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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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
After the blessing we exchanged little conversation. You can’t eat and
healing powers of enjoying a good meal at the end of the day, surrounded by
loved ones, cannot be measured.
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