Round Meets Green
"Vern, go get some potatoes from the cellar for supper". Being bigger, the best cook in the world, and her first son, of course I did what she asked. A fool might say, get your own potatoes, but I knew better. Never, never bite the hand that feeds you. How will the potato be prepared tonight? I hope they are fried with smokehouse ham, pork chops, or meat loaf. It didn't matter. Tonight we may eat some fried, golden brown potatoes, fresh from the garden.
As requested, I picked out some of the biggest, and gave them to the cook. Bigger means less work, or so I thought. Sometime that week, she again put out the same request to one of us kids, and we never said no. Of course, the person chosen, again picked out the biggest ones left. After a while of picking over the potatoes, the next size was chosen for the biggest, and so on and so on. Right about the time of spring planting, mid to late April, only small clean ones the size of a quarter remained. Now what do we do?
No one ever accused our Mom of just being a pretty face--she had a plan.
Dandelions are notorious for being a pest in the yard, driveway, garden, and anywhere there could be found a teaspoon of dirt. People eat collard, red beet and turnip tops, and all kinds of green stuff. Maybe we could eat dandelion. She knew all along what we were having.
Not a job for un-skilled hands, Mom always got the greens. It gave her a chance to get outside, check to see if the onions had come up, and just soak up some good old sunshine. Selection was important in order to choose the most tender plants. Those sporting a pretty yellow flower didn't make the grade. Soon a pan full of green tops appeared in the sink, and she cleaned and washed them to perfection.
I was too busy fishing or digging worms to go fishing, but she probably boiled or steamed them until the right tenderness. Bacon odors drifted through the house, and filtered outside to the garden.
Those little round potatoes were boiled and then pan fried to a golden brown. Want to know something; when you are young and hungry, little round potatoes taste just as wonderful as big peeled ones.
Great tasting food soon appeared. "Supper's on" came the call, and we never hesitated. Before our eyes and on the table, Mom served another good supper to eight hungry mouths. She cooked the greens and covered them with a wonderful sweet and sour dressing with fresh bacon bits and chopped onions.
This is how we enjoyed the meal. As always, some form of meat appeared. Let's say tonight it is country cured and smoked ham slices, (the smokehouse not being far removed from the kitchen). Along side of that favorite we added some of those browned potatoes, and on top of the potatoes the dandelion with bacon flavored dressing.
After the blessing we exchanged little conversation. You can't eat and talk.
The healing powers of enjoying a good meal at the end of the day, surrounded by loved ones, cannot be measured.
God is good.
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