Does A N Y T H I N G taste better than that first sip of morning coffee (especially with a hefty dash of Italian Sweet Cream)? Ahhhhh! (Oh Rob – I know you are with me!)
Well, not to me – especially when I wake up early – VERY early – like today at 4 am.
I actually love when I wake up early on my own (hate it when I HAVE to – like to catch one of those crazy early morning flights… of course that is when I want to sleep in and my alarm rudely interrupts that). I love having two or three hours of quiet, uninterrupted time to do whatever I want – as long as it is pretty quiet to not wake up dear, snoring hubby. And I don’t know about you, but the quieter I try to be, the noisier I am…. I drop, I trip, I bump into……. Oy Vey!
So this early morning, I decided to write my second blog post.
For those of you that read to the end of my first blog post, I shared this photo that Marty (that’s dear hubby) took of me a week or so ago, and you may have wondered what the photo looked like that I took. (Either that or you are still laughing at how silly I look!) Well – here it is – not very earth shattering, but I swear that little bee atop that “flower” is looking right at me and saying, “DO YOU MIND?!”
Do you see it? (Put your reading glass on if you are – err – in my generation and beyond).
Do you see how he/she (not sure how you tell girl bees from boy bees – that’ll be some Google research for another day) has his head cocked and those two black eyes (almost wider than his head) are staring right at me? (so humor me if I’m imaging it – k?)
It got me thinking about the little ole’ dandelion. Such a despised “weed” to most. But did you ever really think about the many attributes of those bright yellow, cheerful “flowers?”
Ok – so most of us want a beautiful, plush, green lawns, but after a long white and brown winter, isn’t it great to see the cheerful bright yellow color (if you think about it for simply what it is)? When you look at one very closely – they are quite intricate – the flower AND the leaves. Look at the delicate petals and the tiny curly spikes in between. Quite beautiful up close and personal.
I’ll bet many of you can think back to picking some of these “flowers” as a child for your mom or grandma or recalling your child picking them for you. It makes me smile to recall my boys playing outside and running to the door to give me a handful (often stemless) that I would put in a tiny glass or jar and float in some water on my kitchen window sill for days.
And then… a couple of weeks after that, those once bright and cheerful yellow flowers magically transform into “wish makers!” Don’t lie. I know e v e r y o n e of you has done it… picked one of those puffy globes after they turn to seed, and blown on it after making a wish (and spreading those lovely seeds all over the lawn so that they can create even more beautiful yellow flowers for next Spring!)
I hope some of your wishes have come true.
One of my favorite things about dandelions however, is the memory of my grandma (my former best buddy and pal and forever life mentor) foraging for those tender leaves in very early Spring – usually around Easter and served with Easter dinner. She would head out with a bucket in hand, and what I recall as a screwdriver shaped tool (anybody know the technical term for that gardening tool?) and dig (often under snow) up the tender early shoots of dandelions (BEFORE they flower) to make a D-E-L-I-S-H salad!
I haven’t had it for years (I really need to remember early enough to go picking myself), but it always had a tangy vinaigrette type dressing and lots of fresh garlic and onions. I especially love the bottom white part where all the leaves came together (closes to the root). It was the sweetest and most tender part. You can’t wait too long to harvest dandelion greens as they become quite bitter with age, but oh – if you get them at the right time – they are quite a delicacy!
I think foraging has become trendy lately. I didn’t have a photo of my own to share of a dandelion salad, so I found this one at Whole Eats & Whole Treats (where, by the way, there are some great recipes, but it looks like Zoe hasn’t written for a while. I’ll be checking it out more.)
Flower? Weed? Salad? Wish Maker? The dandelion – my crazy random thoughts on life “in between.”
Well – the birds are beginning to chirp and dawn is breaking. I think I will pour another cup of coffee and get ready for a walk before I begin my work day.
Thanks for checking back in. Hope you will share your thoughts (and maybe even great recipes or memories).
Cheers and hugs,
6 thoughts on “Flower, Weed, Salad, Wish Maker”
Oh how we so appreciate dandelion salads. I have found what I call my honey pot of these delightful greens in a near-by field. And now my grandson loves these wonderful plants too!! My standard method to rub the salad bowl with lots of garlic and cut more in—never enough, boil at least three eggs only four minutes—trust me—, break those eggs into the salad—they will be runny—nice!!, add some onions preferably green onions, add more garlic (remember never enough), then red wine vinegar—a generous amount, then extra virgin olive oil or EVO—as Rachel says!! Mix thoroughly and make sure there is lots of bagna—-juice in the bottom to sop up with bread. (Nikole and I love this part.) Have some fresh Italian bread on hand and enjoy. This also works well with spinach in lieu of the dandelion flowering!! Like you, this salad brings back long time memories for me—-love going out in the field and picking them with my dandelion knife—-my Nono did the same. REFLECTION INDEED FOR YOU AND ME. As the song goes, Thanks for the memories….
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Oh Rob – You have my mouth watering! You make it sound so wonderful! I love that you share these traditions and pass them down to your family. They are so fortunate to have you. One day we must discuss Bagna Cauda on this blog! 🙂 Talk about some good stuff – eh? And I now have Bob Hope singing in my head – awh – sweet memories! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nKgUq5dziEk
Memory—– The day we were having are back yard dug to put in our pool. My husbands maternal Aunt, who lived next door, couldn’t believe we were digging up all that good dirt that grew the BEST DANDELIONS!!!! You see this property was one of 3 lots that my husbands Grandfather bought when he immigrated from Italy. He built his house and then each daughter built next to each other when they married. I’m sure it was a wonderful neighborhood growing up for my mother-in-law and her siblings, and then their families. We bought this home, that my husband grew up in, and continued the memories!!!
But I so remember the day I told Don, I think your Aunts upset that we dug up the dirt for the dandelions!!!!! But you know, the 24 years that we continued to “live next door”, were some of our best memories. To hear all the stories about this wonderful family, their traditions that always included food and of course the love, was truly a blessing. And our Aunt became something much more to our children, she was our “Gram Next-Door”!!!! ❤
Wow, I haven't thought of this for so long! See what a photo and a DANDELION will do!!!!
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Charlotte – I have goosebumps reading your story – thank you soo soo much for sharing! Wow – for a dandelion! I love it!
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