01 December 2010

Leaf by leaf the evening strange

One sometimes has funny conversations at the workplace.

A conversation with my boss' boss on weird grammar turned into a discussion of weird food and then to sources of herbs. I mentioned unobtainable, dangerous rue. She seemed surprised that anyone thought rue was dangerous:

"What? I have rue in a pot in my kitchen. My grandmother used to steep it in vodka and called it a tonic. Rue's fine!"

Well then. I am not inclined to argue with the ghost of anyone's Polish grandmother, least of all the one belonging to the boss's boss.

(And perhaps more to the point, now I have real contact with a person who has actually consumed small quantities of rue throughout her life and come to no harm as a result).

Still, probably shouldn't go rolling around in it on a sunny day.

Archibald Macleish


  1. Remember wormwood? I steep that in vodka, too. Herbal infusions in vodka are very good tonics. You know what Mark Twain used to say about bourbon? He drank it for the toothache. It worked--he never had a toothache.

  2. I do remember wormwood. I've also seen absinthe back in the liquor stores, apparently because it turns out it's not so wildly toxic as everyone was led to believe.

    I was pretty sure that rue was not so poisonous as represented, either, but it's amazing how much better you feel about eating something when someone you know has consumed it safely.

    Mark Twain was greatly wise.


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