Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Wild and Sour and Possibly Dangerous?

Well. Let's start this post out by saying that it is early. I have had no coffee. I had one of the those weirdly awful nights last night where you lay down, close your eyes and then it seems as though two seconds later you open them and it is light outside and time to get up. Wha? Huh? Where did the 8 hours of sleep GO? So I am slightly off this morning... even more so than usual. If I had an aura and if you were one of those kooky people who thinks they can see auras... mine right now would be a sickly green mist punctuated with big purple question marks.

Anyway! Now that we had established my current foggy mental status what's all this about dangerous sour stuff? Well there are two parts to this story. The first took place in the woods at Van Damme State Park on Sunday afternoon. This was where Billy and I went for our Sunday Special. We had to leave Rudy at home because it's a no dogs allowed trail. So he stayed behind with his sumo partner Ranger and hung out in the yard.

This was our first hike at Van Damme and let me tell ya people, it did not disappoint. We did the fern canyon loop and as far as I can tell the ferns are doing a great job. They are keeping that canyon in top condition for us gawkers who pass through....

I mean really! Not only do they put on a great show as a group but their individual style is really something quite stunning as well...

So... as we are walking the trail we are discovering all the different flower and plant species that thrive in the redwood forest here. I have been studying a bit about what is what and in particular have been interested in wild edible plants. Well there is one plant that is prolific in these woods, unmistakable and totally edible. It's woodland sorrel. Woodland sorrel is basically clover. It is big pretty clover shaped leaves and delicate little violet flowers like this...

As we are walking along there is pretty much a carpet of this stuff along either side of the trail so this is how it plays out.....

me: "I want to try the sorrel... do you?"

Billy: "Sure, pick me a good one."

So I creep a little ways off the trail and pick two big huge perfect looking clover.

Billy: "You are SURE that this stuff is ok to eat?"

me: "Yes! Of course... it is totally good for you, it's considered a medicinal plant, a good stomach tonic."

So we both pop the sorrel into our mouths. What happened next was a wild explosion and rush of the most powerfully sour juice that caused both of us to immediately start spitting the sorrel out. Billy was choking out something about "POISON!" While I was still just trying to wrap my brain around the fact that my tongue had just shriveled up to a third of it's original size. We swished water in our mouths and spit it out and had a very confused discussion about how the Hell can something so small contain SO MUCH juice inside of it?

I was still positive that it was a rock solid edible plant but as we continued our walk and the sour taste in mouth sort of increased over time instead of going away... and I started to imagine that I felt a little queasy, dizzy? I was not so sure anymore. Billy thought it was an "In to the Wild" situation that was developing and that a tourist couple from Germany would find our partially decomposed bodies in the woods weeks from now.

A few hours later we made it home alive and I raced in to jump on google to get the answers to our burning questions. Indeed! I was right about the plant.... it is safe and edible although why the Hell anyone would want to eat it is beyond me. There was talk of it being a great addition to salads or to make a tea out of it. Dude... if you made a tea out of it I suggest it would be a great torture method to make someone drink it. Or it could be a new punishment for a child with a potty mouth. Forget the old soap technique... give them some sorrel tea. They will never mumble a curse word again.

For now my zest for edible plants is tucked back into the back of the closet. I will stick with spinach and carrots and things that are so completely in your grocery store salad that there is no worry what-so-ever.

I meant to carry on here and tell you phase two of the wild and sour story but my time for writing this morning has run out. We have to head in to work for the day. You will have to wait. Ooohhhhh I am sure the suspense will be killing you all day.


auntsuesoldnewlovely said...

I love your story and the sorrel story is so funny!
Aunt Sue
nice seeing you on the vintage thread road!

sybil said...

you guys are nuts!!! not fancy nuts like pine nuts, just plain nuts!!!