Thursday, September 29, 2016

"The Vine That Ate The South"


Kudzu......dubbed the vine that ate the south. And rightly so! It's invasive, spreads rapidly at the rate of 60 feet during summer.  If you stand in one spot long enough, I'm sure you would have tendrils climbing your legs. No one, no one in their right mind wants Kudzu growing anywhere near their property, except Cliff. 

Cliff has been talking about planting a patch of Kudzu all summer long and that scares the C-Word outta me. You know why? Because if he sets his mind to do something, you can not talk him out of it. Let's just hope that I'm not too late.  

He wants to make a man-cave out of it. He thinks climbing underneath a thick growth of Kudzu, in the shade, hidden by the outside world would be wonderful. Never mind that the stuff spreads at the rate of 60 feet during summer and will smother anything it grows on. Cliff says there's nothing that can outlive a lawnmower. Lord have mercy, y'all! He's just about crazy enough to do it. Pray for me.

Cliff did some research and found that you can eat Kudzu....the newest, most tender leaves are the best, as are the flowers. You can make jelly from them. And he's been telling me that he's gonna bring some home and that I had to cook it. HaHa!

He did....last weekend. He picked a handful of leaves and brought them home for me to cook. And I did. 

Are you gagging, yet?

I sauteed them in a little bit of bacon drippings and added a tiny bit of salt and pepper. The cooked Kudzu look similar to spinach. (Sorry, I didn't think to get a picture of that part.) 

OMG! Listen y'all.... I was just as surprised as I'm sure you are. But that danged Kudzu was delicious!! It is more delicious than Kale. Now, I'm not sure if it's better than collards, I would have to try it again before I can be so bold as to make that statement. And, I do plan to try it again. Lidia and Sawyer even liked it. I googled some recipes and found that you can make jelly from the blossoms and that they smell like grapes. So Cliff went out and brought home a good handful. It wasn't enough to make jelly, but that was all he could find. Come to find out that Kudzu blooms from July-Sept and it's just a little past peak for the blossoms. You can bet, though, that next year Cliff will be gathering Kudzu blossoms for me to make Kudzu jelly.

However, having discovered all this, I still don't want Kudzu planted in my yard!! Let's hope Cliff uses his good sense and leaves the Kudzu in the woods or on the side of the road. 

~~~~~Laurie~~~~~




29 comments:

  1. Laurie, I have seen that kudzu in the sounth...so thick and climbing on poles, wires, trees, smothering everything in it's path. Maybe southerners need to be cooking it for supper everyday. Yuck I can not eat greens,...but my sister is crazy for any kind of cooked greens. LOL. I would be afraid of creepy crawly things in a kudzu hideout. :):) Blessings, xoxo, Susie

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    1. You've described Kudzu to a T. Oh, I love cooked greens... but I think harvesting Kudzu could get tricky. First of all, you need to find a patch that's not been sprayed with weed killer and not covered in dust and dirt and car exhaust. And then there's the creepy crawly things to worry about. I'm leaving all of that to Cliff. HaHa! He can pick it and I'll cook it.

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  2. Oh, that is so funny! Something tells me next summer there will be a Kudzu man cave, Kudzu dinners and Kudzu jelly all over the place. Kudzu will grow over your house until you can't see out the windows. hahaha...hope you survive!

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    1. Oh Lord! Help me now!! Lol!!

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    2. Just like "The Day Of The Triffids"....
      Too funny....

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    3. I had to google that.....haha!!

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  3. Really? That Cliff is a real joker, eh Laurie? Hahaha!
    I am not fond of Kale....but I love spinach...
    No invasive vines for me....no thanks!
    Really Cliff?
    Cheers!
    Linda :o)

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    1. Never a dull moment with Cliff!! He keeps me on my toes, but he's so much fun. Oh, I love Kale and Collards...and now, Kudzu. I just don't want it growing in my yard. Ha!!

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  4. Well now, I just learned things about kudzu I never knew. You can eat it and make jelly. Amazing! I'm all for anything that grows with wild abandon. Wonder if it would survive over here in the heat of the desert. I'd probably be jailed for introducing it to the country. :)

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    1. I really didn't know you could eat either, until Cliff brought it up. Oh Lord, I'm not sure if it would grow there. It likes heat and humidity.

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  5. Really, you can eat this? Wow! Cliff is on a mission but I don't think I'd want it taking over the garden!

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  6. Omg. I hope you can convince him not to! Did you know that in some states its against the law to throw kudzo on someones lawn? Thats how fast it spreads. Ive heard you can heat the stuff and I wouldnt be afraid to try it. You can also eat dandilion leafs and the yellow flower is sweet when battered and fried. Im willing to try that too. Ha.
    Our city hired goats to place around to get rid of the kudzu problem around here. Oh and those kudzu bugs! Yuk
    PS. Not sure how much the goats were paid. Haha
    Lisa

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    1. That's one time I'm pretty sure I'll put my foot down. HaHa!! I've heard you can eat dandelions, but haven't tried it yet. My thing is....how do you find some that hasn't been sprayed? Goats? Well, I'm sure they took care of it. It was probably a trade off.

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  7. The kids would love that cave..I have heard of this vine/word..but where?:)

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    1. I'm sure they would, too. You don't have Kudzu in Canada?

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  8. You and your friends are just too funny! Years ago, we had some friends who were moving down from Massachusetts. While helping them unpack, I came across a packet of Kudzu seeds! I was dumb struck! But they said its planted as a summer vine since it is killed off by their long, cold winters. I was barely able to convince them to burn the seed packet before I left! Close call... I'll have to try your cooking receipt. I love collards and spinach (not kale so much). Maybe I'll throw in some okra, as well. Thanks for the day's chuckle. You are a wonderful story teller.

    Jim Fowler, Greenville, SC

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    1. Oh Lord, Jim! Now you've gone and done it! Okra.....I love it and I bet it would be fabulous cooked in with the Kudzu. Let me know if you try it. And next summer, I'll let you know how that Kudzu jelly turns out. HaHa!

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    1. We won't be, if I have anything to do with it. Lol!!

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  10. Couldn't you convince Cliff to build a nice, cozy tree house in a shady tree? He wouldn't have to admit it was for himself, but rather the grandkids.

    We don't have kudzu up here, but I do plant Morning Glories every year and folks down south have called me plain out crazy because they can be invasive in certain areas.

    Men! They get the darndest ideas!

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  11. Kudzu is a problem in my area - takes over everything.

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  12. Never heard of it and I'm going to assume it won't survive the winters up here in the North..atleast I hope so! Enjoy your new found food...hey, it might end up on Chopped one day!

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    1. I doubt it would survive your winters. We may have created the newest food craze....HaHa!

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  13. You have put a smile on my face this morning. Let's hope Cliff will gather this new found food elsewhere and not on your property. Nice to know that folks in the south will not starve.

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    1. He's still yanking my chain with the idea of planting kudzu in our yard. You're right, there's no way anyone in the south could starve with a good stand of kudzu. Ha!

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