I think some of my friends wonder if I was in danger of starvation during my childhood, or after a quick glance, many people just might wonder if I’m plain old hungry and want to eat everything in sight. Neither is true. I’m just fascinated with the fact that there are weeds (and other wild “goodies” ) that are healthy edibles – an alternative to the grocery and even one’s garden for adding to the table.
Growing up in the country, it was just a part of my upbringing to learn about these things and to have them incorporated into our diet. When I left home, I moved into the suburbs with my “city boy” husband and have found that there are still edibles to be found in one’s own yard. Of course, if the yard is kept very manicured and the weeds are eliminated, that’s another matter. Mine is not one of the manicured ones, and I enjoy using the “weeds” that happily grow there.
I think that the kids sometimes eye the salad, wondering if I’ve snuck something unusual in, but there are some things that they love. For instance, sassafras tea is a favorite of theirs, and they love eating the pods off of “sourgrass” or wood sorrel.
Dandelion fritters is another wild dish they enjoy. It’s just dandelion flowers dipped in an egg wash, dredged in a seasoned flour/cornmeal mixture, and then fried. They are tasty and packed with vitamins. Plus, it’s fun to run around picking those bright yellow flowers!
Dandelion greens and buds are also wonderful, if picked young, used as a raw salad green or cooked as a “pot herb.” I like to saute mine, but they can also be boiled. They are slightly bitter, but the younger they are picked, the less bitter the taste. They are full of vitamin C and other vitamins, as well as several minerals, including magnesium and iron.
There are so many plants that are usable in your kitchen right in your very own yard. Whether you want to try foraging for yourself, or would just like to read about others who do, I invite you to come along with me on the adventure!