In the Living Kitchen

Musings, memories, meals in the making.


The Day We Picked Dandelions: A Prelude to Wine

Now that last week is over, and the rain is watering in seeds, seedlings and onion plants today, I can relax a bit.  Sam and I had quite the stormy affair last week, not the romantic kind.  Last year, we had all kinds of blow-outs that all stemmed from broken expectations, full schedules and the stress of the season.  This year, starting in the winter, we planned certain perimeters and schedules that we thought might help the tension caused by running a small farming business together.  It’s actually funny to me, looking back on all that planning, and all the planning we always do.  We are like two busy little relationship bees, building a hive of security.  We are so eager to fix our issues that sometimes we miss the whole point, and it inevitably comes in a thunderstorm and knocks the whole hive over.  Every time.  And still we never see it coming.

We have been planning on making dandelion wine for months now, ever since we had a vintage bottle of Jay and Polly’s dandelion wine that blew us away with deliciousness.  Yesterday was the day we had planned on the arduous task of picking 5 gallons of dandelion petals for the wine.  Yesterday also began with a nice little argue fest, the forth argue fest day in a row.  After an hour or so of tense arguing, I told Sam to go pick dandelion flowers by himself.  It’s funny how fast feelings of anger and urgency diffuse once the setting changes.  It took me 10 minutes to recompose myself once alone, and I spent the next couple of hours running errands around town and taking in the beautiful spring day.  I held the awareness of our rocky week together in the background of my mind, not quite sure what to think of it, but not quite uncomfortable with it either.  I pulled up the farm when all my errands were complete, singing, “I’m a man-man-man eater” loudly along with Neko Case, and spotted Sam sitting silently in a patch of dandelion.  (Sam later told me he was a little worried for his safety by my song choice, I told him I had been listening to it on repeat.)

I joined him with my yellow pot and he showed me his seasoned technique for de-petaling the dandelions.  After all, he had been doing it for two hours.  We moved from spot to spot around the farm, chatting every so often, but mostly silent.  At one point, we were in a nice patch and I noticed that the dandelions were big, fat, and had full, pollen filled manes.

“I read somewhere that dandelions were brought here by settlers for their beauty,” I said.

“Yeah, I read that too,” Sam replied.

“I feel like I am seeing these dandelions for the first time today, as I am ripping out their petals.  They really are beautiful.”

“Yeah, I was just thinking the same thing.”