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Old 07-24-2005, 08:45 PM   #21
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Ishbel, you know what I'm talking about. If we never ate anything that wasn't fresh and in season in much of the country (and I've lived in most of it), we'd suffer severe malnutrition (as people did when that was the only option). There's a reason Brits are called Limeys. You have to live on vegs and fruits grown elsewhere in much of the world. Even in Florida and Hawaii, we were quite dependent upon fruits & vegs from other parts of the world. Here, in Northern Illinios, we simply couldnt' live if we didn't have some food shipped in from southern climes. No matter what the chefs say in NYC, I have yet to find a fresh fruit or veg that grows in February this far north. They don't taste as great as they do fresh-in-season (why there is such a thing as harvest fests), obviously. But nothing, and I do mean nothing, grows in February in this climate. So I, personally, am happy to be able to have some selection in the grocery store at the end of winter.

That said, given a choice, of course we eat fresh, in season. I have a half dozen tomatoes sitting on my sideboard. It was too hot, so the cukes didn't fruit the way they should (just starting). My zuchs (courgettes) (from a friend's garden) are waiting to become a great curry. But in February, this just isn't going to happen, and we'd get pretty fat living on only potatoes and other vegs (roots, really) that can be stored through the winter. I've kept up a decent sized garden for two every where I've lived, and I tryto use thelocal market. But in Feb/March, trust me, there is nothing. Actuallyl, there is close to nothing right now, and I have friends who are farmers. In two or three weeks, we will have huge amounts of wonderful tomatoes and cukes. Corn is just getting in. But to say we should do without this except during the month they are in season is silly. But we love them when they are. Corn boils. salads to beat the band. Tomatoes in every form, so much that we get sores on our faces.

We try, we really do. But you can only fight ma nature so much.
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Old 07-25-2005, 02:16 AM   #22
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Read my post again! I didn't SAY 'only in season'....
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Old 05-08-2006, 07:57 PM   #23
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Poke is easy to collect and recognize. I look for the large old stalks which had the purple berries on it last year. Once you find or know where the old stalks we you can go back in April and May and find the Poke plants and collect the Poke Greens. Often times finding lots of it. I usually find it growing in a woody area where there is light. I have also found it growing in sideyards.
When collecting Poke you can collect it until you see the flowers start forming. If the plant is too big or like me you pickle the Poke and so use larger plants with thicker shoots remember when you cut a plant it sends up new shoots so you can keep collecting until the flowers form instead of giving up when it seems to big. If you find a large stalk and you want shoots just make sure there are no flowers, and cut the stalk for a new supply of young plants. Oh yes NEVER CUT A PLANT ABOVE GROUND LEVEL IF YOU EXPECT TO GATHER MORE.
You can fry Poke in Bacon drippps ahh I gave that up as I do not eat Pork now. You can consider this the Vegetarian Way of fixing Polk. I use 5 large scoops of margarine or butter, and 2 tablespoons salt mixed together in a frying pan until it sizzlees good.. You then add the poke shoots you have rolled in a flour and egg batter and fry it till done.. I cook by site so that is hard to describe. If the butter/salt mix gets low add more. I do not use Pork but I love Poke.
When I make Pan Galactic Peter Parker's Pickled Poke or is that Peter Parker's Pan Galactic Pickled Poke ( a tongue twister in your pantry/frig) I use stalks that are big enough arround to peel. I peel the leaves off the stalk and put the leaves in the sink, and remove the remaining outside of the stalk with a potato peeler then cut them up to fit into a Canning/Spaghetti jar. I then usually have a sink full of Polk Leaves. You can add the leaves to the pickled shoots but they drip alot when removed after opening so I don't pickle them. Perhaps they should be canned. Suggestions on how to use all those Polk Leaves? Anyway I cut the strings from the stalks off the Poke Leaves. and use / share the leaves since I have a whole lot of them left over from pickling the stalks.
For Pickled Poke, other Polk recepies and infromation on Foraging and using other wild foods go to Foraging THe Edible Wild ~<-<-%


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Old 05-09-2006, 03:46 AM   #24
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So, in other words, we are still left to wonder about ... If Peter Parker Pickled a Peck of Pan Galactic Poke - how many pints of Pan Galactic Pickled Poke did Peter Parker Pickle?
"It ain't what you don't know that gets you in trouble. It's what you know for sure that just ain't so." - Mark Twain
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Old 05-09-2006, 08:12 AM   #25
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well, I've had it well made and like any fine southern green cooked with pork product, it was luscious and yummy.

Seriouly, when I go into a store such as whole foods and see the Gorgeous Produce, carefully arranged, fresh, not decomposing like at some stores, I pack the cart full and my meat purchase becomes complimentary rather than primary. We may have begn this through poverty but today it is a luxury to have at one's table all the bounty of wonderful produce ... I find the body does indeed crave it.
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Old 05-09-2006, 09:13 AM   #26
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Timeloyd - isn't it way past the point of being safe to eat once it's large enough to start flowering? I've always read/heard that except for the new young shoots, the adult plants can be toxic, & all of the Pokeweed around here is over 5-foot tall by the time it starts setting buds.
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Old 05-10-2006, 12:00 PM   #27
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I am in Southern Illinois and the plants are just starting to bud/flower here. There are still lots of plants availale to collect and even pickle. I have found if you cut the tall plants and keep cutting the plants at ground level no matter how tall they are even if bigger then what you collect before they flower the Poke will continue to send up edible shoots. Thus I make my supply last longer by cutting them at ground level and collecting them until they flower.
I will use the tips of stalks and the leaves.
on them before they flower. I peel the leaf and skin off with a Potato Peeler but will not eat the skin off the stalk accept in small plants.

VEGETARIAN FRIED POKE GREENS ~Bring Pot of Water to boil, add Poke leaves, young shoots and stalk tips. Boil for 10 minutes. I eat Poke but I do not eat Pork so in place of Bacon I fried the Poke in Beef Suet/Fat . Then I got an idea for Vegetarian Poke Greens . For Imitation Bacon Drippings heat 4 Tablespoons of Margarine and 2 Teaspoons salt together (amount may vary with amount of Poke) to simulate taste of Bacon (contains fat and salt). When sizzling add the cooked Poke Greens and/or
peeled and battered fried stalks and fry them turning until sizzling and done. Drain. SERVE

For recepies for Pickled Polk and other Polk and wild recepies go to Foraging The Edible Wild

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Old 05-21-2006, 02:00 PM   #28
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I pickle poke stalks and COLLECT POKE BEFORE THE FLOWERS FORM. Cut it at ground level and it keeps coming up. After removing the leaves from the stalk filling my kitchen sink I remove the strings from the stalk ends of leaves and make

Rinse young Polk plants and Polk stalk leaf ends, cut as far down as tender) in boiling water.
The rest of the Stalk can be used in Pickled Polk.
Bring to a boil again and then simmer about 10 minutes. Drain. and then cover leaves with ice water until cold. Squeeze the water out of the leaves. Cut the Polk shoots and stalk leaf ends into serving or bite size. Add Soy Sauce or Teriyaki Sauce to it. Serve and enjoy.

POKE TEA ~ You can use the water from the cooked Polk like Tea by adding Honey to taste.

I remembered that Bacon contains a lot of fat and salt to preserve it in a small frying pan put 4 Tablespoons of soft margarine or butter and 2 Teaspoons of salt instead of Bacon Drippings. Amount of these may vary with the amount of Polk being cooked and your taste. Heat until it sizzles.
Add drained cooked Poke greens and stalk shoots after being battered or from the pot to frying margarine ~ salt mixture.
Fry together mixing and turning the Poke Greens until they are sizzling and they look done.
Drain and Serve immediately.
Hmmm How else to use Polk? Try topping this. Hmmm

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