I am on a journey of discovery! My eyes have been reborn and as poor as my sight is,
I am seeing things I never saw before. It is an absolute delight. We were on a stroll and came across a plant I didn’t know what it was. It had a single stem and a large leaf that looked like a patio umbrella with 8 points on it. Under it hung a little green object that I wondered if it would develop into fruit or some kind of seed pod. We cut one stem and took it home and put it in a vase.
The search began as I dug through my vocabulary to find the right words to describe it. Ultimately words must lead your direction down the search engine path to the destination that will tell you “All” things. 🙂 I tried everything I could for several days. I was feeling CRAZY! I am an information sponge and everything in me craves new information. Finally I found a site that gave up the details I was searching for, after several rabbit-trail diversions and here it is: http://livingafield.com/Index.htm
It was listed under edible plants on this site. The ripe fruit can be eaten raw, cooked, or made into a jam or jelly. It can also be used to make a lemonade-like drink. It actually looks like a small lemon.
You may have to gather for some time to use in recipes. I’m going to try freezing them till I have enough. From this site I found some recipes http://www.schools.lth5.k12.il.us/bths-east/mayapple.html
May Apple Chiffon Pie
The pie is greatly improved by first cooking the may-apple and pressing the pulp through a colander, then let the pulp stand 20 minutes. Soften 1 envelope of unflavored gelatin in 1/4 cup cold water. Dissolve the mixture, add 1 T lemon juice, and a dash of salt. Chill until partially set. Fold in a package of whipped cream, pour into a graham cracker crust and chill thoroughly.
May Apple Marmalade
Cut off both the flowering and stem end of the may-apple and quarter into a large pan. Simmer for 15 minutes and use a colander to get the pulp. For two cups of thick pulp, add 1/2 package of Sure-Jell and 2 3/4 cups of sugar. When the mixture boils and thickens, pour it into jars and seal.
May Apple Cider
A good drink is made by peeling and chopping chunks of the may-apple into a large bowl. Add sugar and let the mixture set to draw out the juice. Mash the mixture and run it through the colander. Now, add a jigger of this liquid to a glass of lemonade for a pleasant iced beverage. Others prefer to add half of the juice to a half portion of grape.
Some more information:
The name, Podophyllum, comes from the Greek podos (foot) and phyllon (leaf), which alludes to a fanciful resemblance of the leaf to an aquatic bird’s foot: hence, the seldom used common name of duck’s foot. More often, it is known as mayapple (our native mayapple blooms in May). The beautiful but exceedingly toxic plant has several other perplexing common names that lend themselves to confusion: wild lemon (presumably because the ripened berries resemble tiny lemons), ground lemon, devil’s apple, hog apple, raccoon berry, Indian apple and American mandrake.
You can read more:
I’m just discovering these things in nature. Do any of you out there have information that would be valuable to others about using this plant? I found this intensely interesting and am looking forward to trying to use this resource. While it isn’t a major providing source, it brings variety into the food mix. I happen to like variety.
I’m looking forward to your comments. Thanks for letting me share my discovery with you. Stop in again soon and visit. I am continuing my quest to find all the edible resources at my disposal. It’s awesome to discover God‘s worldwide free grocery store. Help me search and tell me what you have found. You are always welcome to come along my garden path. 🙂 Jan
NOTICE: Nothing is edible except the fruit. Handling of the plant itself should be kept to a minimum. Pick the fruit and leave the rest alone. 🙂 Want everyone to stay safe.