Monday, October 17, 2005

We have red! it must be fall now.

We also have yellow!

And purple! (my crocus pulchellus again.)

We even have all three together in one wacky flower!

this is my saffron crocus, finally blooming this year (probably because I forgot to water the garden, and they need a dry summer.)

I didn't know the stamens drooped down like that. And after looking at the colchicums that Knitting Iris brought home, I can see why they are called Autumn Crocus.

I had to Google to discover that the number of stamens is the easiest way to tell crocus and colchicums apart: crocuses have three, colchicums (which are poisonous, don't eat those stamens!) have six.

The three red stamens are the edible part of the crocus - the world's most expensive spice. It takes about 4000 stamens (which must be hand-picked) to make one ounce of saffron, and the flowers only bloom once a year. So I hand-picked my stamens and they're drying in my kitchen window now.

Chickie begged for a stamen, stuffed it in her mouth, chewed it up, and promptly spat it out with much melodrama. BigE nibbled off a tiny corner of his stamen, decided it "tasted like onion" and handed the rest back.

I guess it's a case of pearls before swine, because Mama swine (that would be me) never could taste anything 'wow' in the world's most expensive spice, either. But it does turn your rice or noodles a lovely shade of golden yellow... and Yooper saffron will make a fun surprise present for some of my less swine-ish friends.


Anonymous kim said...

I'm not sure I've ever actually tasted saffron. I may have. There was 2 chinese dishes I had once that had a particular taste, it was just an undertone, but a spice I'd never tasted anywhere else ... and it was not my favorite. It was very distinct. But I don't know what it was, and always wondered if maybe it was saffron. I sometimes use turmeric to make things yellow, but too much of that and I don't like the flavor, either. Maybe I just don't like the taste of yellow!

10/17/2005 9:42 AM  
Blogger Karin said...

Great...any guesses as to what y'all have started on the RIMH? Thanks soooooo very much!! ;)

10/17/2005 1:01 PM  
Blogger Karin said...

For everyone's enjoyment:

10/17/2005 1:41 PM  
Blogger kelly said...

LOL! Thanks Karin! Though I'd heard the song, the only intelligble words in it to me were "they call me Mellow Yellow" I'll have some words to sing when it plays on the Radio In My Head.

As it is doing now.... but at least it's finally replacing They Might Be Giants "URNX" !

Kim, I've got some Yooper saffron packed up for you now to take home after you visit this weekend. If you don't like the taste of Yellow, maybe Poppie will... ;-)

10/17/2005 2:04 PM  
Anonymous kim said...

Boy did I not know all the words to that song!

It's in my RIMH now, although if I figure out what URNX is, maybe that will start playing. I thought I knew most TMBG songs but I'm not pulling up any URNX.

I feel bad taking your hand-picked small crop of saffron, maybe we should just make some saffron rice while we're up there and all try it together! Then I'll know if it's *the* flavor I was thinking of.

10/17/2005 3:28 PM  
Blogger kelly said...

OK, proving my musical ignorance, the title of the TMBG song is "ICU." It's on the kids "Here Come The ABCs" DVD.

the lyrics are:

urnx, ni, imnx
ictv, nicu
icu, icu, nurok
urnx, ni, iw
icatv, icadvd, nicu
icu, icu, nurok
icu, icu, nurok

BigE and I just figured out that the whole song was letters and we just had to google for the letters. It's been playing on my RIMH ever since.

10/17/2005 4:22 PM  
Anonymous kim said...

Dale pointed out that I do know the song. It just didn't click, written out. Even though I knew it was all letters.

The only part I don't get is "iw"

Dale says I'm trying to read too much into that line.

10/18/2005 9:42 AM  
Blogger Wool Winder said...

Beautiful pictures!

10/18/2005 10:17 AM  
Blogger kelly said...

thanks, Wool Winder!

Kim, I always thought the "I double you" referred to them both being X's... he was the double of the other X. Did you have deeper thoughts in mind? ;-)

10/18/2005 11:06 AM  

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