Weed Warrior Frank
On May 9, 2019, I attended the East Kootenay Invasive Species Council AGM at Cranbrook’s Heritage Inn. Lance Cuthill described the plight of local bees. He said to us, “Beekeepers in the RDEK and in Creston lost more than half of their bees over the last winter, largely due to monthly warming periods, followed by sudden cold snaps.
Please help the regional bee recovery by not eliminating your Dandelions until after the bees have had a chance to get their first good protein meal of the season, from loading up on Dandelion pollen.
Instead of spraying herbicide on unwanted dandelions, try eating some of them instead.” So, Tuesday morning, May 14, in the interest of the Cranbrook Townsman and Kimberley Bulletin readerships, I put my taste buds to the test. I picked a couple of Dandelion leaves, washed them and ate them.
Yes, they were slightly bitter like the recipes say. Let’s get back to them later, when my wife has had a chance to work her salad dressing magic at supper time. I am on my own for breakfast, Tuesday mornings, because my wife is at her Sunshine Rotary Club breakfast meeting.
So, I picked 2 dozen Dandelion flowers, washed them in warm water, like the recipe below said, then cut off the green knob at the base that attaches the flower to the stem, so that the dark green base will not make the yellow radial florets taste too bitter.
Since I was hungry, and this was a taste-test experiment, I got cooking, instead of spending time finding recipe ingredients. I stirred some whole wheat flour into a farm-fresh egg from my neighbour. Thanks Carlin! A little water to the egg-flower mixture got the consistency just right. Because, my culinary skills don’t include high marks for presentation, the Yellow florets had separated, so I just stirred them into the flour-egg batter and pan-fried 7 small soupspoon sized pancakes. I ate the first one with no syrup. It tasted like a rich plain pancake fried with olive oil.
The next 3 were coated with maple syrup and the remaining 3 with blueberry syrup. YUM! May 15 and 18, I picked 3 dozen dandelion flowers and made very tasty plate-sized pancakes, stirring the flowers into 1/2 cup of whole wheat flour and egg batter. May 15, for supper, my wife looked at the tiny dandelion leaves I had ripped off the deflowered plants, then went outside, dug up some more mature plants, roots and all, then put the big dandelion leaves into her lettuce and coleslaw salad, and added a standard home-made lemon juice and oil dressing.
The salad nicely complemented the pork chops that I BBQed. Warning, drink lots of water with and after eating dandelions, because they are diuretic and make you pee more often. Now, I challenge you, dear Readers, to try eating your dandelions.
If you are concerned about possible allergic reactions, but want to try the dandelion challenge anyway, here is some advice that wise tribal elders have followed for thousands of years. Try a little bit of the new food, or medicinal herb, and wait a week to see if you react to it.
If you don’t experience any objections from your body, repeat the safety test 3 more times, then consume it cautiously until you are sure your body accepts the new addition to your diet.
Dandelion Recipes, found on the internet and elsewhere, offer many tasty ways to prepare Dandelion flowers, leaves and roots. I listed a couple of websites below.
If we plant lots of bee-friendly flowers, we can help RDEK bees rebuild a healthy population over the coming summer. Please don’t spray insecticides or herbicides near flowering plants.