.
Creasy-greens, as they are often called, are not only tasty, but are good for the human body.
There’s a secret to picking greens. First, one has to be able to determine the male plants from the female. The male plants are bulky and boisterous, and the females are narrow leafed and tender.
That line could get me in trouble with the botanists, but concentrating on gender makes it easier to explain. Just be sure to think narrow leaf when picking greens, because too many of the wide-leafed kind can really foul up a good pot full of greens.
Another good food we have branded as a low-lifer is the lowly poke salad. Some of the books on first aid tell us that poke is poison, but there are a few people still alive who, with me, will vouch for the fact that poke is mouth-wateringly savory.
I’ll tell you folks, the fresh green shoots of poke containing a few leaves, mixed with a healthy supply of green onion tops, boiled a while, then fried in bacon grease have such a satisfying taste that I would eat them even if I knew they were poison.
If the dish ever harmed anyone, it was probably because they over-ate. You won’t find it on the produce counter at the local store, but I wish one could.
Some people go for dandelion greens, mixed with other greens, but I never could learn to identify the others. I just stay with the creasy greens and poke salad.
But here’s a warning, never eat poke berries. They are poisonous to humans, and good only for the birds.
Another thing you will not find at the local grocery store is catnip. That plant makes very good tea, and I guarantee that it will make you sleep like a log. Watch a cat, the plants namesake, and if you see the animal nip at the catnip plant, it will soon get very frisky.
If you find that you don’t like the mint flavored catnip, there is always the pleasant tasting pink colored tea called sassafras root tea. The roots have to be dug, and separated from the plant, dried and boiled. It makes a pretty pink colored tea, and has a pleasant taste and aroma.
If you have trouble identifying any of the natural foods mentioned in this article, please ask someone who knows, lest you take something into your body that might cause illness.

Lloyd Mathews is a retired land surveyor and a historian who lives in Pulaski.

Comments

comments

Natural foods surround us

Pheasant under glass must be mighty good, as well as lobsters from Maine and any of the other fancy American dishes. But for ones that are most pleasant to the palate, my thoughts turn to the good old earthy foods.
The fields and mountains around us contain enough natural foods to keep us all healthy. I call them the simple things.
There was a time not so long ago when it was a familiar sight to observe people walking through the fields in early spring, bending over occasionally to cut large clumps of dry land cress. Cress is one of the first plants to come up in the early spring and, in my opinion, is one of nature’s finest offerings to the mineral-starved human body.
Talk about a meal, well I’ll tell you, a bushel basketful or less of these greens, freshly picked, trimmed, and washed, then boiled with about a quarter pound of country cured side meat is a meal fit for a king or a pauper. And it is almost as cheap as dirt.
Creasy-greens, as they are often called, are not only tasty, but are good for the human body.
There’s a secret to picking greens. First, one has to be able to determine the male plants from the female. The male plants are bulky and boisterous, and the females are narrow leafed and tender.
That line could get me in trouble with the botanists, but concentrating on gender makes it easier to explain. Just be sure to think narrow leaf when picking greens, because too many of the wide-leafed kind can really foul up a good pot full of greens.
Another good food we have branded as a low-lifer is the lowly poke salad. Some of the books on first aid tell us that poke is poison, but there are a few people still alive who, with me, will vouch for the fact that poke is mouth-wateringly savory.
I’ll tell you folks, the fresh green shoots of poke containing a few leaves, mixed with a healthy supply of green onion tops, boiled a while, then fried in bacon grease have such a satisfying taste that I would eat them even if I knew they were poison.
If the dish ever harmed anyone, it was probably because they over-ate. You won’t find it on the produce counter at the local store, but I wish one could.
Some people go for dandelion greens, mixed with other greens, but I never could learn to identify the others. I just stay with the creasy greens and poke salad.
But here’s a warning, never eat poke berries. They are poisonous to humans, and good only for the birds.
Another thing you will not find at the local grocery store is catnip. That plant makes very good tea, and I guarantee that it will make you sleep like a log. Watch a cat, the plants namesake, and if you see the animal nip at the catnip plant, it will soon get very frisky.
If you find that you don’t like the mint flavored catnip, there is always the pleasant tasting pink colored tea called sassafras root tea. The roots have to be dug, and separated from the plant, dried and boiled. It makes a pretty pink colored tea, and has a pleasant taste and aroma.
If you have trouble identifying any of the natural foods mentioned in this article, please ask someone who knows, lest you take something into your body that might cause illness.

Lloyd Mathews is a retired land surveyor and a historian who lives in Pulaski.

Comments

comments

You must be logged in to post a comment Login