Friday, July 18, 2008

Backyard food, drink, and sunsets

This entry is mostly an excuse to share some beautiful photos, along with a few stories about the wonders to be found in the (rather large) backyard of our host family.

Here I am, armed with a shovel and a bucket on our expedition to gather some echinacea (purple cone flower) and timpsula (Lakota for prairie turnip). The prairie turnip is most abundant in June and was one of the staple foods for Lakota (Sioux) people here on the plains. They still gather it, dry it, and store it for many months to use in soups, etc. It is a root vegetable somewhat like a potato.

Here are some purple cone flowers and a picture of me holding the biggest root we dug on our first day. It is the root that is used as "tooth ache medicine" and the whole plant that is used in teas and in commercial cough drops, pills, etc.

Here is Alison holding a timpsula, and the chopped timsula we prepared after finding a grand total of four -- what can I say, it was the middle of July and quite a bit past prime timsula season.

We have taken to making "sun tea" on the back porch -- common practice around here. You take a gallon jar, put four or five teabags in it, and then let it sit out in the sun for an afternoon. It makes warm-ish tea that you can then mix with sugar and ice for a very refreshing drink.Here is a pretty little windmill -- commonplace on land used for ranching as they are used to pump water for cattle.

Another view of our house, this time in the light of the late evening with the moon above.

And finally, a sunset. I couldn't resist.


El Esquincle said...

we should make sun tea in 412!

keep the adventures coming. :)

Kendra Johnson said...

we should, and will, make sun tea in 412.