Real 'weed' RECIPES for 2008 ! (no joke ! )

Discussion in 'General Industry Discussions' started by Marcos, Dec 28, 2007.

  1. Marcos

    Marcos LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,720

    Over the last couple of weeks approaching the holidays I've finally had some time to myself. So I got the fireplace roaring a couple nights in a row and delved into my father's 6 old 'Foxfire' books from the 1970's and 1980's.

    For those of you not familiar with the 'Foxfire' magazine or the 12 book series, it essentially was, and is an attempt to put into a 'random' format...many of the 'Old World' and / or 'Appalachian' ways of doing things, before that unique knowledge (mostly unwritten) fades away as the people of those regions modernize, and the older generations slowly dies off.

    What caught my eye to put into lawnsite was some things in 'Foxfire 2' (printed in 1973 by Anchor Books).
    There is a WHOLE CHAPTER in it that describes 'Spring Plant Foods', many of which name the very same 'weeds' in actual RECIPES that you and I struggle to control on our customer's lawns every year!

    Now...bear in mind that the folks being interviewed in this book are mountain people from Rabun Gap GA...right at the very northeastern tip of the state.
    (The kids doing the 'interviewing' were all high school students at the nearby Rabun Gap-Nacoochee School.)

    So what's different about 'weeds' that you'd find 'isolated' in a mountain setting like Rabun Gap in 1973, vs. the feasibility of 'cooking up' the same 'weeds' in and around a residential neighborhood today? .............. 2,4-D...etc. That's what !!!!:cry:

    So... What I'd like to do is to blog on to this thread a 'weed recipe' once a week or so until the busy season kicks in.
    If you've got any (serious) weed recipes feel free to join in.
    If things warm up for you enough and you are interested in trying any of the recipes that I will blog on to this thread in the coming weeks, you must 1st be certain that you find a site that is absolutely 'VIRGIN' of any prior SYSTEMIC herbicide applications.

    That in itself could be tough to do for some people...!
  2. Marcos

    Marcos LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,720

    Chickweed (Stellaria media)
    (birdseed, starweed, starwort, winterweed, satinflower, tounguegrass)

    "Chickweed is a naturalized native of Europe, grows all year, and can be gathered in the winter months. It is an annual growing to eight inches high, with weak stems, and succulent, bright green leaves. Flowers are small, white , and star-shaped."

    "The whole plant is edible before flowering, and a good source of vitamin C in winter time. It can be used as a potherb, or in salads, or in soups instead of okra."
    "It is good mixed with sheep sorrel, or peppergrass, or more sharply flavored plants."

    "The closely related Mouse-ear (Cerastium) is also edible, but less flavorsome as the whole plant is covered with wooly hairs."


    CREAMED CHICKWEED parboil, strain, chop fine. Reheat with milk, butter, salt, and pepper.

    from : Foxfire 2 , Anchor Books, 1973


    Next favorite, and yours! dandilions! :)

    Who else out there has dandilion recipes?
  3. wooley99

    wooley99 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 269

    I haven't tried any of the recipes from Foxfire but I'm tempted by the ones that turn into wine. I may have to build one of the stills described as well. My wife got me a subscription to the magazine this year. Until now I'd only collected the books.

    My lawn is off-limits for collecting for human consumption but I do have a couple acres in the woods in Alabama that might work...
  4. Marcos

    Marcos LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,720

    Well, since you've brought up wine and all!
    Here's what my dad used to make when I was a little boy:
    (My 2 sisters and I were in charge of picking ALL the flowers....)

    I'm pretty sure (in hindsight) now that he used FOXFIRE's recipe!

    ....but I'm sure we QUADRUPLED it, at least, in volume! :laugh:


    Dandelion Wine

    Pour one gallon boiling water over 1 gallon dandelion flowers.
    Let stand until blossoms 'rise'. (Twenty-four to forty-eight hours)
    Strain into stone jar.
    Add juices of 4 lemons, 4 oranges, 4 pounds of sugar, and one yeast cake.
    Stir four to five times a day until it stops fermenting.
    Keep well covered.
    In two weeks, strain, bottle and cork tightly.

    I will blog dandelion cooking recipes later next week...ones from Foxfire and a couple that AREN'T.
    Dandys are a traditional part of our springtime menu around here... but you've got to get them EARLY while they're still good and TENDER!!! :rolleyes:

    ..please join in if you have some other 'weed' recipes too!
  5. wooley99

    wooley99 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 269

    As I remember Grandma made dandelions as a side dish shortly after ramps were done.
  6. Marcos

    Marcos LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,720

    Happy New Year Dandelion Recipes

    Dandelion (Taraxacum officinale)

    (blowball, peasant's clock, cankerroot, down-head, yellow gowan, witches' gowan, milk-witch)

    Dandelions are common on lawns and in fields and long roadsides. Stems grow three to fourteen inches and are hollow. Dark green, dentate basal leaves emit a milky juice as that get old. The golden yellow flowers are one to two inches across. Dandelion is a native of Europe, naturalized all over America.

    Edible parts include the young leaves, the flower buds, and the scraped roots. Dandelion greens are very rich in iron and vitamin C...Some authorities say the roots are inedible, and all traces of root must be cut away when preparing greens for cooking. Gather much more than you think you need, for they cook down. Some cooks add a pinch of soda when cooking dandelions.

    - Foxfire 2 Anchor Books 1973


    I'd like to emphasize to anyone out there who has never cooked with dandelions to :

    1) Make sure you're picking the dandelions from a location that could have never possibly been sprayed with any systemic herbicide, particularly 2,4-D !!!!!!

    2) For best overall taste and texture of dandelions it has been found by our family that they need to be picked and eaten ONLY VERY EARLY in the season !.......early to mid-spring at the latest !

    As summer approaches and the plant 'hardens off' it becomes bitter tasting!
    I don't recommend cooking with 'late summer' dandys !!! :cry:


    Dandelion Greens

    Gather leaves when young.
    Wash and boil about 20 minutes in water with fatback added, or drain and fry in oil. Season with salt and pepper.

    Or after cooking, drain off water, and heat with small amount of vinegar.
    Add small amounts of fried salt pork, heat, and eat.

    Or cook lightly in salted water. Drain. Mix milk, butter, one egg, and vinegar together. Cook to (just) a boil and pour over greens.


    Marcos' Family Dandy recipe !!!!

    Fry 2 thick strips of bacon. Remove when semi-cooked, and dice them both into very small pieces. Fry again until well browned and 'dry'.
    In a bowl break 1 egg; add 1 tablespoon flour, one teaspoon sugar, and one teaspoon salt.
    Mix well and gradually add 1 1/2 cups water.
    Add this to the fried bacon (including grease) and bring to a boil, stirring constantly.

    When it starts to thicken add 3 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar and pour over young dandelion greens.

    Serve immediately while HOT !


    Dandelion Bud Omelet

    Gather one cup dandelion buds before flower color shows. Fry buds in dab of butter until they 'pop'.
    Add 4 eggs, salt and pepper.
    Top with raw (young) dandelion leaves, finely cut before serving.


    Dandelion Salad

    (....many of our 'family recipe' idea(s) were originally derived from this recipe that appeared in Foxfire 2 in 1973.):rolleyes:

    Wash and pat dry one-half cup unopened flower buds and one bunch tender (young) leaves.
    Fry two strips of bacon. Toss buds in hot bacon grease until they open. Drain.
    Mix with leaves and bacon; add tablespoons oil and vinegar.

    Or wash young dandelion leaves and chop fine.
    Add salt, vinegar, and olive oil.
    When mixed, add one tomato cut in pieces, or cooked lima beans. Toss.

    Or mix chopped dandelions with chopped ramps or wild onion, top with bacon, bacon fat, and vinegar.


    Dandelion Green Drink

    Cook chickweed and dandelion, each alone.
    Put through a sieve, add cider vinegar, and drink for a tonic.


    Coffee Substitute

    Gather dandelion roots. Peel.
    Roast until dark brown. Grind.
  7. 1MajorTom

    1MajorTom Former Moderator
    Messages: 6,073

    Growing up, my mom would occassionally put dandelions in our salads. just the leaves, never the flower buds.
  8. AintNoFun

    AintNoFun LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,807

    all the old school italians in my family used dandelions alot in salads and whatnot..
  9. gene gls

    gene gls LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,213

    Milk Weed leaves were a favorit with my inlaws. Cooked up like Spinich.
  10. Marcos

    Marcos LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,720

    (I also found some recipes for milkweed in 'Foxfire 2', but I've never tried milkweed myself...Maybe I'll do that in 2008. :))

    Milkweed ( Asclepias syriaca)

    a.k.a (silkweed, cottonweed)

    ...young shoots are edible when very young, before leaves unfold.
    Young pods can be used as a substitute for okra, and flowers are cooked into sugar.

    In Tn and Ky milkweed is considered a tonic, greens "good for what ails you."


    Fried Milkweed

    Cut shoots into small pieces. Boil 15 minutes in salted water. Drain. Fry in small amount of fat. Add in eggs, salt and pepper, and cheese, if desired.


    Milkweed Soup

    Gather shoots while young and tender (not after July).
    Wash, cook and drain. Add more water, rice, bacon drippings, salt, pepper, or wild onions.
    Cook over a slow fire until done.

    Boil a hambone, add young milkweed pods cut in small pieces, several wild onions or ramps, and a handful of rice. Cook slowly. Add salt and pepper before serving.

    Cut milkweed shoots in small pieces. Drain. Serve on toast, topped with hard boiled egg and bread crumbs. Add onion, if desired. Or add bacon or fatback, or top with cheese sauce.

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