A wonderful brand of boots. We're not talking Doc Martens here, you'll get some pretty strange looks if you wear your Sorrels out on the dance floor. We're talking the kind of boots you'd wear if it was January, you were in Northern Minnesota and it was time to go chop some wood for the fire.

The boots are comprised of two parts, the shell and the liner. The shell is leather, with a rubber sole. The tongue is stitched to the boot on both sides so it's not much of a tongue at all. This prevents water, snow and whatever else you might step in from getting into the boot. Of course I remember learning the hard way that once the water got to be more than about eight inches deep what is designed to keep water out also keeps water in. It was always amazing to get home and see just how much water those boots could hold as I dumped it out on to the kitchen floor (much to my mother's chagrin).

The liners were also nifty. They have fake fur at the top to keep snow out of your boot. Of course, this does nothing to keep water from spilling over the top of the boot. The liners are removable which is nice for two reasons. First, if you're an elementry school student who likes to walk through the swamp on his way home from school, this facilitates the drying of the boot as you can place the liner on the heat vent and it will be ready for you the next morning. Second, wool (or whatever these things are made of) wears out much more quickly than the leather and rubber of the shells. When your liners wear out you can buy new ones for a fraction of the cost of new boots.
French Sorrel (Rumex scutatus)
English Sorrel (Rumex acetosa)

Sorrel is an herb that can be found both cultivated and in the wild. I am noding primarily about cultivated sorrel.

Because of the oxalic acid found in the plant the leaves have a lemony, sour taste.

The leaves form a cluster and grow about 12 - 24 inches tall, beginning in very early spring. Leaves are jade green and arrow shaped with the "point" at the top. Stems tend toward red. Flower stalks form as the weather gets warm and eventually grows to 4 or 5 feet. Little red/brown flowers form in a cluster which later form flat, brown seeds. In my yard Goldfinches love to light on the flower heads and frequently break them with their tiny weight. I don't know if they eat the sorrel seeds or just use them a perch.

Sorrel is perennial. Cultivated plants should be lifted and divided to propagate every 3 - 4 years.

Garden (cultivated) sorrel is native to Europe and Asia. It has become naturalized and grows throughout the United Sates. It is a member of the Buckwheat family (Polygonaceae) and is related to rhubarb.

The red sorrel (Rumex acetosella) also called common sorrel and sheep sorrel, is native to North America, Europe, and Asia and is considered to be a weed.

Cultivated sorrel can be added to salads, eaten cooked - in soups or sauces. Historically, sorrel was a "pot herb" valued especially in early spring when winter stores of preserved foods were getting to be mighty boring and scurvy was a real danger. Sorrel is high in potassium, and vitamins A and C. It is well known as an ingredient in French Sorrel soup.

My kids have always liked to pick and eat the leaves whenever the notion struck them but I taught them to limit it to a few leaves a day. Sorrel should not be consumed in large amounts because the presence of oxalic acid in the leaves can irritate the kidneys. Sorrel is usually more a flavoring devise than a main ingredient. Old leaves have more oxalic acid and are therefore sourer than young leaves. Cooking sorrel in aluminum pots will blacken the pots.

Sorrel leaves can be frozen for later use. If the flower stems are cut back continuously the harvest can be prolonged. Once the plant flowers the leaves toughen.

Sorrel Lore:
The American Rumex root was used by the Navajo to make a rich brown dye.

"The Mohegans of Connecticut called the plant Sourweed. The fresh leaves were chewed and said to be good for the stomach.

The Pennsylvania Dutch called Sorrel Sauerrampel. They made a diuretic tea from the leaves and ate the leaves in salads to prevent scurvy.

In the Ozark Mountains, Sorrel has remained in use as a folk cure and is still used to treat a variety of skin diseases. A poultice of boiled, crushed leaves was freshly applied to the afflicted areas and Vance Randolf says that it did cure many sores, but was very painful. (Sorrel contains significant amounts of oxalic acid, a powerful germicide. It may well have benefited minor skin troubles).

In France, modern homeopathic physicians apply poultices of Sorrel leaves to bring boils to a head and help heal them.

Chinese herb doctors were quite familiar with Sorrel. The prescribed it to be taken internally for reducing fevers, and externally for treating ringworm (actually a fungus and not caused by worms) and other skin conditions."


Sor"rel (?), a. [F. saur, saure, OF. sor, sore, probably of Teutonic origin; cf. D. zoor dry, LG. soor; the meaning probably coming from the color of dry leaves. See Sear, a., and cf. Sorel.]

Of a yellowish or redish brown color; as, a sorrel horse.


© Webster 1913.

Sor"rel (?), n.

A yellowish or redish brown color.


© Webster 1913.

Sor"rel, n. [F. surelle, fr. sur sour, fr. OHG. sr sour. See Sour.] Bot.

One of various plants having a sour juice; especially, a plant of the genus Rumex, as Rumex Acetosa, Rumex Acetosella, etc.

Mountain sorrel. Bot. See under Mountain. -- Red sorrel. Bot. (a) A malvaceous plant (Hibiscus Sabdariffa) whose acid calyxes and capsules are used in the West Indies for making tarts and acid drinks. (b) A troublesome weed (Rumex Acetosella), also called sheep sorrel. -- Salt of sorrel Chem., binoxalate of potassa; -- so called because obtained from the juice of Rumex Acetosella, or Rumex Axetosa. -- Sorrel tree Bot., a small ericaceous tree (Oxydendrum arboreum) whose leaves resemble those of the peach and have a sour taste. It is common along the Alleghanies. Called also sourwood. -- Wood sorrel Bot., any plant of the genus Oxalis.


© Webster 1913.

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