Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Sassafras Leaves.....

The woods around us are filled with lots of different trees. I have several favorites and the Sassafras is one of them.
It grows a bit like a weed here, showing up all over the wooded areas and throughout the yard.
I hate when I have to get rid of one. I really enjoy their odd leaves and the wonderful fall colors they give.
This one has taken up with a large pine tree and is now getting a bit big. It is not a good place for the tree to be growing, but I have not had the heart to get rid of it.
I keep telling Mark it has to go. Then I see it's leaves and now the fall colors and my heart is not in letting it go.
I have used the green leaves as a pattern on tiles- so there is a bond between me and these leaves.
It also brings back memories of my brother and his friends digging the root, making a fire outside and drinking the Sassafras tea.
It seemed so wild and somehow reckless to me, standing there drinking something we dug from the ground.
Mark also watched a show about using the leaves to make gumbo.
We took some of the dried leaves and ground them up , but I confess I have never made gumbo before- But I think about it.
Do any of you use the Sassafras leaves or root?

My mind is on leaves and tiles but my hands are working on the wheel getting ready for the next show.

So tiles need to wait until I have some down time.....


Laurie/AbelaBodycare said...

I too have read about using the sassafras leaves for gumbo, but also have not eaten gumbo. Not sure if I've ever seen a vegi version of it. So, no help here!

Jay Henderson said...

If you do decide to remove the sassafras tree, save me any long, straight limbs (six feet or so). They make great hiking sticks. I have one I made from a sassafras limb; one of my two favorites.

I have used dried, crushed sassafras leaves for cooking -- they do impart an unusual flavor -- and once helped make tea from roots, which is, I must say, a lot of bother for tea.

terri kennedy said...

I'm from Louisiana and file' (ground up sassafras root) gumbo is a staple food around here, especially in the winter. Nothing like a good seafood gumbo. But you can make it vegetarian also. Really it's just a roux soup with whatever you have in the fridge. Anyway, I think your pottery and tiles are BEAUTIFUL!!!

cookingwithgas said...

Hi Laurie- I bet we could come up with a veggie gumbo.
Jay sorry small tree no walking sticks out of this one.
And Terri- You use the dried root and not the leaves.... hummm this could be useful for taking down this tree.

terri kennedy said...

Hey, I'm sorry, when I read your response is when I realized that I said "root" , but what I meant was "leaves"...I guess I was thinking about the root and the tea...I don't know...probably just age. hahaha. But at our local arts and farmers market that I do each month, there is an cajun man, that sits there and grinds up fresh file'. It's really interesting to watch because he has a stump and a BIG wooden pestal. The stump has been ground on, by the pestal, so much that it's now a nice shaped, smooth, wooden bowl in the top of the stump. It's really fascinating watching him throw more leaves in there and hand grind away. People either like file' in their gumbo , or they can't stand it. So most of us make gumbo without it and have it on the table to sprinkle it on there. Me? I love it. haha

cookingwithgas said...

Hey Terri! Thanks- what is the best time to gather the leaves? Do you wait until they are dried or at the stage in the picture on the blog?
Great info - and I like having it on the table.

Sandy said...

The leaf piece is absolutely stunning, I love it!!!

terri kennedy said...

Since file' is a green powder from the green leaves. I believe that, from what I know (which is very little. haha)you take the green leaves and dry them (on the counter or where ever) and once they are dried you de-stem them and then grind them. I wish I had a sassafra tree to do that with. I might have to "borrow" one of my neighbors leaves sometime and try it. haha. Let me know if you make it and how it comes out!