Mystery berries

Today’s project: Try to ascertain exactly what I have growing in my front yard. It’s too dark to take a picture right now, so I’ll have to wait until this weekend, but I have a pair of large evergreen bushes in my yard. They have flat leaves instead of needles. The leaves are shaped sort of like a bay leaf. This fall, they produced a prodigious amount of little white flowers, which eventually gave way to little orange berries encased in white husks. The husks have mostly disappeared at this point, leaving the little fruit.

The leaves make me think what we have are Burford hollies, but the berries look more like bittersweet. I know it can’t be bittersweet, because it’s an evergreen (bittersweet is deciduous), and the growth habit is different.

I’ll post a picture sometime in the next few days and let any botanists out there have a go at it. I suppose I could get off my duff and snip a sample to take to the extension service, but that would be too much like work.

I hope we get some rain here soon. They’ve banned fireworks at New Year’s because our recent drought has turned most of eastern Oklahoma into a giant tinderbox, but I don’t see the citizens of Red Fork honoring that ban this weekend. A good soak tonight or tomorrow would go a long way toward preventing any mishaps if someone gets carried away with the sparklers Saturday night.

Have a good evening, wherever you are. Time to slip into the kitchen and see what I can rustle up for dinner. Somebody on a forum I frequent mentioned Vegemite today, so I’m thinking supper might involve Marmite (the British knockoff of Vegemite that we get at the health-food store here in Tulsa) and tahini on toast. Too bad I don’t have any homegrown tomatoes this time of year.

Ah, well. Summer will be here eventually. In the meantime, you can start making your wish list and planning your garden here.

Emily,
thinking that the best thing about winter is that it makes you appreciate summer more.

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6 Responses to Mystery berries

  1. shadow says:

    Except for the chance to go snow skiing and snow boarding up in the mountains, so I would say it is the best long term thing about winter.
    What is tahini?

  2. Emily says:

    Tahini is a spread similar to peanut butter, except it is made from sesame seeds. It is used in hummus (a Middle Eastern dip made from chickpeas), salad dressing, and sauces for meat and other dishes.

    I had a link to explain it, but for some reason, the page reloaded itself before I posted it, and the link disappeared.

    Anyway, it’s yummy stuff. You can get it at the health-food store, and some big grocery stores carry it. I like to make a sandwich out of it, like peanut butter, except I add sliced tomatoes and cucumbers (if I have them), maybe a squeeze of lemon, and a little bit of Vegemite or Marmite if I have some on hand.

    It also makes a terrific salad. You mix it with water to thin it down, add lemon juice to make it zippy, and toss it with cucumbers, tomatoes, and black olives. I think I could eat my weight in tahini. :)

    Emily

  3. shadow says:

    Thanks Emily.
    So I have eaten tahini and did not even know it. I have eaten hummus several times in the past.

    That does sound like a tasty salad I may have to grab some of those ingredients and put it together.

  4. All this talk about tahini and hummus is making me so hungry, I think I’m gonna have to grab a late lunch at my favorite Lebanese deli.

    Emily

  5. shadow says:

    You have a Lebanese deli? I have got to move to a bigger city! Or it could be that I am living in the Carolinas! ;-)

  6. We’re spoiled here in Tulsa. We have two absolutely wonderful Lebanese delis, one mediocre Lebanese deli, two steakhouses that serve you tons of Lebanese appetizers before you get your steak, and literally dozens of grocery stores and restaurants that offer tabouli salad. You can walk in the mom-and-pop grocery store and find tabouli in tubs next to the potato salad and coleslaw, and it’s on the menu at a lot of the barbecue places here in town.

    Just another reason I love Tulsa….

    Emily

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