Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Native Americans didn't have microwaves.

This morning I dug up approximately thirty pounds of greenbriar tubers...all from the same plant.

I've been wanting to try preparing them as the Native Americana's did, both slow-roasting and starch removal. The N.A.'s would bury them under a large fire and bake them for three days. At this point the starch was converted to sugars which they would then chew and suck off the fibrous tuber body. I didn't have enough wood for a 3-day bonfire, but I did have a microwave...

Greenbriar tubers are very much like very fibrous potatoes and so I figured I treat it like I was baking a really big potato in the microwave. Considering the size of the tuber, 15 minutes at full power seemed like a reasonable setting. Everything seemed to be going well until around minute 12.

WHOOMP!! Suddenly the greenbriar burst into huge, leaping flames. I reacted in a split second, diving for my camera to take pictures of the burning microwave, then that annoying "reason" part of the brain kicked in and made me grab the fire extinguisher instead. A quick blast of yellow powder and the fire was out.

Of course the kitchen was filled with thick smoke. Luckily the Misseswether and the Wethergirls weren't home so I was able to open all the doors and windows...and wash down the whole kitchen.

Surprisingly, burning greenbriar tuber smells a lot like caramel plus dark roast coffee.

When Misseswether got home her face lite up as she walked in the door. "Someone's been cooking something yummmy! Is there any left for us?" she said and raced to the kitchen...and saw the microwave. It cleaned up pretty well but I think some of the scorch marks will be permanent. After giving her the whole story she just shook her head and sighed, "We don't have these problems when you're at work."

This started out about the size of a nice acorn squash.

Adventure! Excitement! Six more days of vacation!


Merriwether said...

Epilogue: Misseswether went out a few days ago to buy a new microwaves. She came home with a piano instead.

BigJohnC said...

Ha Ha Idid the same thing with some peices of oak i was trying to dry out for knife scales. After 5 min. they still felt a little damp. So I thoought another 5 would do it. The next thing i knew the fire alarm was going off and the kitchen was full of smoke. For about a month everything we put in the microwave came out with a BBQ flavor.