When it’s springtime on the prairie
And the birds begin to sing,
And young blades of grass come poking
Through the earth, with other things,
Comes a morning mama beckons,
And, as she hands me her soup pot,
Says “I bet today’s the day for
finding greens,–I’ll bet a lot!”
Fresh greens, I hanker longingly,
It’s been a long winter without,
Not counting string beans strung and dried.
Of that there is no doubt—there’s
Brooklime found in ditches, and
Cattails from the pond
Can be eaten in a salad,
With chickweed, and dandelion;
Great Burdock can be eaten
In a salad or just raw,
Lamb’s Quarters, some may call a weed,
But steamed it’s not at all.
Clover can be used for tea,
But in salad is still good,
Thistle can be nice with greens,
And the roots can be cooked and eaten.
Around the farm and fields throughout,
There’s plenty greens for taking,
But I’ve saved the best for last,
The dandelions that we savor.
To clean them mama holds the leaves
And cuts the bottom root away;
The very inner growth is shook
And gently thrown away;
The tender stems and leaves are put
In mama’s biggest cooking pot,
Then she takes them to the well
And washes them a lot;
She cooks up strips of bacon
In a skillet ‘til its crisp,
Then adds vinegar to the drippings,
Making sure it doesn’t drip.
Some hard boiled eggs will be sliced up,
And laid upon the greens,
The dressing is poured over all, and
It’s the finest thing I’ve seen.
Mama tosses the greens lightly
And puts bacon on my plate,
We think that Dandelions are
The best thing we ever ate.
–Sandra Lee Smith
UPDATED JULY 3, 2019