Monday, January 19, 2009

Dandelion Dreams

Good Monday Bloggers!
I was searching around for some nifty clip art for today's post and came across this shot of a dandelion growing in gravel. Dandelions are hardy plants -I saw some in bloom here only last week before the cold clamped down on the Eastern Shore. The first time the thermometer edges up ove 40 degrees I am sure to see those familiar yellow blooms again.
Dandelions are useful plants and we know this from childhood when Dad held a bloom under our chins to see if we liked butter. I never asked why liking butter was so important, but I do remember that the dandelion test appeared on sunny days when the family was together. When the blooms faded, I found it great fun to blow the fluffy remnants of each flower to watch the seeds dance in the summer air.
When I got a little older, I was part of the great hippie back-to-the-earth movement and I learned to harvest the tender spring plants and either eat the bitter greens in salads - or to cook them for greens. Dandelions taste good in their many incarnations, but I am not done yet
I plucked buckets of the golden flowers and brewed a kick-butt batch white hooch my grandfather said reminded him of the finest sauterne wines. Maybe. I am not a fan of green wine and it was too cold in upstate New York to age my brew since the house didn't have a basement.
Wait a minute, I forgot something. Back in the olden days a tea made of dandelion root was used to stimulate good kidney function. But that isn't all. Roasted dandelion roots can be steeped to make a coffee substitute. No, it doesn't taste quite like coffee, but it has a rich flavor, good for folks that don't want caffeine.
I bet you didn't know dandelions were so useful. I know you don't want the pesky weeds in your lawn, a lot of peope don't. You know something, though? I think they are great! Not every plant in my yard is as beautiful and useful. I think there are people like that - individuals who don't seem to be all that, but turn out to have many good gifts to offer.
My thought for the day? Embrace dandelions and keep on the sunny side. Terry

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