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Fruit eating birds such as Cardinals delight in a pokeberry bush and there are plenty near the woods behind my house. Helpful hint: Never attack a fruiting pokeweed with a weed eater. Your neighbor will laugh at you then ask how badly you're hit. “Polk Facts” by Dian Sutton, Secretary, Rockwood American Legion, Auxiliary Post 50 Polk Salad, poke salad, or poke salet, pokeweed. It goes by many names. We grew up calling it poke salat. Poke salat is a delicacy in these parts of Tennessee. Even better, it’s free for the picking! You can pick it from fence rows, around old barns and home places, or even along just about any rural road in the South. Just be sure ya ask afore pickin’ cause it ain’t yer place and you might get shot! Pokeweeds are herbs that grow between 1 to 10 feet tall with single alternating leaves which are pointed at the end with wrinkled edges. Stems are often pink or red, and flowers are greenish-white, in long clusters on the ends of the stems which develop into dark purple berries. The berries are considered toxic to humans, but birds love them (that is how they are spread around the South). Poke berry ink or dye was used by native Americans to decorate their baskets and cloth. The Declaration of Independence was written in fermented poke berry juice and so were many letters written to home by soldiers during the American Civil War (Of course the ink has long since turned brown with the passage of time). I have such fond memories of picking, cannig, and cooking poke salat with my mom. We had to eat a ‘mess’ of it every spring, it didn’t matter if you liked it or not. Mama said it was good for you so you ate it! To cook it right, pick just the young tender leaves and stems. Rinse carefully and thoroughly, then boil until tender. Drain the liquid and rinse again. In a cast iron skillet, brown some cut-up bacon (old timers used fatback, but we are more health conscious). Add some chopped onions. Beat a couple of eggs in and cook until the eggs are done. When done right, it’ll look like spinach and taste like asparagus Makes my mouth water just thinking about it! We hope y’all enjoyed a good taste of poke salat while you were here for the 2010 Poke Salat Festival at David Webb Riverfront Park in Harriman, Tennessee. Thanks fer spendin’ the day with us . . . Y’all come back, ya hear! The Poke Salat Festival is held every spring on the Saturday before Mother's Day at the David Webb Riverfront Park in Harriman, Tennessee.January 22nd 22/365 . . . A hint of
"honeydew hibiscus." MCV and I discovered this new type of flavored water which contains no sugar and no artificial sweeteners. It's called "Hint" which is based in San Francisco. I don't drink enough water as I should be because of my addiction to diet Coke. Ha! Ha! Well, since I do like this particular flavor maybe I'll have this in lieu of my diet coke during the day. Hint comes in 13 different flaves . . . maybe I'll try the "pear" or "mango grapefruit" next . . . Note: The flavoring of the water is just what the bottle says . . . a 'hint" . . . the flavor is very subtle and not sweet at all. I don't know what a hibiscus would taste like but this one had more a honeydew essence . . .
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