I am reminded of this character every year. You see, Polk Salad is a prolific weed around here. And it always finds its way into my garden. When my parents come to visit, they usually walk around and admire my garden. They are always very polite and never mention my weeds - except for the polk salad. They always point it out, and with excited recognition, exclaim "Oh, look!".
"Yes, I need to weed."
"That's Polk Salad, you know." This is said like this is the answer to world hunger. And that I have just announced I was going to eradicate every bit of it from the earth. As if world hunger rests upon my shoulders, and I was choosing to ignore this gift to the world.
"But I don't like polk salad." Here's where I start to feel like the character in Dr. Seuss' famous book.
"You don't like polk salad?" Their voices raise at the end. Like they had never given any consideration to the fact that someone might actually not like polk salad! How shocking!
This question is posed to me every year. How do they not know this? I was raised by these people! I have never like polk salad. Not as a child, not as a teenager, not as an adult. No matter how often it was prepared and presented to me. I do not like it, Sam-I-Am!
"No, I don't like it."
"You don't like polk salad?" They just can't get this into their minds.
"No, I don't like it." I always start to smile at this point. I can't help it.
"Oh." Their shoulders slump. World hunger will not be cured this year. They turn away, disappointed.
I know they want to continue asking me if I could eat it on a horse, in a house, with a mouse, and all those other silly situations. I want them to remember that I don't like it. Not on a plane, not on a train, not in the air - not anywhere!
But every year it makes its way into the garden. And every year I have to explain I did not plant it, I do not like it, I will not harvest it, I will not eat it. To me, it is a weed! I do not like it, Sam-I-Am! I do not like it, Sam, you see!
|Polk Salad, on right, hiding behind hydrangeas|
PS: Polk salad is poisonous when mature. If you choose to prepare polk salad, be certain you know when to harvest it! Here's a link to the Tennessee Polk Salad Association if you want more information.
Now, tell me, do you like polk salad?