Posts Tagged ‘dandelions’

Edible Flowers Can Make You Cook Like a Rock Star!

April 24th, 2009

Spring really HAS sprung!  We have apple blossoms outside our bedroom window and as I stand at our kitchen sink to wash the dishes and prepare our meals, I can look out over several back yards filled with the bobbing yellow heads of dandelions AKA “daisylions.”  Another feature of spring are the cheery purple blooms greeting me as I make my way to the clothesline.  Oh, yes-a neighbor graciously shared some fresh asparagus from their garden!  It was tender and DELISH an very much a piece of SPRING!

Different names are given to those purple hued posies.  I think they are violets but we had a landlady once who called them Johnny Jump Ups.  The Normanator calls them weeds.

In any case, they are some of my favorite blooms.  They spring up all over peoples’ yards and their purple “faces” seem to smile that they have succeeded in survival.  Makes me think of how some of us struggle to survive as we manage our grocery budgets, perhaps assisted by SNAP, food stamps, commodities and community food pantries.

When my mom lived with us I would pluck the sweet little purple blooms from the front yard and garnish her breakfast fruit with them.  She always delcared she was living in a Five Star Hotel with room service that paid attention to detail.  She really raved when I had pansies for her plate; she truly enjoyed the peppery flavor of pansy blooms.  She also liked nasturtiums.  She said they made her feel more alive.  These are delightful memories of my mother and as Mother’s Day approaches I find great comfort in the sweet memories of my mom.

Today I cooked some brown rice and scattered some bright, honey-sweet “daisylion” blossoms over the dish.  Then I placed some violets on the mound just to give it a little boost of style.  I can’t honestly say I cooked like a rock star-although I FELT like one, but there was an encouraging “ooh” from The Normanator, which indicates his approval. 

SIDEBAR: A positive vote from the man of the house is a RAVE for the woman of the house!  END SIDEBAR.

SIDEBAR #2: If I live long enough to learn how to post photos on this blog you will be treated to the visual I enjoy from my perspective.  I should live so long!  END SIDEBAR #2.

If you have “daisylions” or violets to pluck make certain there have been no sprays or pesticides used on the lawn before you harvest them.  We don’t want any sick people, for crying out loud!

Your precious messages are reaching our Inbox!  Thank you all for taking the time to comment and to send your ideas.  You can send messages about “daisylions” or violets or your mother to foodstampscookingclub@gmail.com .  You are welcome to visit any of the partners whose banners or messages you see on this page.  They have all been selected because they can help you solve many of your life’s problems.

Connie Baum

Are Dandelions Really Daisy Lions?

April 23rd, 2009

One of the sure signs of spring are the little yellow flowers that have popped up wherever there is dirt and grass!  Dandelions abound! 

Kids can have fun with them.  My children used to call them “daisylions” and that name has STUCK.  Even THEIR GRANDCHILDREN refer to dandelions as “daisylions.”  When I was a little girl I cut “daisylions” and pretended to cook them in my playhouse.  I pretended they were delicious and served them to my dolls, who also pretended they were gourmet items.

Thank goodness I grew up, even though I’ll deny that fact.  I learned from my good friend, Kay Young, author of “Wild Seasons” that “daisylions” are indeed delicious and they ARE gourmet items.

In her book, Kay talks about how someone taught her as a small child that she could eat the little yellow flowers and the leaves and she felt grateful and comforted, even as a youngster, that she knew she would always have food to eat.

Here’s a “Cooking Tip” taken from what transpired when I harvested some “daisylions” from our yard:

I was comfortable about bringing the greens and the blossoms into the kitchen because I am certain there have been no sprays used in or near our yard.  I dug some plants out of the earth with a small knife.  It was fun to pluck off the cheery yellow blooms and twist them away from the stems.  The leaves were dark and tender with bits of red color near the root end. 

The crop was brought into the kitchen, rinsed with good water.  I used reverse osmosis water and let the blossoms and leaves rest in the water for about an hour.  When I looked at them again, some debris had fallen to the bottom of the bowl so I emptied the bowl and strained the goods.  I then separated the flowers from the leaves and placed them into covered refrigerator containers to keep them fresh in the fridge.  I let the leaves dry on a paper towel until I put them into a covered container and slid them on the shelf beside the flowers.

I planned to create a gourmet meal last night, but then life happened, as life is wont to do!

Today I put the yellow goodies into scrambled eggs, along with a bit of bacon and some chopped chives we’d gathered from the yard.  Oh, but that was delish!  The yellow of the blooms enhanced the yellow of the fresh eggs and it was a feast of abundance for sure!

As for the leaves, those were added to leftover green veggie salad.  They were very tender and sweet and with a dressing of rice vinegar and a teeny drizzle of bacon drippings we had the perfect lunch.  Dessert?  Applesauce-made from apples we picked from the tree in our yard-with a sprinkle of cinammon and barley powder.

Now, the eggs had been given to us. The lettuce was left over from another meal.  The chives and “daisylions” cost nothing. The apples cost nothing, as well.  The only expense incurred was the cinammon, barley powder, 3 strips of bacon, a drizzle of vinegar and the heat to cook it!  BUT THE BEST THINGS are that everything TASTED DIVINE and FILLED OUR TUMMIES.  We left the lunch table feeling full and well nourished. 

If you participate in the SNAP program-using food stamps, food commodities or food pantries, this menu notion may be of value to you.  If you are a foodie and have not learned how tasty “daisylions” can be this may pique your interest as well.  Everyone likes to save money and most folks like to learn new ways of doing things.

Kay Young has more uses for “daisylions” in her book.  I’ll review some of them for you soon.

Meantime, I hope you are gleaning some good and useful information from our partners.  Their banners and ads adorn this page.  They may not work with “daisylions” but they can help you with your bottom line!

BE SURE TO SEND YOUR IDEAS AND RECIPES TO foodstampscookingclub@gmail.com and feel free to post your comment on this very blog.  All comments must be moderated but that’s no problem.  WE WELCOME YOUR COMMENTS.  If you have signed up for information from http://www.foodstampscookingclub.com  you should have received a message in your Inbox today.  Here’s hoping you’ll benefit from that!

Connie Baum