Sunday, June 1, 2008

June 08

Spring's Greeter... Friend or Foe?

North Americans decry
Dandelion's ubiquitous invasion.
Japanese praise
Her unwavering tenacity.

Grown-ups call her weed,
Endeavour to eradicate.
Kids just can't wait for her
Summer seed-blowing crown.

To a person standing on a piston
The world goes up and down.
Seems a lot rests
On our point of view.

I suggest we choose
The piston or the world.

The dandelion doesn't care.
She'll be here long after
Our own seeds face distant
Yellow-topped challenges

........1 June 08

While you ponder your own point of view, let me encourage you to enjoy the dandelion's reincarnation in your path. If you gather the greens before the blooms appear they're less bitter and delicious added to your salads. For the blossoms, let me suggest this surprising Dandelion Blossom Syrup. It's a traditional European recipe that you can use it as a substitute for honey in any recipe to make it "wild."
........4 cups dandelion flowers
........4 cups water
........4 cups sugar
........½ lemon or orange (organic if possible) chopped, peel and all
Note: The citrus is optional, it will give the syrup an orangey or lemony flavor. If you want the pure dandelion flavor, you can skip the citrus.

Put blossoms and water in a pot. Bring just to a boil, turn off heat, cover, and let sit overnight. The next day, strain and press liquid out of spent flowers. Add sugar and sliced citrus and heat slowly, stirring now and again, for several hours or until reduced to a thick, honey-like syrup. Can in jars. Makes a little more than 2 cups.