May 3, 2009

Dandelions for breakfast

How to treat a guest to a country-style morning:

First, when the boys wake up at 6:20, sneak out of the bedroom with them so that guest (the beloved Meribeth, our first housemate in Vancouver) and Sarah can keep sleeping while Papa does yoga.

Next, when said beautiful women have still not risen at 7:30, sneak the increasingly hungry and loud kids out the door in their pj's and boots to pick dandelions for breakfast. During this phase we discovered that dandelions disappear overnight, closing up their faces to the cold darkness and only opening up again when Father Sun returns to the field. During the picking the two ladies appeared to help and direct, whereupon we started a second bowl of the good-for-the-liver dandelion leaves for lunchtime pesto.

Historical note: dandelions are not a weed. They were deliberately brought over from Europe because of their nutrition, good taste in tea, and the fact that they're one of the first greens to come up in the spring for the hungry settlers and soldiers. Thanks to my historian brother Dave for calling in the middle of the dandelion harvest this morning.

Third, remove stems and separate petals (see photos), add water flour and eggs, then cook fritattas. Serve with homemade maple syrup, carmelized apple butter, crabapple syrup, strawberry-cherry-blueberry jam, and fresh rhubarb sauce.

Add a healthy dash of further morning treats, including a Quaker meeting at the pastoral Providence Farm, fresh pretzels from the Cowichan Bay bakery, and a date with the boys at the new BMX park while Sarah and I signed on for the new goat-share that a young couple has just started (1.5 litres/week of fresh raw organic goat milk for $4 - mostly for cheese, to compliment the yogurt, kefir, cheese and milk we'll make from our cow-share yield).

Hopefully this morning full of treats, combined with last night's garden hot-tub and fresh rhubarb custard by the fire will send this lass back to London with a big country smile.

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