Saturday, April 20, 2013

After Work Delights

I landed some work recently as an archaeological monitor which was really nice as I have been waiting on student loans (again) for way too long! As the area we were observing was clearly "sterile soil" (no cultural layers or resources such as artifacts and ecofacts being present) I found some time to observe the local botany as I surveyed the surface in search of archaeological sites. In the fields that were slotted to be graded for development I came across a bounty of wild mustard, lambsquarter and wildflowers. The long and short of it was this...the next day this area would be a flat barren foundation for houses and roads and these plants would be gone. So as far as I was concerned I had little options.
After work I gathered wild mustard and some lambsquarter.
Call me old fashioned or country (and I'll take it as a complement) but I doubt there is a more beautiful site in the world than my wife's smile when presented with a bouquet of wildflowers! Silver lupine, mustard, pineapple weed, to name a few were in bright bloom and brought a nice feel of spring into our home that evening.
This was my first time enjoying lambsquarter, a plant that grows throughout the state, and I certainly hope it is not the last! This little plant is as delicious as it is prolific. I sauteed it up and layered the leaves with goat cheese in a tasty omelet the next morning. A little chili powder and a dash of homemade sea salt and I was content. A gourmet meal from the weeds in a field.
Keep in mind that several plants bear a resemblance to lambsquarter to the untrained eye, including nightshade which is deadly poisonous! Remember, aste not want not, don't cry over spilt milk, a bird in the hand is better than two in the bush, and always strive to keep the old ways alive! -By Kevin Smith

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