Thursday, November 13, 2008

Things that you could eat but why would you want to?

This week, edibles that are growing in my yard that I find unappealing.

9. Rosemary
Already knew: Rosemary is a shrub. People use the leafy bits as a spice in cooking, but to me they have always tasted like the pine needles I ate once on a dare. Eeeew. It's also used in a lot of creams and lotions, like the hippy dippy bum balm my aunt gave us for Moira. Like all herbs, you'll get the best flavor if you have it fresh, but you can easily dry it by hanging a bunch in a window. But why would you want to?
Recently learned: It's a member of the mint family (Lamiaceae). The name derives from the Latin for Dew of the Sea. Rosemary oil my cause epileptic seizures, so if you have a history of those or have shown an allergy to Rosemary, use caution. Large quantities of rosemary leaves can cause adverse reactions, such as coma, spasm, vomiting, and pulmonary edema (fluid in the lungs) that can be fatal. Avoid consuming large quantities of rosemary if pregnant or breastfeeding. And that's why you shouldn't eat it. Don't you love how the internet supports my anti rosemary agenda?

10. Mushroom
Already knew: First of all, I have no idea if this is actually an edible mushroom or one of the ones that will kill you, although my uncle Rich probably does since he goes mushrooming all the time (Hi Rich! Please never fill my fridge with mushrooms while I'm gone! Thanks!). That's the main thing I know about mushrooms, never pick and eat wild ones without the help of someone who knows what the heck they are doing. Mushrooms are a fungus. Mushrooms that make you trip are technically poisonous, people just like the reaction. Mushrooms are part of a strange and mysterious organism that lives underground. It is still impossible to tell where a mushroom spore thingy lives, unless you've seen them pop up in that place before, and some mushrooms won't pop up regularly, some only pop up every other year, or ten or a hundred. I don't know, it seems like a lot of work to me, especially since they are similar to snakes in that perfectly innocuous mushrooms look remarkably like horrible death mushrooms, only mushrooms don't have a more angular jaw to help you tell the difference.
Recently learned: The terms "mushroom" and "toadstool" go back centuries and were never precisely defined, nor was there consensus on application, although toadstool was usually used for poisonous fungus. That's all I'm looking for right now because I hate mushrooms that much.

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