We have been talking a lot around here about what it means to live intentionally. Or at least I have, and it’s not been clear on whether or not anyone in my family is actually listening. But then last night at the dinner table, my dear daughter says:
“Mama, you know what? We can start trading furs for the things we need. That will help us save our money…”
After I stopped snort-laughing and explained to her that we have no furs, except for the ones on our alive cats, I realized that they are listening, and watching, (and that we should all thank Laura Ingalls Wilder for the history lesson).
While the world outside – and within our own home if I’m being honest – is going balls-to-the-wall crazy, we are choosing to take this time of quarantine to slow it down, be thankful for one another, and to use and reuse what we have. We are slowly sorting through the things in our life that are truly essential and gently waving goodbye to things that are not.
It’s hard. This whole thing is hard. Yesterday marks the completion of the third week that my family has been in quarantine. As I move through my stages of grief and new triggers pop up, I realize I haven’t cried much. I should probably do that more…
We are turning inward. We know how, and it’s for the best. We pretend that we are pioneers, carving out a new life and homestead on our land. We stop to appreciate the enterprising spirit of settlers, yet still remind ourselves that most of us are settled upon stolen land. Everything we do these days seems to be an opportunity for a lesson. Quarantine brings so many things into focus.
I wonder what type of profound impact this time will have on my children? Will they tell stories of a new kind of war to their grandchildren? Their stories of “going without” will be about hugs from friends, face-to-face meetings, school, parties, and sports. I hope their stories of scarcity will never include food, but nothing is certain anymore, except for the endless stream of information that tells us so.
Fortunately, we have plenty of food. And in the Pacific Northwest, there is an abundance of fresh things emerging, namely, the mighty dandelion. We have been eating dandelions as a practice for many years now, so my various attempts to include more “found” fresh things into our diet to delay going to the store goes largely unnoticed for now. Dandelion fritters are already a part of our family culture, but will I secretly always think of them now as a disaster food?
Doesn’t matter. Here’s the recipe…
Fritters are easy, y’all. All you really need is equal parts milk and flour. And an egg if you’ve got one. I got really fancy on this last batch though. I mean, really.
I always use one cup of milk, one cup of flour, and one egg. For this last fancy batch, I mixed those staples together in a bowl and added some salt, baking powder, smoked paprika and garlic powder. It was so fancy.
The kids were driving me batty, (OK, maybe I pick a better descriptor for a quarantine post – noted), so I sent them outside to gather dandelions for the fritters. They got distracted by the mud pit and our harvest was weak, so I chopped up some overwintered kale to add to the dandys. I also washed and dried them very well, to get the pee off. Dog yes -but feral child also.
Here’s the pro tip: don’t waste your time dredging all of these one-by-one. I mix the batter and toss the dandelions (and kale) into it and drop spoonfuls into a generous amount of sizzling coconut oil. I salt right after I flip them so it sticks to the still-hot oil.
Laura Ingalls would be proud, I’m sure.