Thursday, April 21, 2016

More Greens, Porch Bird List And A Work In Progress

I finally got the greens cooked that I’d picked around my porch two days ago. They were dandelion and chicory, mostly chicory. I picked them quickly and got a lot of long stems on the chicory leaves, so I’d wondered if they might be tough. They weren’t, though I DID sort of wind them around my fork like spaghetti. The greens tasted good; the salted butter helped, but they did have a somewhat bitter taste. I learned that a half-sip of sweet green tea, taken about halfway through “the chew” and left in the mouth, did wonders in neutralizing that bitterness.

Once the greens were picked the other day, I mowed the lawn. My wife doesn’t know that I put off mowing this past week just to give the plants more time to grow. Incidentally, she’s decided that I’m eating greens to diet, so I can lose weight and catch another woman, if something happens to her. I find that to be sad with a capital “S.” Besides, I’m sure that a 60+ year-old man, with heart trouble, arthritis, fifty pound of sagging skin and no decent retirement would be a hot commodity on the elder marriage market. Some days, ya gotta laugh or ya cry.

I’ve decided to start recording the birds I see each day from my porch (and maybe elsewhere). I’m not sure why—something else to do, I guess. I’ve got several of those little pocket-sized “Holstein-colored” composition books, so I won’t have to buy anything. This morning, I saw a buzzard (turkey vulture), redbird (cardinal), and a nuthatch. I can’t be sure, but we may have an ovenbird nesting by the base of a small greenbrier-enshrouded oak at the edge of the lawn.

My foraging journal still leaves a lot to be desired, mainly because I started it so late in life. Suddenly, the world is filled with the beautiful yellow blossoms of wild mustard (wintercress), which means it’s all past the eating stage. Most wild edibles get tough and bitter once they bolt. I DO have three locations marked now, so next winter, or early spring, I should be able to pick some greens. I’ve never had wintercress, so I’m curious. We’re never too old to try something new! © 2016


Sixbears said...

The greens are just poking up now, although I could clip some chives if needed. Dug up some of last years sunchokes and turned them into chips. Pretty yummy.

The world is full of widows. You can get up on your own two feet and can drive, so you might be a catch. :)

Gorges Smythe said...

I done swore 'em off, Sixbears. Never again!

Judy said...

Sixbears - I was chuckling about the world full of widows too.

Gorges - I believe that Mom and Dad's neighbor in Oklahoma has passed on, so you are safe. When her second? third? husband passed away, she waited about six months and decided she need another husband so she collared one of the old gents in the neighborhood to come mow her lawn. She was giving him all kinds of arm-n-hand signals about the proper way to mow her lawn. She also wanted him to come into the house to have dinner and he was having none of it. As soon as she stepped into the house to check on dinner, he promptly ran over her flower bed and left as quick as he could load his lawn mower in the back of his truck.

Harry Flashman said...

Good post. I like the idea of a foraging journal. Some years back I bought two books, one on edible plants you can harvest in the forest of appalachia, and one on identifying edible mushrooms here. I haven't read either one, need to get off top dead center and do that.

No, I doubt old guys our age are a hot commodity unless they have a lot of money.

Gorges Smythe said...

Some folks are they're own worst enemies, Judy! lol

I believe that IS the criteria, Harry.