77. Staghorn Sumac, Meyer Lemon and Friends

Staghorn Sumac

Staghorn Sumac

Staghorn Sumac: good name. eh? I try never to get my information from Wikipedia. Because can’t people post Wikiwhatever they want on there? I guess I use it sometimes. But I don’t like it or really trust it. Ohio State University is a great resource for clear, concise descriptions when you are trying to identify a plant. And so…on Staghorn Sumac:

Family: Cashew Family (Anacardiaceae)

Other Names: Rhus hirta, staghorn, scarlet sumac, upland sumac, velvet sumac.

Staghorn sumac is a native of eastern U.S. with a current range extending north to Quebec, south to Georgia, and as far west as Iowa…  (source)

I’ve heard of sumac being used in Middle Eastern cuisine. And by “I’ve heard” I mean, I read that and saw this picture on Wikipedia:

 Sumac spice (500x381)

Apparently, the berries can be ground to add a tart, lemon flavor to dishes and drinks. Here are a couple of interesting articles I found on foraging and consuming sumac:

Foraging Edible Sumacs

Sumac: More Than Just Native Lemonade

The berries can also be used to make a natural dye…Do I feel another foray into the world of natural ink-making coming on?

Love the red with pale blue sky background.

Love the red with pale blue sky background.

Very pretty.

Very pretty.

Nah, the photographs of the red seed heads are so much tidier than a batch of red ink. But I am tempted to see how lemon-y they really taste. Because I love lemons and tart things. However, I don’t have much incentive to forage for tartness as I happen to have an abundance of my very own, homegrown Meyer lemons at the moment.

Foraging Indoors

Foraging Indoors

They basically taste like regular lemons. Except 700 times better since I grew them myself. And for the record, they do seem more juicy than store-bought. I brought the little tree inside several weeks ago and I’m pleased neither baby nor puppy have destroyed it.



Completely unrelated (the “and Friends” portion of this post)… I found these two egg substitute ideas on www.heirloomgirl.com and found them useful (as both ingredients are staples in my kitchen). I add them both to bread, pizza dough, cookies, etc. but I never thought of using them specifically as an egg substitute:

Flax Seed Meal

…works great as an egg substitute. To simulate one egg mix together 1 tablespoon flax seed meal to 3 tablespoons water. Let it sit for a few minutes and then add to your favorite recipe. (If the recipe is cooked you will loose the benefits of the Omega-3 but still have extra fiber.)

Chia Seed

Chia seeds pack a lot of punch in a tiny package. These seeds contain Omega-3 fatty acid, magnesium, zinc, niacin, iron, copper, antioxidants and more. They can also be used as a great egg substitute. To simulate 1 egg, simply mix 1 tablespoon ground chia seed to 3 tablespoons water and let rest until it forms into a gel-like substance (about 5 minutes). Then add it to your recipe. (source)

Obviously these egg substitutes were meant for baking. Don’t try to make two eggs over-easy with chia seeds. Or flax-seeds sunny side up. HAhahahHAHAHA

7 thoughts on “77. Staghorn Sumac, Meyer Lemon and Friends

  1. Mominthegarden

    I *love* your lemon tree! And look at all of those lemons! I remember being afraid of touching “poison sumac” while growing up in Poughkeepsie, NY. I’m not sure if we’d actually get a reaction like with poison ivy, but we never wanted to take the chance!

    1. Spy Garden Post author

      The good thing about poison sumac is that the berries are white, so it is very easy to tell the difference. Plus it only grows in swampy areas (which we are not in) so I haven’t seen any around here!

  2. narf77

    Ground sumac berries are like spicy vinegar flavoured powder. Absolutely delicious on hot chips (fries). As a vegan I don’t eat eggs. You might ask yourself why there are chickens all over Serendipity Farm…you might WELL ask yourself that. Consider it a moment of stupid madness when the synapses between my ears turned all “Country Romantic” and while I had them tuned on “English Country Garden” they injected chooks to the image. I stupidly fell for both the garden AND the chooks and now they are threatening to take over the world. Just so’s you know who is responsible for the “Great Aussie Chook Invasion” in advance that is.

    1. Spy Garden Post author

      Ok I will “forage” some (I don’t have to go too far obviously) and try it! OMG so you let all the eggs hatch?! GAGAGAHAHAHAHHAHahaha That so sounds like something I would do. I actually REALLY want a peacock frolicking around the yard (just for looks). But I heard they make an awful noise. Which may ruin the unpleasant scene.

      1. narf77

        Someone let a whole stack of peacocks go just up the road from where we live and they were everywhere. One took up residence at a neighbours and tried to move into the chook (chicken) yard and put her hens off laying so she shooed it away and the last she saw of it, it was heading down our way. We saw it hiking up the gravel road and then it flew over the river to a large park on the other side of the bridge where it stayed for quite a while. We have been promised turkeys and guinea fowl from our pet food lady (her husband breeds them) but with the chooks reproducing as fast as they are (another 7 this morning and the duck has about 20 eggs and good luck to ANYONE touching them ;) ) we figure we will see who wins between the forget-me-nots and the chooks. Whoever produces the most offspring will win the farm (and will get the name changed…my money is on the forget-me-nots and “Forget-me-not” farm is much nicer than “Bloody bollocky Chook” farm ;) )

  3. suzjones

    I love chia seeds. They pack quite a protein punch but I’ve found that if you don’t rinse the blender immediately (when added to smoothies) the little beggars stick like glue to the glass.


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