What We’re Eating and Drinking: Dandelions and Mulderbosch Rosé (again)
We’re doing some experimenting with dinner here this week. You know Celia’s food column that she writes for the local newspaper? (I love it.) The one where she shares recipes and weaves stories around them? They are ridiculously good (both the recipes and the stories) and I’ve tried a few in the past couple of years, but this week I really went out on a limb with one and it is definitely worth mentioning here this week. The recipe is for stewed dandelion greens on toast (served with rosé so I don’t even have to make a case for choosing my favorite wine again). Dandelion greens. Yup. Despite their ubiquitousness at the local farmers’ markets (and on our lawns) I’ve never eaten dandelion greens before. Or, not intentionally anyway. My father used to make wine from the flowers when I was a kid, so my memory of edible dandelions is limited to the yellow stains they left on my knees (my brother and I having been directed to the fields behind our house to gather as many of the blossoms we could carry in our t-shirt pouches) and the sticky, milky juice that oozes from their stalks when you pick them. But to eat the greens? Sounded intriguing. And a little bit gross. It turns out my judgement was grossly wrong. The greens in this recipe are chopped and stewed with tomatoes and garlic and olive oil–simple as pie–and as delicious and seriously addicting as Celia claims they are. The leaves are tangy and light and clean and whatever we don’t eat for dinner, I’ll surely have for lunch on Saturday.[ If you follow the link to the article (above) you will find the recipe and some more details about the healthfulness of the succulent dish.] Yum.
Gina: More than once I’ve walked around our lovely garden with its plants sprouting out of the rich Emilia Romagnan soil, thinking about how many things are probably edible or medicinal or would just make damn good tea, and i will never know it! I have never, however, stopped to think about Dandelions. I will totally check out the column and see what that delightful Celia is writing about. On Monday or some time next week, I’ll have to give you a tour of what’s happening outside this month. I have never seen so many roses…and countless other flowering things that I wish I knew by name!
What We’re Talking About: Poetry and Creative Mind
I’m all about our local paper here on this side of the blog today….above is Noah reading a poem for its celebration of National Poetry Month (that ended yesterday). The Paper (our local paper) gathered folks from around town who wanted to share a favorite poem via the world wide web on their website and, you know, never one to turn down a chance to perform, Noah decided he wanted to take part in the event. Seriously, though, I was thrilled! For years (ever since I started reading him A Child’s Garden of Verses when he was a baby) I’ve been trying to get Noah as hooked on poetry as I am. It hasn’t been easy. Though he loves to read specific kinds of books (mysteries, historical fiction narratives, anything to do with Star Wars)), I’ve found it very difficult to get him to expand his choices and poetry seemed out of the question. When I taught poetry in my classroom years ago, I found that–though poems sometimes speak to 11 year old girls–most boys are pretty turned off (or ‘bored’) by the idea of reading a poem. Luckily, I have shelves of all kinds of poetry right in our house, so I pulled out a few linguistically simple, very short examples of “not flowers and love poems” (gross) to show him, hoping for the best. Noah ended up picking out The Red Wheelbarrow by William Carlos Williams–a deceptively simple but thematically rich poem–to read for the community and I think he did a great job with it (wearing his sloucher hat and all)! The best part was that, as he was practicing reading it with me, we had a very interesting and textured discussion about why he liked the poem and what he thought it was about. Better yet, a few days later, Noah came to me with even more thoughts and questions about the words in the poem and why they were used the way that they were and who was this William Carlos Williams, anyway. Noah’s found a poem that has stuck with him–its words and images serving as muses as he wanders about the world–which is, to me, the point of poetry to begin with. I’m calling it a success.
Happy week to you all!
Gina: That has a story had a smile spreading across my face! I love when that kind of connection happens! Noah’s unhurried journey towards poetry reminds me of that theory that says that we should serve a kid the same vegetable over and over again (maybe 15 or 17 times was the golden number?) and eventually she’ll eat it. That was definitely my approach to reading in general. Don’t like that book, okay, try this one! Not so good, how about this one?! Eventually it stuck. Anyway, please let him know that we watched his video and loved his poem and his hat! And yours too! You look like an old pro at doing poetry videos, with all those knowing smiles and the eye contact. Is this your closet hobby?! You can tell me…