I had a friend years ago who grew up on a farm in Iowa. Every once in a while when the weather was unbearably hot, her mother would call a strike on housework.
"You guys wanna eat," mom would say, "go pick your dinner."
That meant corn. (Well, duh. Farm in Iowa!)
However, in my friend's case, it meant pig corn, because her father was in the pork business, not the tender kernels of summer juiciness business. The corn was hog feed.
Still, it was fresh from the field, and my friend's mom was usually feeling motherly enough, even on strike days, to put on a pot of water to boil.
A little butter, a little salt, and a kid could make do with a happy meal she picked herself.
I was always a little jealous of my friend's foraged feast.
Here in the suburbs of California, the only dinner I'm going to be able to pick is something I've planted myself (and this season is shaping up to be a bummer backyard-food-wise; film at eleven), or an edible something nature has kindly laid in my path.
A few weeks ago Cranky and I bought a small handful of fresh purslane at the farmers market. We both know it's a weed, and we both know the farmers know that. However, it's a fashionable weed, and a rather tasty, succulent weed as well. Great for salads, dripping with Omega-3 fatty acids, and cute to boot.
We were sort of embarrassed to be paying actual money for the purslane, so we selected only 60 cents' worth (and left half of it to rot in the crisper drawer).
As we walked up the driveway with our purchased purslane, I suddenly spotted that familiar red-stemmed, spider-shaped weed growing out of the rocks, everywhere.
Huh! Never saw that before.
Then it dawned on me I hadn't seen it before because it's in season now!
So. Now when I want to go pick my dinner, I can go root around for some Portulaca oleracea, aka Little Hogweed.
Rhymes with little hog feed, and that's fine with me.