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"Hail Mary": A woman discovers the naked truth about herself.
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The Bitter Truth About Dandelions
A couple of respondents had memories of a grandparent or neighbor fermenting dandelions into wine. One writer recounted how in college she would pick dandelions, her boyfriend and his housemates would make them into wine, then she would help drink the wine - which she said was really very good - and wash the glasses.
One friend said she'd eaten dandelion leaves in salads and reiterated the nutritional value of the greens, which are apparently sky-high in calcium and iron.
Another friend posted a dandelion pesto recipe.
Yesterday I decided to harvest my first crop of dandelion leaves, which I planned to season and lightly sauté in a bit of butter and olive oil.
And so I grabbed a pot, a couple of pairs of kitchen shears and my daughter, and we headed out to the backyard to gather a potful of greens.
"Ew," I said, these taste awful."
"What," said my daughter, "you've never eaten dandelion greens before?"
"No," I said. "Have you?"
"Oh, yeah. In salads."
"Well, they taste so awful, why would anybody even want to eat dandelion greens?" said I.
"Why would anybody want to eat arugula?" said my daughter. "Haven't you ever eaten arugula?"
"Well, yeah," I said. "In salads."
"Dandelion greens are the same as arugula," said my daughter. "They're bitter. You're not supposed to eat them alone, you're supposed to eat them in a salad. With other things."
But with the taste of the naked dandelion green still assaulting my tongue, I never wanted to eat another bitter green again, either solo or camouflaged by other vegetables. I tossed the the greens in the pot onto the grass.
I was disappointed, but then I remembered that I'd read that the greens weren't the only edible part of the dandelion; the whole plant was safe to eat. I'd also read that the yellow flower was sweeter than the leaves, and could also be eaten raw in a salad or sauteed. So I decided to give the dandelion one more chance to be eaten.
I cut off a dandelion in bloom,
"I've only ever heard of the greens being edible. I've never heard of anybody eating the top."
"Well, the top is edible, too," I said.
"Says who?" he asked.
"Says...the internet," I replied, feeling suddenly sheepish.
"The internet," he said.
"I mean, I read it a couple of places."
"The internet," he said.
I dropped the dandelion flower, untasted, back to the earth from whence it sprang.