Ready, set, blow

It is that time of year again. Everyone on the street has mowed their lawns with due diligence, thinking all is right with the world.

But under cover of night, the rebel forces stand up out of the grass and launch their attack. By morning, the unsuspecting suburbanites have been overtaken; they are surrounded.

Who is this stealthy enemy, you ask?

It is the cunning dandelion. None of us are safe from it this time of year. The worst part is that, like Boko Haram, it enlists an unsuspecting army of soldiers to do some of its dirty work — children.

I remember the joy of finding the perfect dandelion seed pod as a kid. They were irresistible. How could you not pick one and blow its seeds, making a wish?

I suppose one could argue that children also make up the Resistance when it comes to this invasive spring garden weed.

For generations, Moms, Grammas, teachers and anyone else who’s willing have been receiving bouquets of dandelions from loving kids everywhere.

I can’t find any statistics, but I’m sure that does at least as much to limit the spread of the blossoms as chemicals, and this is an organic effort.

My Mom preserved a few larger seed pods on the stem back in the days of my childhood and displayed them in our living room. (If you got them carefully inside and sprayed them with a bit of hairspray, they would hold together for a few weeks.)

She was an enthusiastic fan of natural things though; she would pick up fuzzy caterpillars and let us pet them, and she had a Christopher Robin approach to rainy days – one had rubber boots to play in the puddles.

How cheered I was to hear Moms still get asked to participate in dandelion rituals: one of my Guide leader friends told me that her little son likes to blow the seeds willy-nilly to the wind and then hand her the stem as a gift.

I also discovered that despite technology dandelions still thwart the average lawn aficionado. Our neighbour was out last Sunday with the vacuum cleaner under his arm, hose in hand as he tackled each stem.

I didn’t have the heart to tell him he should have factored in the wind and perhaps been sucking up the pods further up the street.

It seems the best approach may be to live and let live; the battle only lasts for these few weeks in spring, and then dandelions are a rare interloper in the parade of summer weeds. If you don’t have a pet and don’t use herbicides or pesticides, you might consider harvesting your own greens for a salad, or perhaps attempting a batch of dandelion wine.

The link I’ve attached from Common Sense Home also includes a simpler recipe for Dandelion Petal Cookies, if you’re not up to tending a batch of wine for weeks.

If you’re more of a city dweller and don’t have a lawn to worry about, you can check out the farmer’s markets for wild dandelion greens from a local forager.

They are delicious with a tangy dressing.

At the very least, I do think it’s worth harkening back to our childhood once in a while. Don’t worry about what anyone will say – stop and pick a dandelion seed pod. Think back to the carefree days of being a kid.

Make a wish, and blow.

More Happy Gourmand articles

About the Author

Kristin Peturson-Laprise is a customer experience specialist by trade, which means she is someone passionate about people having a good time. 

Her company, Wow Service Mentor, helps businesses enhance their customer experience through hands-on training, service programs, and special event coordination.

Kristin enjoys her own experiences too, and that is what she writes about in this column. She and her husband Martin Laprise (also known as Chef Martin, of The Chef Instead) love to share their passion for food and entertaining.  

Kristin says:

"Wikipedia lists a gourmand as a person who takes great pleasure in food. I have taken the concept of gourmandise, or enjoying something to the fullest, in all parts of my life. I love to grow and cook food, and I loved wine enough to become a Sommelier. I call a meal a success when I can convey that 'sense of place' from where the food has come . . . the French call that terroir, but I just call it the full experience. It might mean tasting the flavours of my own garden, or transporting everyone at the table to a faraway place, reminiscent of travels or dreams we have had."


E-mail Kristin at:  [email protected]

Check out her website here:  www.wowservicementor.com


The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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