Tuesday, May 22, 2007
Dandelions in the Post
This morning when the postman came, he delivered dandelions. They arrived carefully packed in a padded envelope sent by a lady known to me only as Purple Luv. I met her on a BBC internet food message board where I appealed for help with D vegetables. In this virtual waiting room we chatted about dandelions with someone else known as Ian in France. London dandelions punch their way through the gaps in the paving stones but I wasn't going to feed them to my family coated in diesel fumes and dog pee. So I needed a purer supply. Purple Luv generously offered to pick them from a farm in Cheshire following Ian's detailed instructions. "...it's better to blanch the leaves - what some people do is to put a slate over the plants and wait a few days before picking just the palest yellow/green leaves, that way they're a lot less bitter." Ian also had invaluable information for me;
"I suggest you do them as the french do. Tepid salad. A couple of rashers of bacon cut up into strips, and some cubes of bread. Fry the bacon, when crisp remove to a warm place for a moment. In the same fat (add more if needed) fry up the cubes till crisp and golden. Tip in the bacon again, then tip the lot over the dandelion. Use the fat to make a simple dressing (lemon, made mustard and pepper). Tip over, toss and serve right away."
So this is what I did with my Dandelions from Cheshire and my recipe from France with some added asparagus tips. It was a perfect arrangement coaxed from the internet. And Freddie has been following the story of the dandelions as if it were a wonderful fairytale. He imagines Purple Luv covered in purple dandelion flowers, a magical figure who is guided by Wizard Ian from his castle in France. And consequently Freddie, taken up by the magic of the whole story, ate dandelions. His score for the Dandelion salad was eight out of ten. Thank you Ian and thank you Purple Luv!