The last time that I had a mess of wild greens was when my mother cooked some lambs-quarter 30-some years ago. My wife doesn’t know her plants well enough to feel safe picking them, and considers me too stupid to be trusted, so that pretty much settled that. Today, though, I decided I was going to pick some and cook them myself. What a joke!
Yesterday, I noticed where some individual plants were, as well as a few little patches of edible plants. That was yesterday. The deer were hungry last night, apparently. The young dock plants were completely gone, as were the coltsfoot plants. It took me over half-an-hour to cover my half-acre lawn, plus 100 yards of logging road and get enough greens for ONE serving for ONE person (about four inches in one end of a bread bag). That was comprised mostly of dandelion and violet leaves, with a few winter-cress, three dock leaves, a few of clover, a few plantain leaves, a few small day-lily leaves, and one small clump of wild onions.
I washed the little granite-ware stew pot that I got the other day and then used it to give the greens a good rinsing. After pouring the water out, I put enough clean water back in to cover them well and started heating them on the gas stove. My wife went off to the other end of the house screaming like a banshee that I would forever ruin her stove and her kitchen. After boiling the greens at an easy boil for ten minutes, I poured the water off, sat my porcelain dish under hot, running water for a minute to warm it up, and then emptied the greens into the dish. There was only about a cup, after cooking. I put in TWO pats of real butter and a dash of salt and stirred until the butter was melted.
I must say that they didn’t taste bad. Of course the butter and salt helped, but they didn’t have the grassy flavor I was thinking they might. While I could smell the wild onions as they cooked, I didn’t taste them at all in the final product. Guess I can add a little more next time. If there IS a next time! The deer make it hard to have anything around here. They’re supposed to dislike forsythia and irises, but they’re eating MINE! I’d probably find more wild greens growing in sidewalk cracks in town than out here.
Afterwards, I washed and dried my stew-pot, plus dried up any errant drops of water and the kitchen looked spotless. After she took a nap, my wife apparently decided that we were still on speaking terms and pretended like nothing happened. I guess I really SHOULD make a hobo stove or something and cook outside the next time just for the heck of it. I haven’t made one of them for 20 years! DARN, I’m getting old! © 2013