Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Creasey Greens

It's the season for creasy greens in our area, and that means delicious fresh greens, the first of the season, have been gracing our table.



As we were driving home Sunday afternoon, I spotted a large patch on the side of the road in Calhoun County. you know what I said--"Turn around!" Larry was willing because he likes greens as well or better than I do.

We parked on the side of the road by a little creek, and Larry was soon picking greens. I was too, although what I was picking wasn't creasy greens, it was daylily shoots. I am sure that people passing by laughed at me and thought I was picking the lilies thinking that they were ramps. But I knew what I wanted--the juicy, tasty young shoots taste marvelous in a salad. The tubers are also supposed to be edible but I have never tried them. I like the young shoots and leaves chopped up in salads, and the flowers batter-dipped and fried; I have also heard that the flower buds can be eaten and I plan to try them this summer.

Larry picked for quite a while, and he said there were plenty of greens left when he was finished. It's always a good thing to leave enough of a wild plant to re-seed and re-populate an area for the coming years.


Creasy greens generally prefer damp, rich places to grow so this hillside seems odd in a way. But they are prolific and will grow pretty much anywhere, even in poor soil. In 15 minutes Larry had filled his bag.



Dark green, rich in nutrients and with a flavor like spinach, creasy greens are a real springtime bargain.


We knew we needed to clean the greens as soon as we got home to preserve the best of their flavor and nutrients. Larry washed them and I cut off the bottom of the clusters (too much dirt hides in there) and checked to be sure all grass, leaves and debris were removed. Then I put them into a pot of boiling water for about a minute (long enough to wilt them thoroughly), drained, rinsed with cold water and bagged them up for the freezer.


We ended up with 4 packages that are just the right size for the two of us for a meal.
 
And of course we kept out enough to have for our supper that evening. Creasy greens and scrambled eggs--a perfect springtime meal. A lot of people like to drizzle bacon grease on their greens, and that's good but bacon grease just isn't on our diet these days.
 

I hope we can get out and pick some more of this delicious free food before they get too big and get bitter. Although when the flower buds form, those can be cooked and eaten like broccoli, so there's a "second season" coming for anyone who wants to give them a try.

12 comments:

Gingerbreadshouse7 said...

I"m glad you posted a picture of greasy greens so I'd know what they look like :o), Maybe they have them here in NC.. This year I've been blessed with mixed greens returning this spring..hubby and I have been going green crazy..Also the collards made it through the winter ..we will pick them today (as soon as I leave the computer)...it's been busy already before "Harvest" time :o)

Susie Swanson said...

Yes they do have them here in North Carolina. When my mother was still living she picked them every spring before they got tuff. We love those cressy greens. I've never tried the Daylily shoots, will have to give them a try. Thank you for posting this, now you've made me hungry. Haha, Susie

Janet, said...

When I was growing up, we always went out and picked creasy greens. I don't see too many of them around where I live, but I might take a look see. I never froze them before.

Angela said...

We have the wild onions growing everywhere this year. I seen John eat them on wsaz the other day. I can't wait to see if the ramps we planted last year made it!

Farmchick said...

There was a gentlemen on our local swap shop yesterday giving away creasy greens.

FOLKWAYS NOTEBOOK said...

Granny Sue -- You two sure picked some beautiful greens. And some memories -- the scrambled eggs and greens mixture was a favorite of my dad's. Enjoyed your post.

patsy reckart said...

you story about picking greens brought back memories for me, when I was growing up , on sundays after church and after sunday dinner we would go pick greens with a [poke] a brown bag now and a sharp knife we would scour the fields for young greens just coming up after the long winter. we would pick dandelioms poke dock, there were lots more but i don't remember them Mom would wash and wash them several times and the she would cook the and then drain off al the water and put them in pan and fry them with bacon greese, we like to add vinegar on them, I might have to try to find some soon pat

Granny Sue said...

All, I've been away all day and just reading your posts-and our power was out last night! I loved reading your memories and comments about greens.

Janet, we got more today on our way home from Flatwoods. A whole garbage bag full! Larry is cleaning them right now, then it will be my job to get them ready for the freezer. You should look and see if they're up around you.

Granny Sue said...

Angela, I know people eat those wild onions but they are just too strong for my taste. Larry checked our ramps yesterday and they weren't up yet. We planted them too, about 2 years ago.Let me know if yours make it!

Farmchick, he was one nice guy to be giving them away. Getting them is a lot of bending. I hope someone took him up on his offer.

Granny Sue said...

Patsy, Larry has the same memories. It sounds like your mom knew a lot about gathering greens. We got more today in Calhoun county; seems to be our place to find them this year.

steeleweed said...

Granny grew up in rural Ohio and when she move to the high Rockies she really missed a lot of the plants that wouldn't grow at that altitude. She had a use for everything - food, medicine, potpourri or decoration. Most of our salads and a lot of the veggies were wild or stuff that had gone wild from abandoned farms.

BTW: You know any good recipes for switchel? I've tried several but none match the taste of what our hay crew drank 60 years ago. Another of granny's secrets...

Caroline said...

Granny Sue, just found your blog, and it's a treasure trove! I'm putting together a recipe/picture/miscellaneous book to go along w/my novel (out in Sept; The Redemption of Caralynne Hayman). Looking for some authentic (or close) WV recipes. Can I get a copy of how to fix the Creasy Greens? It'd be perfect!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...