Wednesday, April 21, 2010

A Day in the Life

Got up at eleven-something, after going to bed fairly late last night.

I checked the computer as I usually do when I first get up.  Answered emails, messages, comments, read some new blog posts and articles (I follow over 70 blogs), got up to date on the whole unschooling media freak-out that's been going on.  My mother and I shared a few different articles with each other, and talked about what's been going on... 

While I continued to do stuff on the computer, my mother went out to get some fresh bread from our favorite bakery, which I happily ate when she got home.

At four or so, Emilie finally stumbled out of bed after pulling yet another all nighter, getting up just in time for our good friend Nick to show up at the door!  We let him in (for some reason, we usually do) and in talking about gardening, growing your own veggies, and stuff like that, we finally did what we've been talking about doing for days: start some of our own seeds!!   

We planted kale, and sunflowers, and beans, and sage, and tomatoes, and lettuce...

Emi and mom rushed out the door as soon as we were done planting, since they were running late to a musical and cabaret they were attending!  Meanwhile, Nick and I headed over to his house where we cleaned out all the dead stuff from his garden, and did a bit of weeding.  Gardening like that is so relaxing: getting your hands dirty, seeing the improvement from start to finish... :-) One of the things that we pulled up from the garden were dandelions, roots intact, so I decided to bring them home and eat them! 

I love my father.  After hanging out with Nick for a little while more before meandering home, I cheerfully tramp into the house with a handful of grubby dandelion plants, and he doesn't even bat an eye.  I think he knows me by now... :-)

I haven't experimented in cooking for way too long, even though I really love coming up with my own recipes, or severely modifying an existing recipe...  But my mother had left a bowl of batter for crepes, and inspired by the fresh dandelions, I pulled out a cookbook to see how dandelion greens are usually prepared...

What I ended up doing (after cooking the crepes and setting them aside), was sauteing the dandelion greens, kale, and garlic in olive oil, adding water instead of more oil when needed, and adding slivered almonds and tamari soy sauce when the greens were partially cooked.  When done, this mixture was wrapped up in the crepes (crepes are eaten with savory fillings quite often in Quebec).  The recipe could use some tweaking, but not bad for my first try!  And dessert?  Crepes with maple syrup! :-)

As for the dandelion roots, I've wanted to try those as a coffee substitute for a while now.  So I washed them, roasted them, then ground them up and put them in the coffee maker.  Sadly, that was a bit of a fail.  Flavour wasn't bad, but I needed about three times the amount of root that I had.  Next time, I will harvest more dandelions before trying that... 

I wish I had pictures of my cooking adventures, but I'm afraid I didn't take any this time! :-(

Oh yeah, and I even cleaned up every single bit of mess I made while cooking (and trust me, when cooking, I make BIG messes!).

And that's been my day so far!  Emi and mom just arrived home, so I think I'll go hang with them for a while...



  1. Weeding is terribly therapeutic! I also tried (and failed) with the dandelion thing a few years ago. I think chicory works better. Let me know if there are any other seeds you want or need. I have lots (I, ahem, tend to buy more than I need)!

  2. "Dandy Blend" is a wonderful coffee substitute with dandelion and other plants in it--somehow they're the only ones who get the flavor even close enough for me. I believe chicory is in it, too.

    I just put some dandelion greens in my "green smoothie" the other day (which is just frozen and fresh fruit, greens like spinach or kale, etc. whizzed up in my food processor). Even this early in the season (in Minnesota) the dandelion greens were bitter enough that I needed to add some honey to the smoothie, but it was so good for me! Spring, when the dandelions are smaller and less bitter, is definitely the time to try them. Yum!

  3. @Gen: Yeah, I want to try chicory too (though I haven't given up completely on dandelions yet ;-)), just as soon as I figure out what chicory looks like (I have the identification books. I just haven't gone out searching for it yet!). Thanks so much for the offer of seeds!! I think we're good though. My mother has the habit of buying way more seeds than we need as well... :-P

    @Lisa: Thanks for the suggestion! However, it's not so much that I want a coffee substitute, just that I'm trying to use wild edibles a lot more... Foraging is both very fun and rewarding to me. :-)

    The dandelions have just come up here, and they're already really bitter!! I don't think I'd ever eat them raw, but cooking them takes the bitter edge off and they taste pretty good... :-)

  4. Oh forgot to mention this:
    I made these last year and were delicious!