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.