Tuesday, April 23, 2013

(Almost) No Greens For Me!

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


Sixbears said...

It's tough to share a kitchen. I'm trying to be better about letting the lovely wife use mine . . . I mean ours.

Even though there's still ice and snow here and there, some greens are poking through. My chives are already doing well, but they are planted next to a rock wall and get extra heat from that.

Mamahen said...

Glad you weren't counting on your harvest of wild greens for survival. I don't trust my knowledge or more accurately my memory to gather them for myself. I do however manage to enjoy at least one mess of deep fried dandelion blooms. Good luck with the hobo stove!

Country Life said...

My mom used to cook collard greens and we picked poke a lot when I lived at home. I have been married 28 years and I am sorry to say I have only cooked them a hand full of times. If its not raining tomorrow I may have to go looking thanks for reminding me :)

Phillip said...

I eat lots of wild greens, it's a staple Zulu Food. My housekeeper finds and cooks it for me, mostly a spring and early summer food. In Zulu it's known as "mfino".

Gorges Smythe said...

I sort of understand my wife's feelings about "her" kitchen, Sixbears. I know I'd gringe to turn HER loose in "my" basement workshop.

I'm glad I wasn't depending on them, either, Mh! The last time I used a hobo stove was when our power was out during the winter about 20 years ago.

You're welcome for the reminder, CL. I'm hoping to gradually get a poke patch and a milkweed patch established at the edge of my yard.

I think we'd ALL be better off if we ate more greens, Phillip.