Thursday, July 28, 2011

Mint and Purslane

I am beginning to realize that there are more than four seasons. There's still spring summer fall and winter, yes, but this year i've also become acquainted with cattail pollen season, and linden leaf season, and black locust flower season, and milkweed shoot season, just to name a few. There's no reason to limit our understanding to four distinct seasons which often overlap and defy classification anyway. Now i understand th' seasons according to what i eat, and what i smell in the air as i ride around, especially at night.

A night time bike ride through th' fields and back roads of Ft. Collins is a feast for your nose. Sometimes subtle, sometimes assaulting your sense of smell. Right now, (mid to late July) it's mint. I can usually detect four or five unique mint smells, though i see none of them. And of course th' skunk. And th' skunk that got into th' mint patch. It seems every night has it's own pervading aroma.

I pick mint and add it to my drinking water. We chop it up and use it in salads. we cook it with our chicken. There are few places in our house where mint dares not go. But what is mints' favorite companion? This time of year it's purslane. Yep. That inconspicuos succulent growing right under your feet, or popping up in your flower boxes where you've never seen it before.

We pinch all the leaves off th' stems for our salads, and following th' suggestion of Euell Gibbons have pickled some jars of th' stems for a snack. Th' leaves form th' base of th' salad. To this is added a bit of chopped red onion, chopped fresh basil and yes, of course, our good ole friend th' mint. Any kind will do though we mainly use peppermint due to it's close proximity to th' kitchen table. Then we add about a teaspoon full of olive oil, two capfulls of apple cider vinegar, toss it all together then garnish it with wild currants, raspberries or just some slices of an orange, with a little of the orange juice squeezed on top. It's good.

I quote Josh, multi instrumentalist extraordinaire for The Lighthouse Band: "That's good. Real good. It's a flavor i've never eaten before. I really like trying new flavors. Got a good texture too. What'd you put in this stuff?"



  1. Ate purslane often when Danny was unemployed for a year. I supplemented our diet with the edible weeds I found in the backyard. The kids haven't developed a taste for it yet, but maybe you can help with that. Would lvoe to try some of your recipes.

  2. You guys are very resourceful, we like that about you. Danny was wanting to do a foraging tour of your property, we'll see what kind of food we can whip up while we're at it. Are th' fireflies still blinking over there?

  3. With purslane popping up a bit ago, I've found so many uses. Generally add it to greens of spinach, colt's foot, and young dandelion. Cooked it with cabbage, last week, and it was fantastic. Folks at the table were stunned they were eating food I find in my yard... It's a slow process...