Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Day 84 The ambiance of Home and Edible Wild Plants

When I got married and found myself hosting guests within days, my mother counseled to at least have some onions simmering in the stove to let the good savory smells at least give the appearance that food would be provided soon. It is that reason that I use fresh onions instead of the dehydrated all the time, which are by far more convenient, but do not lend themselves to being sauteed. In the same spirit, setting the table can set the atmosphere that dinner is coming. It may yet be two hours away but the assurance is there. It doesn't matter so much what is for dinner as that dinner is coming. So often when I rush in the kitchen at 5:45 and dinner should be served by 6:00 the protocol is to set something on the stove that smells good and then set the table before my man walks in the door. He is patient and never complains when I fail but he is appreciative when we succeed.

I needed to have a little fresh green at dinner tonight so we harvested some dandelion greens. The fertilizer has not been put out yet this spring, and the greens are yet tender. Dandelion leaves are one of the many edible wild plants. At various times I have tried some to the amazement and delight of my children. In the spring cattails are a treat. They are picked green then boiled and eaten like corn on the cob with butter and salt. They taste a lot like artichoke hearts and there is so little to eat that it is mostly a novelty. After three months of the same foods, novelties are welcome.

Breakfast: Breakfast pockets which we created new this morning. I started with a pizza dough, added Parmesan cheese, basil and garlic. (These smelled really good at they baked.) For a stuffing we cooked 1 cup dehydrated potatoes, 1/2 cup frozen peas, 1/2 cup frozen green Lima beans, a 1/2 cup white beans, with salt and lemon pepper. We rolled the dough and cut it into three inch squares, placed about 2 TBS of the filling with 2 TBS of cheese and pinched the sides together to make a pocket like a Calzone. We ate these without sauce much to my children's dismay.

Lunch: Leftovers with Mac and Cheese to augment

Dinner: Pasta Salad, Chalupa with Rice. The pasta salad contained dandelion greens ( 1 -2 leaves per person), 1/3 cup chopped fresh mint, and three small green onions sliced thinly, 1 cup pineapple tidbits (I cut apart chunks), 1/2 cup walnuts, 1/2 cup bacon pieces (from the freezer), and 3 cups macaroni like pasta. The dressing was Miracle whip sweetened with sugar and thinned with milk. I think I will use dandelion greens more often.

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