Photo credit: Dylen at Stock.XchngSeriously. I dare you.
They are edible, did you know that? I grew up in a house that looked like a farmhouse with a huge garden in the back (about 1/2 the length of a football field) faithfully tended by my grandparents who lived minutes away. Both of my parents worked growing up but would occasionally help tend the garden as would my sister and I.
We also had a large lawn surrounding the house. My grandparents would come over in the early spring armed with a spade and a dish pan. I would watch them from inside hunched over the lawn, digging up dandelions. My grandfather in his straw hat and my grandmother in pants even in the warm spring air.
While I am not a fan of dandelions (they often have a somewhat bitter taste), I loved the hot bacon dressing that my grandmother would make to put over them. I can still see her back turned towards me as she cooked at the stove. Mmmm. I can still smell the bacon grease from her kitchen and the sweetness of the dressing on my tongue.
Dandelion leaves and roots have been used for years for medicinal purposes. Many people eat the leaves in salads, boiled, or sauteed like spinach. This "weed" has many important vitamins.
It is a little late to go pick some dandelions to cook up since they would probably be awfully bitter (they are still a little bitter even in early spring from my experience) by this time. It is best to pick them before they bloom. Most people recommend eating them with some type of vinegar dressing.
My daughter loves to pick dandelions. She thinks they are pretty flowers that grow abundantly in our yard (or did until we hired a lawn service to take care of this pesky nuisance). Anytime we went outside, that is what she would do first-pick dandelions and then run to me. She would hand me the flower saying, "Here you go Mommy, a flower for you." My heart would melt. She liked to put them in my hair especially and proclaim "so pretty".
To us adults, we see them as weeds, invading our lawns. When we go outside for a walk, we can smell the noxious fumes from the toxic cloud around our homes or our neighbors homes as they try to rid themselves of these "weeds". Anything beyond a lush green lawn is unacceptable.
Maybe this is just another life lesson that we need to look beyond the obvious for the good in something. We can take something from these little "weeds" which really aren't "weeds" at all. Instead they are nutrition for our bodies and our souls if we let them be.