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#1
Posted May 4th 2008, 10:25pm
B and I were out trail-blazing in the woods today, deliberately NOT hunting for mushrooms. We noticed several others NOT doing the same and conspicuously avoided them, and they returned the favor.

We happened upon a man pulling greenery from the ground into shopping bags. We politely inquired if he intended to eat such, and he answered in the affirmative. What is the plant called? He did not know the name in English, but in his native Romania it is called “orzeca” (spelling mine).

It looks like this in the ground:
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And this in his hand:
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Preparation? He boils it, chops it, adds some oil and garlic and salt and milk and flour a whole bunch of other things we can’t remember. And it tastes good. It also makes an inevitable tea with extravagant medicinal qualities. It doesn’t taste good.

SO, what is this plant? And is it good eating?

(The following is superfluous, as, I suppose, much of the leading was.)

The old man went on. Ever since the introduction of white flour and refined sugar we’ve forgotten that God gave us everything we need to be healthy and happy right here, in the ground, all around us. He even wrote a book about it, with a glossary listing all the major diseases and which plant will cure. The book even explained how to make anybody a millionaire. When he segued into the Book of Daniel and some beast with ten horns and a bunch of fighting goats(?), B and I politely excused ourselves.

He thanked us for our company. We said, “God bless,” and shared a conspiratorial wink as we turned away, and resumed our plodding, hyper-vigilant gait, eyes scanning the ground, with occasional crouches for further investigation, yet ever conscious of our surroundings and the now.

We discovered a bronze shrine to some long forgotten horse deity.
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B poked it with a stick as she did many things – it did not “ting” the way she hoped. She carries the stick no longer to slay dragons but to stave off possible coyotes and cougars.
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She was delighted to find some cicada exoskeletons still attached to a tree trunk and then waxed-wistful about the next sixteen years. Buds were bursting out of the trees right before our wide eyes. Greenery crawled out from beneath the dirt, rising our feet off the ground. Birds sang songs to grateful ears while deer danced and flolicked. We did not find much else but a bit of peace.

-ramon
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#2
Posted May 5th 2008, 8:35am
This is probably way, way too easy to be right...

Garlic Mustard?

Nettles?
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#3
Posted May 5th 2008, 11:19am
I'd suggest google but the querying for 'orzeca' brings up this post as the first result :D
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#4
Posted May 8th 2008, 9:30pm
Based on nothing but a smattering of Romanian and French, I'm guessing that what you spelled "orzeca" is spelled "ortica" (with the t having a cedilla and pronounced "ts") This is very much like "ortie" the French word for nettle.
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Man : I can't understand how a poet like you can eat that stuff.
T. S. Eliot: Ah, but you're not a poet.
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#5
Posted May 8th 2008, 11:51pm
I agree on the nettle front. I was just reading an article about nettles a few months ago, as part of the pre-Roman diet:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/pages/live/a ... ge_id=1770
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#6
Posted May 10th 2008, 9:13pm
Thanks to your generous responses, I'm convinced the plant is nettles. I doubt people make tea of the garlic mustard plant, but you are welcome to try!

My op question was two part though: are nettles good eating? I kinda doubt it without serious prep, but times are tough, who knows?

Pic taken hours ago, right off Irving Park Rd:
Image

Get out there and good luck.

-ramon
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#7
Posted May 10th 2008, 9:50pm
Ramon wrote:My op question was two part though: are nettles good eating? I kinda doubt it without serious prep, but times are tough, who knows?

Bridgestone's nettle soup
How to handle nettles, soup, tea
Nettle gnocchi
More nettle recipes
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LAZ
Please see this thread on LTHForum's new Terms of Service
for why my photos and other portions of my posts have been removed
Index to LTHForum Recipes, 2004-2008
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#8
Posted May 11th 2008, 12:15am
Nice, LAZ! Many thanks.
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#9
Posted May 11th 2008, 10:25am
Ramon wrote:Pic taken hours ago, right off Irving Park Rd:

Get out there and good luck.

-ramon


Irving and what ? Irving Park is a long road :)
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