Cumberland Times-News

Betty Van NewKirk - From the Museum

April 24, 2008

Dandelions hold promise summer will bring


I was visiting my grandparents in Canada when Uncle Wynn, their oldest son, arrived for a weekend with a "special treat'' for his parents. He had found dandelion greens at an Amish farm stand, and came with all the ingredients for a gourmet dressing for them.

Wynn was well aware that dandelion leaves, pushing their way up through the ground, become imbedded with sand. They must be washed, and rewashed, and then washed again to get all the grit out of the crinkles.

He did the washing, but instead of emptying the pan in grandpa's vegetable garden he dumped the water into the sink. Before we could sit down at the table a call had to be made to a local plumber to take out the trap and clean out the clog that had developed.

I didn't remember what kind of dressing Uncle Wynn made - perhaps oil and vinegar and hard-boiled eggs - but I do remember the reaction when he carried the dish to the table. My spinster Aunt Elsie, who still lived with her parents, took one bite of her brother's presentation and pushed her plate aside, whining, "I like dandelion greens the way Mama always fixes them!''

I have cooked the greens a few times, but the proper time for cutting them seems to happen when my back is turned, and suddenly the yard if full of flowers. I mentioned that fact once, saying that I really ought to try making dandelion wine; I had tasted it once - pale green, delicately flavored and delicious.

My comment resulted in my receiving from Mr. Upton Edwards - Remember him? - his wife's wine recipe. I never attempted to make it (think how many flower heads I would have had to pick!) but another friend expressed interest, and I shared the recipe with him.

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Betty Van NewKirk - From the Museum
  • Happy 200th to St. Paul's Lutheran congregation Today is the 200th birthday of the Lutheran congregation in Frostburg!

    On Aug. 14, 1808, 24 people joined in a communion service in the New Church, a log structure on the edge of what is now called the Prichard Farm.

    August 14, 2008

  • Quality, attitude of people make 'Burg special A note in the newspaper a week or so ago mentioned that Oprah Winfrey was looking for "the best small towns in America.'' Frostburg is the best one I know of - but unfortunately Oprah asked for photos or videos supporting the nomination.

    August 7, 2008

  • There's always something new under the sun! The popular press has been devoting a good bit of space in recent weeks to the new swimsuit, introduced by Speedo, which supposedly has contributed to the record-breaking times posted in the Olympic tryouts.

    July 24, 2008

  • Ward and his mansion stand proud in 'Burg I've had questions recently - not for the first time! - about William Ward and the house he built at 73 W. Main St. here in Frostburg.

    July 17, 2008

  • July 4th: Finding our beliefs Independence Day, like Christmas, is one of the few national holidays that has not been moved to Monday, to provide a four-day break for working people. It holds its own as the Fourth of July.

    July 3, 2008

  • Berry-picking brings back many memories Last week I went to Wiley Ford to pick strawberries. I came home with enough for several packets of frozen berries, for three jars of strawberry jam, generous spoonfuls of fruit on my breakfast cereal and shortcake with real whipped cream.

    June 26, 2008

  • Ambulance service has key community role The Frostburg Area Ambulance Service is currently asking for our help in raising money for the protective clothing that new government regulations require.

    June 19, 2008

  • Planet continues to change; Big One on horizon? In a year that is not yet half over, 2008 has already written itself into the record books for extremes of hot and cold, rain and drought, tornadoes and floods and earthquakes. Our planet Earth has been in a constant state of change.

    June 12, 2008

  • In tennis, individuals face each other as equals I'm not a sports person, but I like to watch tennis. During the three big summer tournaments - Paris, London and New York, played on three different surfaces - my TV is on, and I check the newspaper for details that I have missed.

    June 5, 2008

  • Arts are obviously alive in Allegany County Last week I had the pleasure of attending the spring concert of the Allegany Community Symphony Orchestra. The program was free, and nicely varied, and the instrumentalists were competent.

    May 29, 2008

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