May 6, 2010

Make a mess…of poke!

fence rail baxter ayla Other than mosquitoes and the crazy humidity, there really isn't anything that I don't like about living in the south. And one of my most favorite things about living here is the abundance of festivals that are held all through the year in small towns and communities across the region. I usually get my calendar out at some point in early spring and scour the internet as well as local newspapers and magazines for dates of festivals that I might want to attend. Starting today in quaint Gainesboro, Tennessee is the annual Poke Sallet Festival which is a celebration of the poke weed. The festival boasts lots of wonderful food, entertainment, rides and then some! I’ve never been to this particular festival, but I have been to Gainesboro to see the historic courthouse and to eat at the Dairy Queen with my Pe-pa (a Pe-pa is a southern grandfather or the male equivalent of a Me-me, in case you were wondering).

Poke Salad While I haven’t been lucky enough to enjoy an official Poke Sallet festival, I have eaten my share of poke. My great-grandma would pick it (only the young leaves are edible and even then they must be boiled two or three times so as not to be poisonous) and scramble it up in some eggs for us. {Disclaimer: Please don’t try to find/prepare/eat poke unless you are knowledgeable…I don’t want anyone to die of food poisoning because he or she read this blog!}

If you are going to be in the Jackson County area of Tennessee this weekend, make sure and check out the Poke Sallet Festival. If that particular festival doesn’t do it for ya, find another one that does! One great place to search for local happenings is your state’s website. My state website has a travel & tourism component  with tons of useful information about events and things to see.  What are you doing this weekend? Are there any great festivals that your family attends each year? Please share so we can all enjoy them!

{top photo from my cousin Ayla…taken at our family farm in Baxter, TN}