The Calm Before the Storm

4/10/16 – 4/17/16 Headlines of the week:

  • Making my first official Youtube video
  • Got buckwheat seeds in the mail
  • Enjoying the calm before the storm

This week was pretty slow as far as farming/gardening goes. I’m gearing up for some busy weeks right around the corner, but this week was like the calm before the storm.

Making this Youtube video was pretty fun, and I learned a lot while making this dish from wild dandelion greens and wild garlic. 20160412_194023

When working in my raised bed/cold frame I can go barefoot. So I do, naturally.

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I planted green onions on the other half of my cold frame, but they’re not up yet so I figured I’d spare you a picture of bare dirt and show my lovely lettuce and spinach instead.

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I also got 10 pounds of buckwheat seeds in the mail for a cover crop on my new garden. I won’t be planting that for a bit, though.

And I shall leave you with this picture. Make it a good week, friends!

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Dandelion Greens with Toasted Garlic and Almonds

Dandelion | Taraxacum officinale | Best known as a weed although it holds medicinal properties and value as (free) (nutritious) food. All parts (leaves, root, stem, and flower) can be eaten. The leaves contain lots of vitamins A and K, phosphorus, calcium, fiber, magnesium, iron, potassium, and flavonoids.

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Wild Garlic | Allium vineale | These taste and smell more like onions than garlic. The whole plant can be eaten, and  it can be found all over North America growing as a weed.

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This dish looks pretty fancy and it smells absolutely wonderful. But it’s basically free if you forage for the greens and wild garlic and use leftover bacon grease*! Now that’s my kind of cooking.

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Dandelion Greens With Toasted Garlic and Almonds

Serves 2

  • 1 bunch of dandelion greens
  • 4-6 wild garlic bulbs (or green onions) including 1-2 inches of the green stem if you’d like
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1 T. bacon grease (or olive oil)
  • Small handful of toasted, sliced almonds
  • Pinch of salt

(You should check out that video – I made it) Start a medium pot of water boiling. Coarsely chop dandelion greens and add to boiling water. Stir occasionally until they turn bright green (30 seconds – 1 minute). Drain, rinse with cold water, drain again, and press with a towel to remove excess water. At this point your greens will look like they went through the washer and dryer – limp and shrunken. Never fear! They’ll look more appetizing once you get them in the skillet. But really, what does it matter if they taste amazing?

Heat your cooking fat in a medium skillet. Finely chop wild garlic and garlic. It’s not super garlicky, I promise. The wild garlic tastes more like onion than garlic. Cook in skillet until they begin to brown, stirring occasionally (30 seconds – 2 minutes). Add dandelion greens and stir for 30 seconds. Add almonds and salt and serve warm.

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*I only recommend saving and using bacon grease if your bacon is high quality. That is, if it doesn’t have antibiotics, steroids, or additives and preferably was pasture-raised. The reason for this is that pork fat is where toxins are stored, so if your pig was raised in a toxic environment you would be eating those toxins. If, however, your pig was raised correctly in a healthy environment… that bacon grease is a (amazing tasting, mind you) great source of animal fat for cooking and you don’t have to worry about toxins. So there is a real reason people shy away from bacon and the resulting fat – but it’s because of the quality of the bacon, not bacon in general. So get yourself some high quality bacon and enjoy it! (Good) Bacon is good for you!!