Poke Salad, a Mountain Tradition
A family tradition my mom kept was to seek out young poke sprouts in the spring and make poke salad, a king of cooked green. Back before grocery store chains and refrigeration, country folk came out of winter craving a fresh green to eat, and poke was one of the newly sprouted plants that were sought out, along with “creesies” or spring crest. The lack of fresh green vegetables during the winter months sometimes caused a vitamin deficiency, and poke fit the bill as a spring pick me up due to its very high vitamin A and C content.
Poke, also called pokeweed or pokeberry, is considered a weed that comes up in waste places that are not regularly mown. It is a perennial plant growing up to eight feet tall, and has fairly large, spear shaped leaves with smooth edges. The stem is a purplish red color near the base and is hollow. The outer branches are green with a reddish tinge. There are clusters of white flowers in the spring that later produce bunches of dark purple berries in the fall.
Poke is a plant of contradiction, being listed as both edible and poisonous. The older stems, the roots, and the berries are considered toxic and should not be consumed. The very young and tender new shoots are considered the only part of the plant that is edible. These should be less than 8 inches long and have no red color on the stem. They normally have young immature leaves with them. To prepare them they are boiled for 30 minutes in two changes of water. My mom liked to flavor boiled poke by frying it in bacon grease and serving as a side vegetable.
Poke is noted as having medicinal qualities as well. The high vitamin content of the cooked greens was used to treat scurvy, and the berries and roots were used as a poultice to treat sores, rheumatism, and bruises. The berries are very popular with songbirds, fox, and opossum. They are especially relished by mourning dove, which have been known to become intoxicated by eating fermented berries.
The City of Plainview hosted a ribbon cutting to mark the Grand Opening of the Dollar General Store at 1900 Tazewell Pike. Mayor Gary Chandler welcomed the crowd and thanked all who made this day possible. Mayor Chandler stated that Plainview is a growing community of caring individuals and that the city will continue to strive to “meet the needs of our citizens”.
Summer is in full swing at the Union County Farmers Market. The market is located in Wilson Park and open on Saturdays from 10am – 1pm. Our new Saturday hours allow our farmers to harvest early on Saturday morning bringing you the freshest possible produce. We hope the later hours will also encourage you to take advantage of the food trucks that are joining us! Enjoy a snack, breakfast or lunch.
A few days ago I had just risen from my chair to go to the great room for a cup of coffee. I really stood up and took notice, stopping dead in my tracks. There came a sudden crack of lightning with a deafening roar of thunder. All at the same time. That was not only close, it had to be right on top of us. My immediate worry was if there was any damage.
Being old has its disadvantages, but something I’m glad it allowed me to witness (at age 15) was the first moon landing and walk that occurred 50 years ago this month. It was one of those moments you remember exactly. In my case it was at my boyhood home in Middlesboro, Kentucky at 10:30 on a Sunday night. Me and my dad (mom was out of town) sat there watching a small black and white television totally mesmerized as these two guys walking around on another world. I remember lots of goosebumps and feeling so happy (I was a bona fide science geek by then).
I have always liked red table grapes, but have previously looked in vain for a way to cook them. A few years ago our church group took a trip up to Cumberland Falls in Kentucky. While there, we had lunch at their tearoom. Grape Salad was on the menu. It was delicious and new to all of us. We asked for the recipe. The one they gave us didn't turn out at all like the tasty salad we had there. Don't you hate that? When someone gives you a recipe and its not quite like their dish.
A recent study demonstrated that from fiscal year 2005 through 2015, the number of on-station VA chiropractic clinics increased from 27 to 65, and the number of veterans receiving care in these clinics increased from just over 4,000 to over 37,000. VA continues to assess and modify its delivery of chiropractic services to meet veteran demand.
Enthusiasts from around the world traveled to spectate the picturesque landscapes of unique blooms at the Twentieth Annual Oakes Daylily Bloom Festival on Friday and Saturday June 28 and 29. The weather was usual for East Tennessee’s late June days, very hot and muggy, but the temperatures did not slow down the masses of guests attending.
At the Union County Historical Society Meeting on Sunday, July 21, at 2:30 at the UC Museum, Bill Landry of Heartland Series fame will share stories from his new book, WHEN the WEST was TENNESSEE. Lisa Oakley will relate information on the East Tennessee History Center's new exhibit, “Mountain Dew”.
A class for Tennessee's divorcing parents. Held in Union County on the last Monday each month. Preregistration required at 865-992-8038 or email@example.com
Moore about the program at https://extension.tennessee.edu/Union/Pages/FCS-Co-Parenting.aspx
Enjoy a day of family-friendly fun! Children can compete in fun contests like "corniest joke," "fastest corn eater," and "fastest corn shucking." There will be door prizes and live music. Local vendors may sell corn products at no cost to them. In addition to corn-related shopping, local produce and craft vendors will be at the farmers market. There will be games, history exhibits, and fun demonstrations for everyone. We'll see you there!
This will be a simple self serve buffet. It will include Buttered Grits (cheese optional), Fresh- Baked Banana Muffins, Toast with homemade Strawberry and Fig Preserves, Fresh Fruit Salad, and Quiche Florentine. We will serve Orange Juice, Milk, Tea, and Coffee to drink.
The Grainger County Ridge Runners Car Club is hosting their annual car show August 10th, 2019 from 9:00am-3:00pm at Blaine City Park. (220 Indian Ridge Road Blaine, TN 37709) Rain or Shine. There will be a Car Show, Swap Meet, Food Vendors, 50/50 Drawing, Fried Green Grainger County tomatoes, and Door Prizes. Proceeds benefit Local Charities and Nonprofits. Every vehicle welcome. Hotrod, Street Rod, Car, Truck, Rat-rod, Race Cars, etc. Any vendor welcome to setup or advertise. Entry Fee is $15 for preregistered cars, and $20 day of show.
Merlin Rose Johnson, age 82, of Andersonville, formerly of Knoxville, passed away July 17, 2019. She enjoyed her career in nursing at Ft. Sanders Regional Hospital and attending gospel singings. She was a wonderful cook, and spent much time in the kitchen preparing meals. She was preceded in death by her father Ed Miller and husband Virgil Johnson.
Jerry Lynn Hubbs, Jr.-age 46 of Knoxville passed away Thursday, July 11, 2019 at his home following a brief battle with cancer. He was a member of Fairview Baptist Church, Luttrell. Preceded in death by father, Jerry Lynn Hubbs, Sr.; mother, Joyce Bailey Cline; grandparents, Frank and Mary Bailey; granddaughter, Riley Hubbs.
Reverend Luther Vineyard Cox – age 93 of Maynardville, went home to be with the Lord on Wednesday, July 10, 2019 peacefully at home with his family by his side. He was a lifelong member and former pastor of Cedar Grove Missionary Baptist Church. Luther was retired from Dempster Brothers and was a United States Army Veteran serving in World II.
Lowell Edward George, Sr., age 81 of Knoxville went home to be with the Lord on Friday, July 5, 2019 at 11:05 am with his family surrounding him. He was a longtime member of Central Baptist Church, Fountain City and lifelong resident of Knoxville. He was greatly loved by his family and all who knew him and was a father figure to many. Lowell is preceded in death by mother and father Eva and Tom Newberry.
Samuel “Sam” E. Hampton, age 70, formerly of Beckley, WV, passed away peacefully at home in Knoxville, TN on Thursday, July 4, 2019. He loved football and was an avid fan of the Cleveland Browns. He was also a lover of animals.
Survived by his wife of 46 years, Sharron Hampton and daughter Jennifer and her husband John Morris.
A service will be held at 1:30 p.m. Sunday, July 7, 2019 at Mynatt Funeral Home Fountain City Chapel with Minister Brad Hood officiating.
Clarence Henegar, age 85, lifelong resident of Knoxville, went to be with the Lord on July 3, 2019. He was a member of Salem Baptist Church for 50 years, and served as a deacon for 40 years. He was a graduate of Central High School, and went on to graduate from Cooper Institute. He retired from the U.S. Postal Service after 32 years of service. In his younger years he enjoyed bowling, and was an avid golfer. He was very well known in the dancing community. As a young man he enjoyed square dancing, and in later years, ballroom and country dancing.
Donald L. Fowler, age 80, of Knoxville passed away Tuesday, July 2, 2019. He enjoyed spending time with his family and eating out. He is preceded in death by wife of 26 years Carol Fowler, parents; Hugh & Hester Fowler, brothers; Albert, Billy, Glenn and James, and by dog Peanut. He is survived by son Keith Fowler, brother Wilbur Fowler of Springfield, Tennessee and many nieces and nephews. The family will receive friends from 2:00pm-4:00pm on Saturday, July 6, 2019 at Grove Heights Baptist Church (818 Frank Street Knoxville, TN). A service will follow at 4:00pm with Rev.
Lois Ann Lee – age 67 of Maynardville, went to be with the Lord on July 2, 2019.
She is preceded in death by her husband, Wayne Lee; parents, Clarence and Dorothy Effler; sister, Linda Sexton; brothers, Bobby and Charlie Effler. Lois is survived by her daughter, Sheila (Kenneth) Lawler; son, Bobby (Tammy) Tharp; several grandchildren and great grandchildren; sisters, Emma (Bill) Collins, Karen (Randy) Chamberlain and Gerri (Mark) Ford; brother, Sandy (Peggy) Effler; and a host of loving nieces and nephews and other family members.