Thursday, April 23, 2009

ivy, dandelion days, cat

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You might guess that this door is seldom used. A punster might remark that Ivy lives behind it.

If there is a dandelion season, it is now. The verges are overwhelmed with dense crowds of them, unapologetic and bold. No spherical clocks yet for the wind or passing children to blow. If they were cultivated and the leaves blanched,
what a feast of salad!

In the long cross a black lies, just the ridge of its back showing, its round head and its pointed ears.


The Crow said...

The dent-de-lion (boy, I hope I got that right) is one of my favorite wild flowers. My dandelions are just now coming into bloom. Good idea about the salad; think I'll make one for lunch.

Unknown said...

The leaves can be very bitter. I believe that what the French do is keep them out of the light with card board or flower pots so that the green in the leaves becomes white and a less bitter. It's similar to what happens to chicory.

The leaves are also a diuretic hence the French name for the plant, pissenlit. The English word dandelion, as you say, also comes originally from the French and refers to the shape of the leaves.

The Crow said...

They surely are bitter, but I enjoy bitter greens every so often.

I was taught to pick the inside leaves prior to the blooming for sweeter tasting leaves, but I hardly ever get to them in time. Older leaves have to be blanched briefly in hot salted water, like poke salad greens, to extract some of the bitterness. Here in Pennsylvania, the Amish make a delicious hot-and-sour dressing with bacon and boiled eggs added, to pour over spring greens. I haven't any bacon on hand, but have ham and boiled eggs leftover from Easter.

There aren't enough greens for a salad today, so I rinsed those I found and put them in the refrigerator for the weekend.

Roderick Robinson said...

That's the door that Holman Hunt's "The Light of the World" was knocking on.

Lucy said...

Isn't it called the St George's flower? And that was StGeorge's day. Also Shakespeare's birthday - they say
'Golden girls and lads all must
As chimney sweepers come to dust'

is about dandelions, who are golden, then become as chimney sweepers' brushes, then finally dust.

Anonymous said...

Following your lead, Lucy, I went to Flora Britanica by Richard Mabey. Apart from confirming your observations he quotes Keats; "The soft rustle of a maiden's gown
Fanning away the dandelion's down"
Mabey also has a lot to say about the use of dandelions in salad.