By Paula Mitchell
Housewives used to go out with their baskets under their arms, gathering wild greens along the creeks and roadways, anything from poke to dock to lamb’s quarter. They would get watercress out of the creek by wading in the creek and getting it out. After a winter of eating dried beans, a body needed a good mess of greens to purify the blood and get some vim and vigor for spring planting. Greens provided an amazing variety of vitamins, especially C, plus iron and other essential minerals.
Lamb’s quarter and speckled dock were parboiled, then fried in bacon grease along with chopped onions. Nutritious dandelion was an early green favorite also. Finding dandelions even when the leaves were as small as a squirrel’s ear, is thought to be at their height of taste.
5 cups torn dandelion greens
3 or 4 strips of bacon
2 tablespoons vinegar
1-1/2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon prepared mustard
1 small onion chopped fine
Rinse greens several times, discard stems, drain and place in a large bowl.
In a skillet, cook the bacon until brown and crisp.
Drain bacon, reserving two teaspoons of the drippings in the skillet.
Crumble bacon into small pieces. In a small bowl, place vinegar, sugar, mustard, and onion — mix well. Pour this mixture into the skillet with the reserved drippings and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly for 2 minutes.
Quickly pour the dressing over the greens, add the crumbled bacon, toss to mix and serve immediately.
And there’s the dandelion wine recipe:
Gather 2 gallons of dandelion bloom pods and put them into a five-gallon crock.
Add one cake of yeast and 10 pounds of sugar.
Fill the crock with fresh water allowing 2-3 inches at the top of the jar for fermentation.
Cover the crock with a clean cloth, fasten it down with elastic and let it set for two weeks.
At the end of two weeks, remove the cloth and sift out the bloom that will be on top of the liquid.
Cover the cloth again and let set for three weeks.
At the end of three weeks, the wine is ready to drink.
Life’s lessons include the following:
- No one is in charge of a person’s happiness, except oneself.
- Smile. A person doesn’t own all the problems in the world.
- Time heals almost everything, give it time.
- Make peace with one’s past so it won’t mess up the present.
- Avoid negative people.
This week’s clickety-clacks for the chin wagers are as follows:
- Coffee beans aren’t beans — they’re fruit pits.
- Three Mile Island is only 2.5 miles long.
- How many quarts of blood are in a person’s body? To find out, divide one’s weight by six.
- The story of Cinderella has been made into a movie at least 58 times.
- The three best-known names in China are Jesus Christ, Richard Nixon and Elvis Presley.
Life is better on the porch (right now) to hear the “Talk of the Grove.”
“Pidge” and Charles Anderson had a few visitors. Evelyn Varner and Irma Moats came to visit Thursday, and everyone had a nice visit. Also visiting were Alvin and grandson.
Shaun, Ava and Leslie Bowers spent the weekend in Fairmont. Ava and the Pendleton Builders 4-H Lego team competed in the state Lego competition at Fairmont State University. The 4-H’ers did well and had fun!
Helen and Rhonda Nash had a wonderful long weekend with Calli, Gregory, Hannah, Madalyn, Nolan and Tucker Fox and Myah Hidalgo. Their visit included the “Nashland Bicycle Rally” and fun in the river at home, taking in the festivities of the Maple Festival in McDowell and Monterey, Virginia, and being introduced to the pizza at AGK in Franklin. Nashland was rather quiet after their departure and they are counting the days until the next visit.
Robert, Nancy, Robby and Matt Hodges, Butch and Mary Puffenbarger were visitors of Wes and Becky Puffenbarger. Ben, Emma and Nathan Puffenbarger enjoyed flying kites with their uncles.
Saturday visitors of Evelyn Varner were Donnie, Judy and Marty Smith of Bridgewater, Virginia. Then, Saturday found Evelyn accompanying Joann Moyers, Erma Moats and Eugene Varner, who motored to the home of Karen and Ronnie Pitsenbarger where they all enjoyed celebrating Wanda Pitsenbarger’s 85th birthday. The fried pizza was especially enjoyed by all.
Stopping by the home of Rosalee Grogg’s on Saturday, following their Saturday visit to the Maple Festival, were Lynn and Sherry Mathes of Luray, Virginia. Marleta Wimer was another visitor in the same home.
Steve Stump’s brother, Jeff, and family of Ocean City, Maryland, spent the last week in the home of Steve Stump. They all enjoyed the grilling out, with some seafood added in the mix. The children loved the golf cart rides all week.
Quotes for the week are as follows:
“After eating an entire bull, a mountain lion felt so good he started roaring. He kept it up until a hunter came along and shot him. The moral: When you’re full of bull, keep your mouth shut.” — Will Rogers
“Giving birth is like taking your lower lip and forcing it over your head.” — Carol Burnett
“We teach how to drive in school, but not how to manage finances.” — Andy Williams
“We do not own this place, we are just passengers.” — Robert Redford
“I love deadlines. I like the whooshing sound they make as they fly by.” — Douglas Adams
Concerns for this week are as follows: the Paul Bennett family, Scherry Chambers, Charlotte Copley, Jeff Craig, Joy Darnell, Jeff Evick, Lee Roy and Ina Evick, the Elsie Eye family, Mary Eye, Robert “Bob” Fisher, Ron Gilkeson, Lola Graham, Marlene Harman, Ramona Harman, Steve and Armanda Heavner, Starr Hedrick, Winona Judy Hewitt, Lorena Hoover, Myrtle Hoover, Alice Johnson, Richard Judy, Margaret Kiser, Rex Landis, Jay Linaburg, Angela Lung, Linda Malcolm, Morris and Sue Mallow, Yvonne Marsh, Willard May, Neil McLaughlin, Naomi Michael, Joe Moats, Lincoln Moore, Ernie Morgan, Aaron Nelson, Kathy Nelson, Ken and Ruth Nelson, Cheryl Paine, Sutton Parrack, Betty Lou Propst, Garry Propst, Kara Propst, Linda Propst, Nathan Propst, Sheldon Propst, Bryer Puffenbarger, Eldon Puffenbarger, Willard Rader, Don Rexrode, Donna Ruddle, Barbara Simmons, Erin Simmons, Eva Simmons, Ona Smith, Stanna Smith, Steve Smith, Berlie Sponaugle, Patricia Swecker, Harry Lee Temple, Charlotte Thompson, Rosa Tichenor, Sandra Vandevander, Jack Vogel, Amby Waybright, Jr., Ron White, Judy Williams, Carol Windett and the people of Ukraine.