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A delightful meal with poke.

Here in northwest Arkansas we are blessed with the abundance of poke. Phytolacca (fy-to-la LAK-uh) americana. Generally speaking the harvest time is from the 10th of April until the 10th of May, give or take. We in the Ozarks simply call it “Pokeweed” but by any name it is the herb that goes straight to my stomach! My favorite vegetable.

There is only one thing to keep in mind, boil it for fifteen minutes or so, this kills the toxin that is in the plant. Never eat it raw. After boiling, drain off the water, nothing more. The greens are said to contain a high amount of vitamins and minerals our body needs.

I know, some folks are squeamish about eating poke, but have no fear of eating olives which have been processed in lye, or the fear from the makeup women put on their face which contains formaldehyde, to say nothing of the poison paint often put on their nails. I am eighty two years old, and have eaten poke this way all my life, never have I been sick or heard of any one sick from eating poke cooked and once drained.

I do not however recommend you eat poke, as you may be sensitive or allergic to such foods as : wheat, milk, peanuts, soya, green beans or tomatoes, and in that case also to poke.

My wife and I cook and package up at least 52 zip lock packs which will allow us enough for a serving each week. Poke preserves perfectly and always taste like fresh. Poke is perfect, take my word for it.. Serve with a pinch of salt, seasoned gourmet rice vinegar and a couple of spoonfuls of crisp bacon bits. For me it is the modern day “Manna from Heaven”

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Taken on May 8, 2006