Stories from the Stringam Family Ranches of Southern Alberta

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Daughter of Ishmael by Diane Stringam Tolley

Daughter of Ishmael

by Diane Stringam Tolley

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Friday, June 12, 2015

Food Foraging


Admit it, they would fool anyone!
First, a little insight into the 'Diane' thought process . . .
But they look like peas!
They open, like peas.
And they have little pea-type things in them.
And if they look like peas, and open like peas and have little pea things in them, they must be peas.
I'm eating them . . .

The Anderson family lived in a great barn of a house at the very top of the hill in Milk River. It was my favourite place to visit. And to play.
Not only did my best friend, Kathy, live there, but there were lots of other kids to play with (12 in all) and they had this amazing house with an infinite number of rooms and hallways and balconies and little, hidden cupboards. We could play pretend for an entire day and never run out of spaces or scenarios.
And to make things even better, across the road on the north and east, was farmland. With barley crops taller than we were, ripening in the sun.
I should probably mention here that Milk River has produced at least three Barley Kings. An award given for producing the best that the barley world had to offer.
But to me, barley simply made an excellent hiding place.
Moving on . . .
Along the road, on the East, screening the Ellert farm from the Anderson's back yard, was a high hedge of caragana.
That, in late summer, was hung with thousands of . . . peas.
Well, it made sense to me.
We had been playing hard most of the day and it was nearly time to go home for supper.
We were hungry.
Kathy did the smart thing. She ran to her house to find food.
Her sister, Laurie, and I decided to forage for ourselves. After all, there were all of these peas that no one else was picking. We simply couldn't let them go to waste.
Have I mentioned that I love peas?
I grabbed a big one and opened it.
Huh. Well, they weren't quite the right colour, but they were approximately the right shape and size.
I ate one.
Yuck. Not great. Well, the next one will be better.
Okay, it wasn't.
Maybe the next one.
Okay, all of those were pretty much awful.
The next pod will be sweet and tasty.
Nope.
Well, maybe the next one.
And so it went.
I can't tell you how many of the awful things Laurie and I ate. It must have been quite a few. Because we certainly got sick.
I don't remember much about that part. Mostly because I was unconscious at the time.
Who knew that peas could do that?
But I learned my lesson which I would like to share with you.
Don't eat peas that grow, temptingly, on trees.
Stick to things like . . . buffalo beans.
Adult aspirin.
Dust bunnies.
Tried and tested by me!

8 comments:

  1. Aw w, another awesome post that brought a LOL moment.
    Blessings!

    ReplyDelete
  2. ALWAYS get someone else to do it first. I once talked my sister into eating a berry on our tree and based on the results, nope, wasn't gonna eat that.

    ReplyDelete
  3. How funny! But not really--poor kids!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Wow...you'll eat just about anything won't you? You must have given your folks nightmares.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Another "Diane-how'd-you-ever-survive-to-adulthood" moment :)

    Really, though, HOW did you survive to adulthood?!

    ReplyDelete
  6. did you ever find out what it was that you ate? it most definitely wasn't peas! glad you survived to tell the tale :)

    ReplyDelete
  7. I've never heard of caragana, I'll have to google it.
    I'm so glad you recovered from your tasting, but why would you keep eating when the first one was so awful? That's the part I don't understand (*~*)

    ReplyDelete
  8. We used to make my sister try all the questionable stuff first. I don't know how SHE made it to adulthood :)!

    ReplyDelete

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Diane was born and raised on one of the last of the great old Southern Alberta ranches. A way of life that is fast disappearing now. Through her memories and stories, she keeps it alive. And even, at times, accurate . . .

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