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      Text and photographs are © by Ellen Spector Platt & Ellen Zachos, all rights reserved.


      Showing posts with label dandelions. Show all posts
      Showing posts with label dandelions. Show all posts

      Saturday, June 6, 2009

      Central Park...my favorite restaurant


      Ok, it's not really my favorite restaurant, but I think it's pretty cool to take a walk in the Park and pick up a few wild ingredients for a delicious batch of cookies or a special yogurt treat.

      Sophia Brittan and Emma Piper-Burket are the brains (and beauty) behind Kitchen Caravan, an internet cooking show (and so much more!). We bonded last summer over a foraged meal and weekend of foodie indulgence at my home in PA, and this spring I contributed to their series of videos on edible flowers.

      Sophia and I took a wet walk in Central Park, then headed back to her apartment to cook and eat.
      The dandelion cookies are sneakily addictive. I took only two with me and they were gone by the time I walked home (a mere 3 blocks). They're not super sweet, but they ARE delicious. Thanks to Peter Gail for the recipe.

      Our second edible floral was lilac flowers in yogurt. Think of it as a healthier, more sophisticated version of a DQ Blizzard (...mmm...DQ Blizzard...). Of course my favorite lilac flower recipe is lilac flower wine, but since that takes about 2 years from start to finish it doesn't make for great television. Sure makes for good drinking, though.

      N.B. I didn't actually pick the lilacs for this project in Central Park. While I have no problem foraging in public places for things most people consider weeds, picking flowers just doesn't feel right. After all, people go to parks to see pretty flowers and if I harvested them, that might decrease someone else's enjoyment of the park. And that would be bad.

      And please don't judge my hair. It was raining!

      Wednesday, May 13, 2009

      RETHINKING DANDELIONS

      Instead of using chemical weed control, find a couple of kids who are plenty
      bored waiting for their dance class to begin,one who’s fidgeting while you
      get your tires rotated, or
      growing grumpy waiting
      for big brother to emerge
      from school. Pick a large
      bunch.

      Dandelions are in the park,
      in cracks between side-
      walks,in empty lots. I
      recently knocked on a door
      to ask the surprised home-
      owner if she minded if we
      picked dandelions from her
      yard. Dandelions are free for the taking, and twenty
      stems make a fabulous if ephemeral craft kit. People
      of a certain age learned to make these chains in childhood, but for today’s children the skill is likely to be a revelation.

      A lawn studded with golden
      dandelions is not ‘an ugly
      lawn’ as my TV just
      pronounced via Scott’s
      Weed & Feed. This is a
      lawn like a ‘jewelry store’
      according to my favorite
      8 year old, jewels ready to
      fashion into the rings and
      things she just learned.
      Bright yellow splotches
      in green grass can
      be charming when you re-label
      the view as a source of
      pleasure. Young greens
      for salads with hot bacon
      dressing? Flowers for cookies?

      How To Make Dandelion Jewelry
      1. Pick a bunch of dandelions, with longish stems. (Works with clover or wild daisies too.)
      2. With your thumbnail cut a slit about 1/2 inch long in the middle of the stem.
      3. Slip a second dandelion stem
      through the slit and pull gently
      until the second flower reaches
      as far as it can go.
      4. Make a slit in the second flower
      and keep going until your chain is long enough to make a crown for a King or Queen, a tiara for a
      princess, a necklace or a wrist band.
      5. To end off, make a final slit at the end of the last flower and loop the first flower back through it. Or tie the two ends carefully in a knot. Double click on any photo to enlarge.

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