My friend at the feed store gave me this recipe. She and her husband drive around this time of year looking for wild patches of pokeweed. They love the stuff. She says the younger leaves make the best salad.

Oh, and I should mention that while pokeweed, including the roots and berries, has been widely used in folk remedies the entire plant especially the berries but also the tender greens, are considered toxic. That’s why you have to cook the tar out of it and drain off the water between boilings.

Poke Sallet Scramble:

Start with a mess of fresh poke greens

Shake debris from greens

Rinse twice

Parboil for 30 minutes

Drain

Parboil for another 30 minutes

Drain and squeeze dry

Heat bacon drippings in a skillet over med high heat

Add drained greens to hot bacon drippings and cook over med heat for several minutes

Lightly beat 12 eggs with ¼ cup sweet milk or goat milk

Pour egg mixture into skillet with greens and scramble until done

Here’s some more unverified info about pokeweed I found on wikipedia:

Since pioneer times, pokeweed has been used as a folk remedy to treat many ailments. It can be applied topically or taken internally. Topical treatments have been used for acne and other ailments. Internal treatments include tonsillitis, swollen glands and weight loss. Dried berries were ingested whole as a treatment for boils, taken 1 berry per day for 7 days. Grated pokeroot was used by Native Americans as a poultice to treat inflammations and rashes of the breast. Independent researchers are investigating phytolacca’s use in treating AIDS and cancer patients. Especially to those who have not been properly trained in its use, pokeweed should be considered dangerous and possibly deadly.

Ingestion of poisonous parts of the plant may cause severe stomach cramping, nausea with persistent diarrhea and vomiting, sometimes bloody, slow and difficult breathing, weakness, spasms, hypertension, severe convulsions, and death. However, consuming fewer than 10 uncooked berries is generally harmless to adults. Several investigators have reported deaths in children following the ingestion of uncooked berries or pokeberry juice. Severe poisonings have been reported in adults who ingested mature pokeweed leaves and following the ingestion of tea brewed from one-half teaspoonful of powdered pokeroot.

Pokeweed berries yield a red ink or dye, which was once used by aboriginal Americans to decorate their horses. Many letters written home during the American Civil War were written in pokeberry ink; the writing in these surviving letters appears brown. The red juice has also been used to symbolize blood, as in the anti-slavery protest of Benjamin Lay. A rich brown dye can be made by soaking fabrics in fermenting berries in a hollowed-out pumpkin.

 This post is linked to Hearth and Soul.

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