I found a neat book at the library, by none other than Jean Craighead George, author of one of my fav books, My Side of the Mountain (and accompanying sequels, which, true to sequel form, I did not find as good as the original..but). Acorn Pancakes, Dandelion Salad, and Other Wild Recipes is the title, and it has some neat kid-friendly foraging recipes, with beautiful pictures, too. Check it out! A great companion to ‘Stalking the Wild Asparagus’!
Ah, the humble dandelion. Some who know me ‘irl’ know that I’ve gone from hating dandelions and pulling them out with my Weed-Hound, to letting them flourish in my yard and making syrup, jelly, fritters, and cookies out of them!
Far from being a nuisance or a bane, the European settlers who brought them here did so – ON PURPOSE. Can you imagine? “Hmm, with what shall I fill my sea-crossing satchel? Family heirloom, or fluffy yellow flower?” And yet, amazingly, some brought this flower. What some people try to eradicate from their yards with all kinds of nasty chemicals, others (well, mostly naturopathic doctors) prescribe as medicine. Dandelion is a diuretic (yeah, makes ya’ pee – in fact, its French name, pissenlit, means ‘to “piss” the bed, apparently),and a liver cleanser/tonic. Its flowers are beautiful and fragrant. Its early spring greens are high in vitamins (later spring and summer greens are more bitter and not so tasty). The dandelion plant has a long tap-root, like a carrot, and if you can manage to pull a big chunk out, you can roast the root, and make a kind of coffee out of it – a non-caffeinated “coffee”! This is on my list for ‘someday’ when I’m caught up on all my other projects, so much so that I can dig out dandelion taproots.
Do not banish the dandelion, but embrace it, with some of these recipes! *I think I have a bunch of pictures of my dandelion stuff, but can not for the life of me find it on my ‘puter. If I do, I’ll update this post with a slideshow as well.*
Dandelion Fritters (this one has really beautiful pictures)
Dandelion Wine (I have never tried this – this is also on “the list”)
Stay tuned for a soon-to-be-written post about more “weeds” you can eat!