Saturday, July 23, 2011


I'm starting a new category;  Waste Not, Want Not. 
I could file this stuff into my
Saving and Organizing Category,
but I'm detecting a decidedly distinguishable difference here. 

WWI Poster

These are the little bits that we can do every day,
every season, and every year. 
Things that make up a lifetime,
form our character, and teach our children. 
They're choices that we make. 
They become habits that we form. 
These become influences upon our children
that become a standard way of living.
This is how it's done.

It's not the meaning of life.
It is, however, a reminder to see our lives
through long-term lenses.
We owe it to ourselves and to one another.

I'll go back and file any previous posts that may fit this new category.
But for today,  I have one:


Collard Greens

Once upon a time I found myself wondering,
"What in the world are collard greens?"
Basically, it's like a cabbage plant without a head.
The reason they're so popular down south
is because they're available year-round
and they're easy to grow.
They're nutritious, and very tasty cooked with
the traditional smoked & salty, fatty pork.

Somehow, along my research,
I also (re-) discovered that many greens are edible.
As the home-maker of a large family
and the curious child of frugal generations,
I love this idea!
As a nurturer, I must pass it on.

Here's is a list of tasty greens
you might no longer throw out;

Brussels Sprouts
Sweet Potato
Nasturtium ...

Beet Greens

A simple & delicious beet green recipe
can be found at Simply Recipes
This uses bacon, onion, garlic, sugar,
red pepper flakes, and cider vinegar
with the beet greens.

I like to stuff mine and roll them.
They're putzy, but my family is nuts about these.
I don't follow a recipe, but I found one on a
New England site.
With ground veal, egg and bread crumbs
they mix dill, lemon zest, allspice, & pepper.
Mix well & shape into little logs.
Wrap your greens, which you've softened with boiling water,
around each roll.
Simmer in garlic & chicken broth 30 min.
Remove your stuffed greens,
reduce liquid to 1/2 cup.
Blend some flour & sour cream together,
add to your liquid & stir until thickened.
Pour over stuffed green & serve.  YUM!!

Often, I use whatever greens I have on hand.
When I'm in the garden, I harvest whichever is ready.
If I walk into my kitchen with
stalks of chard, beet green, and a couple of broccoli,
I simply dust them off, trim the stem,
and store them in a 
pitcher of water until I'm ready to use them
in a day or two. 

This idea of mixing
works the same for salad greens.
If I have dandelion or
young broadleaf plantain in my garden, 
I harvest these with my lettuce greens. 

Broadleaf Plantain

I toss in chive flowers, if it's early in the year.
Rose Petals, squash flowers,
and young beet leaves in June.
Mid-summer brings the tiny wood sorrel seed pods. 
They have a citrusy kick.
Also, the star-shaped blue borage flowers are ready.
These taste like cucumber.

Chive flower

Wood Sorrel seed pods
(The ones with the tiny, five-petalled yellow flowers.)

Borage Flower

Later come the peppery nasturtium flowers
in the bright, hot colors.
The seed pods are nice to save for pickling,
just throw them into any batch.
Of course, you can eat these however you'd like.
The leaves are especially spicy.

Eating Peppery Nasturtium Petals

Nasturtium Seed Pods

I could go on and on,
but I encourage you to do a little
research of your own.
Find out whats edible and nutritious.
Sadly, it's a lost art.
This stuff's right in our own back yard!
Just be sure you're not harvesting
from an area where it is sprayed with chemicals.

Do you have some old recipes
that use some of these kinds of
"want not" ingredients?
Please share them!
I'm a collector!

Wikipedia gives a List of plants with edible leaves

Addendum:  Posted on Made by You Monday
on Skip to My Lou
15 August, 2011.

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As long as I'm on this journey, rambling through life's exhilarating highs and trudging heavily amongst it's incapacitating lows, I might as well share whatever may be gleaned from my little bits of wisdom and my many missteps. No room for judgment from this broken mama. I'm writing from my heart: raw, open, messy, but saved. And I'm still thanking God!