When I find myself becoming defensive about a 'weed', and if you've followed my blog, you know I do from time to time, it occurs to me that it's probably time to seek help! Hahahaha! This time the plant I'm defending is poke. My friend Carrie has no empathy for the stand I'm taking because it's taking over her garden and yard, but as always, she's patient with my idiosyncrasies.
My expectation certainly isn't that people nurture and cultivate it. Actually, the plant has done well on its own for centuries without any coddling from gardeners. It's just that anytime the wrath directed at a plant eliminates the appreciation for its benefits - and it does have benefits - my first instinct is to guide them to look from another perspective.
Polk Salad Annie
Tony Joe White
If some of ya'll never been down south too much
I'm gonna tell you a little bit about this
So that you'll understand what I'm talkin' about
Down there we have a plant that grows out in the woods
And in the fields looks somethin' like a turnip green
And everybody calls it polk salad, polk salad
Used to know a girl lived down there
And she'd go out in the evenings and pick her a mess of it
Carry it home and cook it for supper
'Cause thats about all they had to eat, but they did all right
Down in Louisiana, where the alligators grow so mean
There lived a girl, that I swear to the world
Made the alligators look tame
Polk salad Annie, polk salad Annie
Everybody said it was a shame
Cause her momma was a workin' on the chain gang
(A mean vicious woman)
Everyday ?for supper time, she'd go down by the truck patch
And pick her a mess of polk salad, and carry it home in a tow sack
Polk salad Annie, the gators got your granny
Everybody says it was a shame
Cause her momma was a workin' on the chain gang
(A wretched, spiteful, straight-razor totin' woman
Lord have Mercy, pick a mess of it)
Illustrated Journal Page - Poke
The berries above are colored with poke ink - beautiful variations from pinks to purples.
My hydrangeas are so gorgeous so I thought I'd share!
The name Hydrangea comes from the Greek word for water, "hydra", and “angos,”, the word for vessel.
The hydrangea is a flower of duplicity, both in form and meaning. It's large and showy pompom is mad of tiny, delicate, four petaled flowers. It has two meanings as well. It has been associated with sincere and heart felt emotions and gratitude, but a contrary meaning if one of coldness and frigidity.
At one time, families were cautioned not to place hydrangeas near their front door if they had single daughters. The flowers guaranteed the maidens would never marry.
Hydrangeas contain cyanide. DO NOT eat them. One of my first thoughts was how darling the delicate flower segments would be candied, like violets or lavender (recipes for both are hidden somewhere on this site, by the way.) But I am always cautious and do research. Sadly, they are poisonous and can't be candied or used in salads or desserts. Luckily, there are plenty of other herbs and flowers available.
They do come in handy for other purposes though. In addition to making gorgeous fresh bouquets, they can be dried and used in wreathes, bouquets and garlands, but they are best made while the flowers are just beginning to dry, and placed where they won't be touched or moved. Once dried, they are very fragile.
Asparagus Cheddar Pie
This week I'm working on Orange for my Exploring Rainbows class and my asparagus cheddar pie turned out to be more orange than expected so I thought I'd share. More orange will follow on my Lost in a Rainbow section after next Tuesday's class. Here's the recipe - very easy.
Heat oven to 375 F
Partially baked 10" home made pie crust - I baked mine for 5 minutes in a 375 degree oven.
Brush the bottom of the baked pie crust with 1 T dijon mustard, optional
I pound asparagus,, cooked
3/4 cup light cream
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 T fresh dill, optional
2 cups grated cheddar cheese separated into 1 1/2 cups and 1/2 cup for topping.
Hot Hungarian paprika
Cut the asparagus stalks in half and reserve the top halves. Cut the bottom halves into smaller pieces - about one inch - and place in pie shell.
Combine eggs, cream, garlic, spices and 1 1/2 cup cheese and pour over asparagus.
Arrange the top pieces of asparagus with the spear heads facing in towards the middle.
Top with remaining half cup of cheese.
Sprinkle with paprika.
Bake at 375 degrees for about 40 minutes (until the eggs are set and knife inserted in the center comes out clean).
All parts of the orange are used to attract love! Fresh blossoms are used in bouquets and baths. Dried blossoms, seeds and dried peels are used in sachets and potpourris. The juice of the orange can be mixed with wine or enjoyed alone to increase love and lust.
The orange is one of the Aquarius zodiac herbs, particularly prized for adding sunshine during a time of year that can be filled with gray days for many of us. In addition, this golden fruit is also prized for attracting wealth and abundance! Love, lust, health, wealth, and abundance - what more could we want?
Carrying a mullein leaf will attract the opposite sex. You can also determine a person’s interest by finding a mullein stalk growing in the vicinity of your intended’s house. Bend the plant in the direction of their home and if they are interested, the plant will return to it’s upright position. (The trick here is not to bend it too far!)
Note: For those of you casting spells this Valentine's day, the dried leaves of mullein can be crumbled and substituted for graveyard dust. Handy to know if you live in colder climates and the ground is frozen.
These delicate little flowers, hiding innocently under their protective leaves, have been reputed to have some serious powers! In a 2003 study by American and German scientists, their fragrance was credited with not only attracting sperm, but causing the little guys to double their speed in hot pursuit! The study. called the "Lily of the Valley Phenomena" was recently declared false, stating that scents have no roll in fertilization.
Nonetheless, the Lily of the Valley has been carried in wedding bouquets to ensure fertility for centuries. The beautiful Kate Middleton carried these exquisite flowers in her bouquet and apparently they were effective! She has given birth to a prince, a princess, and is expecting another, with a rumor of twins, in September 2018!
Personally, I am relieved that the phenomena has been disassociated with fertility. I'm well past the age when that has any appeal and it is a relief to know I can safely wear one of my favorite fragrances with no concern about consequences!
We are featuring the fig today, and it has numerous powers that can impact not only your Valentine's Day, but possibly the rest of your life!
The fig has the capacity to make you irresistible. If you want to enchant someone, give them a fig and they will be spell bound by your charms - as long as they like figs!
Both sexes will find the fig beneficial! Men can overcome infertility and impotence, and women who carry figs will be able to conceive. See what I mean about life altering? Use this one with caution!
Today we will feature the daisy!
”He loves me, he loves me not” - I think we have all heard of the ‘rip off the petals one at a time’ daisy destroying prophecy method of determining a person’s romantic interest. But did you know the power possessed by the person who picks the first daisy of the season? They will have a boundless “spirit of coquetry”. In today’s terms that means they will be an enthusiastic flirt!
The thought of spring being on the way and the joy of finding the first daisy is comforting after our recent cold spell and several inches of snow on the way today! The groundhog saw his shadow yesterday so spring is six weeks away. I hope by that time you will all find someone to flirt with and fields of daisies!
If you are still looking for an herb to bring true love, a trip to Washington D.C. in the spring time may be just the answer! Schedule your trip around the Cherry Blossom Festival. Simply tie a strand of your hair around the branch of a cherry tree that is in full bloom, and you will find true love! It will most likely be someone else by an adjacent tree who read this post!
"My mission is
to help others see and cherish the beauty,
romance and treasures within and around them
that are often dismissed or completely overlooked."
Mikell is a writer, artist and professional treasure hunter, finding the greatest treasures in the wonderful people who enter her life!