Saturday, June 25, 2011

I Do Not Like It!

In the book "Green Eggs and Ham" by Dr. Seuss, there is a character that insists he does not like green eggs and ham - no matter where they are offered or how they are served.

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? 


  1. What an amusing anecdote! Gives you motivation to do intensive weeding of Polk Salad just before your parents visit :)

  2. Mark and Gaz - haha, yes, but since they live very near, I never know when they're going to visit. They see the garden in all its different states!

  3. "Poisonous when mature?" What kind of vegetable is THAT? What if you miss the non-poisonous window by a few hours, then what? It sounds like some kind of salad Russian roulette... You really captured that parent/grownup child dialogue, & the Dr. Suess was perfect, loved it!

  4. This is a fun post, and, no I do not like polk salad. However, my parents did. I think they learned to eat it during the depression years. Who knows -if the economy continues to go the way it has been, we all may be hunting for polk salad!

  5. That stuff is edible? It comes up like crazy everywhere up here in Michigan, too, and I have never heard of anyone trying to eat it. As far as I know most people here agree with you and treat it as a weed. Though I think it is kind of great that there is even a Tennessee Polk Salad Association... :)

  6. polk salad annie, the gators got your grannie..

  7. Love your post, although like you I do not like polk salad - anywhere!

  8. I've never heard of Polk Salad but if you don't like it, surely I won't either. Not anywhere! :)

  9. I had a good laugh at this one. I have not heard of polk salad and I think I am probably fine with that after this post! x Sharon

  10. linniew - It's not hard to figure out if it's mature, because it forms berries. It has to be cut when small. The plant in the picture above is too large - it's already starting to form berries. These plants get 10 ft. tall or so if left alone!

    deb - I think you're right about learning to eat this during the depression. My grandparents ate all kinds of things I wouldn't want to eat!

    College Gardener - For some reason, polk salad is much more popular as a dish in the south. I don't think it's a very popular dish now, though it obviously was during my parent's childhood.

    Greggo - I knew someone would come up with that old song sung by Elvis Presley!

    Ava - I wish it'd stay out of my garden! My guess is the seeds gets blown in - or maybe brought in by birds.

    Grace - It tastes a bit like collard greens or turnip greens, if you've ever had those. It's certainly a frugal dish, as it grows along the side of the road!

    Sharon - I really don't think many people eat it now. In fact, I wonder how many young people have ever heard of polk salad.

  11. I've been pulling this very prolific WEED from my garden too. Never tried polk salad but know all about it. Nonetheless-I do not like it!

  12. I'd never heard of Polk salad until now! :)

  13. Very enjoyable read, HolleyGarden. I have heard of it but never tried it. My southern mother left all her southern recipes behind when she moved to Connecticut after getting married, so I was spared.

  14. Before today I had never heard of Polk Salad! It's interesting though how many weeds used to be considered food!

  15. tina - Good luck on getting rid of it in your garden! I can never seem to get rid of it all!

    Mrs. Bok - I would consider that a blessing! (My apologies to anyone that actually likes polk salad!)

    Sherry - haha Your mother must have had to eat polk salad, and decided that she was not going to eat that anymore! Of course, just because I don't like it doesn't mean everyone doesn't. My parents love it!

    Marguerite - I guess, like deb said above, people eat just about anything when they get hungry. I suppose if I were hungry enough, I would eat polk salad!

  16. Polk salad,what is it, what do you mean, what is it, I have never heard of it, you've never heard of it, no, honest, I haven't, and did you say, urmm, green eggs!

  17. Alistair - You've never heard of it? :) It used to be quite popular in the Southern part of the US, where it grows wild. Now, I've never had green eggs!

  18. Holley, I haven't heard of it either, but when I was young, my mom would try to get me to eat dandelion leaves and steamed nettles. Yuck.

  19. Masha - Now, I've never heard of that! Guess everyone has their own 'depression era' food that has fallen out of favor!

  20. This was so cute and creative! I love that much fun. I do not like polk salad either.

  21. Oh Holley how funny...I just remember the song Polk Salad Annie...never knew what it was but it just never sounded appetizing...

  22. Sage Butterfly - I love the book, too. Dr. Seuss was so clever! Some things you remember for a lifetime.

    Donna - No, even the name sounds bad. Of course, so does asparagus and spinach, and I like both of those!


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