Sunday, April 23, 2017

A Spring Tonic . . . with Bacon

On Friday morning, the day after we got back from our trip to Blackrock, I was sitting there watching Jack mess around outside and idly wishing I had more vegetables in the house. I had used up the more-perishable stuff before we left so it wouldn't go bad, which left me with carrots and cabbage and not much else.

What I really wanted, though, were some greens.

I was planning on going to the grocery store in the Big Village the next day to stock up on the exciting things they carry there that aren't available in the small grocery store in our nearest village. Things like the good cottage cheese*. And loose-leaf lettuce**. So, no greens until tomorrow.

But then, my eye fell upon the small dandelions just starting to grow in the rocks around the front steps.


I had remarked to the MiL when we were at Blackrock that I hadn't seen anything forageable (I think that's not a word, but you know what I mean) at our house. Not even dandelions. The dandelions were in full effect at Blackrock, of course, it being 250 miles south and therefore about three weeks ahead of us in spring growth. Also in full effect was the garlic mustard, which I used in some pasta sauce I made one night when we were there.

I suppose the week we were gone was enough to get the dandelions started here, though, and I had fortuitously brought up my bag of garden tools. So I grabbed my weeding tool, gave Jack a trowel to play with, and we went foraging for dandelions.

This takes awhile, as you have to wander around to find ones with good leaves, and then pick through them for some time to remove the bits of grass and leaves that always end up in there, and then de-stem them some. Plus the washing. Always multiple washings for anything that grows low to the ground like that.

After chopping them all up, I ended up with maybe 3/4 of a cup of greens. Not much on their own, but added to bacon, onion, carrots, frozen green peas, and a few of the last frozen tomatoes . . .

Vegetables (and bacon) for the win.

I mixed that with some of the rice leftover from the night before to make a kind of pilaf for lunch and man, it was good. I even shared it with everyone else, and they all thought it was very exciting to have a cooked lunch.

Well, except for Charlie, but I don't pay any attention to him anymore. And he ate it in the end.

Today we're going to do some planting in the garden, including lettuce, arugula, and radishes. Which means salads will soon be just feet from my door, rather than many miles.

Hooray for spring and growing things.

* The good cottage cheese is Daisy brand. It's the only one that doesn't have gross added stabilizers and junk, so it's the only one I'll buy. Too bad I have to drive 50 miles roundtrip to get it.

** The small grocery store does carry some bagged lettuce, but I won't buy that. It always tastes like bleach to me, and I'd rather go without lettuce than eat that crap. You may have realized by now that I'm really picky about food. Yup. My taste buds have been spoiled by too much good food to settle for a sad imitation.


tu mere said...

Now I see why your garden is so important in your neck of the woods. Never would have attempted the whole dandelion thing.
Oh, and thanks for the Daisy brand cottage cheese info. I use it in bread, so I'll definitely switch.

Anonymous said...

I have made cottage cheese(it just isn't as thick as store bought) but very good .
Milk here is usually cheap somewhere each week. Maybe you could come up with some home grown milk to make it with. Since you make yogurt.

Daisy said...

Daisy cottage cheese! I love it, too. Dandelions are awesome. I put them in pesto, green salads, or bunny food. Yep, the pet rabbit loves them.