Friday, April 23, 2010

Go Eat a Dandelion

Photo credit: Dylen at Stock.Xchng
Seriously.  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.

18 comments:

Dina said...

funny my post yesterday was on eating and making tintures from dandelion!

MommyLovesStilettos said...

I never knew that people ate them! I'll try anything once but I don't know if I'd actually make them for myself. Thanks for sharing this, it's so interesting!

My kids love dandelions and think they are flowers too :)

The Girl Next Door Grows Up said...

That was really interesting. I had to laugh about putting hot bacon dressing over them and eating it because wouldn't make anything taste good?

Stephanie Faris said...

Good point!!! I just read a blog from someone posting about how she and her husband complain about dandelions being "weeds" but their kids say, "Mom! Come look at the pretty flowers!"

Did you know the cobs of corn on the cob are also edible? I wouldn't dare eat one though!

parenting ad absurdum said...

You had me at "hot bacon dressing..."

J. L. W. said...

I don't think I would eat the cobs of corn either.

I had originally been going to post this yesterday but postponed it so I could post about Earth Day activities.

It came about because of a friend commenting on my "forever house" post on my Facebook fan page and mentioning how her son loves to bring her bunches of dandelions. Then this week our lawn service came out to and sprayed our lawn to take care of these "weeds". I was feeling bad about it since Earth Day was this week and here we are spraying our lawn with pesticides.

There has to be a better way to deal with the weeds. Any one know any?

casey aubut said...

I am your newest follower! I would LOVE for you to stop by and follow me back! :)
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J. L. W. said...

I am so sorry to whoever left a comment that I accidentally just deleted. I was spammed and checked the box and hit reject w/o realizing that I had two other boxes checked to publish. Sorry guys.

I was always afraid that that would happen and now it has:(

Lourie said...

I love getting my dandelion treasures. When me and my friend were little we made necklaces and bracelets by linking them together. I have never eaten one tho. But that hot bacon dressing sounds really good.

J. L. W. said...

The dressing is yummy. A site I use to find recipes like the ones my grandmother made is Teri's Kitchen. She has a whole list of PA Dutch recipes. Here is her version of the hot bacon dressing:
http://teriskitchen.com/padutch/bacon.html.

Daisygirl said...

I love dandelions! My kids are the same way they pick them and think they are just the prettiest flowers ever!
I don't think I could eat them though.

Ode to Motherhood said...

Wow. You learn something new every day - I never knew you can eat them but I don't think I would. Great perspective, I'll think twice before I take them out.

Java said...

Following you back!!
Great post!
I saw a lady in a field picking them the other day...now I know why!!

Ali @ Mommie Life said...

Following you back from FF! :) I'm your newest follower! I just love your cute blog!! I don't know if I'm gonna go eat a dandy lion but cute post either way! :)

Katie said...

I didn't know that you could eat them!! I don't know if I am brave enough to though.

Happy Gramma said...

I like your inspiring words! I never remember to pick dandelions early enough. I have eaten violets, roses and marigolds. Not too bad!
I found you on Friday Follow and am now following you.
Please come visit @
www.happyfamilyhappykids.blogspot.com

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Kristi {at} Live and Love...Out Loud said...

I had no idea! Thanks for the quick lesson. This is the most interesting thing I've read all day! I'll have to pass this along to my kids. They'll love it.
Thanks so much for stopping by and commenting on my "OH NO HE DIDN'T!" Tuesday post. If you're participating in Wordless Wednesday tomorrow, I'll have a linky up! Have a great day.

Kristi, Live and Love...Out Loud
@TweetingMama

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