Japanese Knotweed Straws

We’ve hit the inflection point of spring. Everything is growing, toughening, coming into bloom and vanishing.
This will probably always be my favorite thing to do with Japanese knotweed: Puncture the internal septa with a chopstick or kabob skewer and use it as a straw. Nibble on it while drinking. It’s perfect with a gin & tonic.

Also part of today’s harvest:

  • Half a gallon of dandelion petals, currently in a bucket of water, waiting to become wine.
  • A scant handful of broombuds – I might’ve been a bit early for these. The very first few full flowers were out, but most of the buds were still small, hard to see and pick. When raw they have a very distinct flavor that I’m coming to think of as “pea family” – like if you let a sweet pea get old and starchy. Haven’t tried pickling them yet.
  • A sunburn! Just a little one. It feels so nice to be a Vitamin D autotroph again.
  • Blackberry and raspberry leaves, which I’m fermenting for tea.
  • Blackberry and raspberry shoots. The raspberry shoots aren’t bad, but I only had a small handful – not enough for real culinary experimentation. The Himalayan blackberry shoots are sadly much less tasty than any of the other Rubus species I’ve tried so far – not intolerable, but markedly more bitter/astringent. Between that and the vigor of the thorns I think they’re probably a famine food, but maybe I’ll give ’em one more try cooked.
  • Way more knotweed than just a straw. I filled the dehydrator, and now it’s time to stop blogging and make a knotweed-apple pie for tomorrow.

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