5/3/13

Hail The Dandelion


 I hereby proclaim the dandelion (Taraxacum officinale) this blog's official weed; long live the dandelion ( and it will)! The dandelion is a lion among Mother Nature's gifts to the environment. Those who detest dandelions might as well put away their weapons of mass destruction. Dandelions are indestructible and are unsurpassed in loyalty. They roar back each Spring and their yellow flower brings color to drab green lawns. A dandelion's vibrant flower eventually turns to seeds which are seized by friendly winds and deposited on lawns all over the neighborhood so that endless generations of dandelions will rise up to torment landscapers.

Before those lovely dandelion flowers turn to seed, wine connoisseurs have been known to harvest them and turn them into wine. I must admit I have never imbibed in dandelion wine in spite of the urging of an eccentric friend of mine. I just did not trust his wine making ability after a case of homemade beer exploded in his basement. Speaking of basement, what sane person would build a sailing boat in his basement? He did and as far as I know, the only floating that the boat did was during a heavy rainfall which flooded the basement.

The fondest memory I have of dandelions goes back to my youth; yes, that was a long, long time ago, proving that Alzheimer is not at my doorstep. Now, what was I saying? Oh yes, as a youngster I watched little old Italian immigrant ladies walk east by my house carrying an empty sack. Later in the day I watched them walk west by my house with a full sack over their shoulder. They had been to the municipal park and spent the afternoon picking dandelions. My mother told me that the content of those sacks would provide some tasty meals. Let me be quick to add that my mother was not a dandelion picker and never prepared a dandelion meal.

So what's with dandelion meals? It turns out that dandelions are a rich source vitamin A, B Complex, C and D, as well as minerals such as iron, potassium, and zinc. Not surprisingly, like most greens, dandelions find their way into salads, sauces and bread . I would hasten to mention that since civilization is bent on eradicating them by .the liberal use of herbicides it should also make them suspect as a food.

One might ask that since I don't drink dandelion wine or eat dandelion salads full of vitamins, why have I honored dandelions as the official weed of this blog? More to the point, is it really necessary? The answers my friend are that I don't really know and no, but if you got this far - mission accomplished. All hail the dandelion!

1 comment:

Sarah Keller said...

I loved making dandelion chains and wearing them on my head when I was a little girl. I have had dandelion in my salad, which is good though slightly bitter, but I have never had dandelion wine.

I enjoyed this Tony, thank you for making me smile today!