In the beauty of the morning, may you walk along with me,
To the center of the garden to observe the little bee.
May you look at it closely, storing treasures in your mind,
As he visits every flower, no matter what the kind.
Compare this to the people you encounter every day.
Are their actions and appearance different in some way?
Do we treat each other kindly, greeting each with a song?
Do we wish each one happiness to last the whole day long?
For in the beauty of each morning may we strive to do our best,
To lighten the hearts of others and then we too will be blest.
By Stella Riffle
Summer days hum along like the buzzing of a bee. Along the roadside, black-eyed susans cast their dark eyes upward at each passer-by, while chicory weed waves tall stalks of amazing blue flowers with each wayward breeze.
Chicory is a unique weed. Hated by farmers for its habit of springing up in pasture fields, it is loved by wild food enthusiasts. It is a beautiful flower sometimes utilized in flower beds, but can also be used for medicinal purposes. Chicory is reputed to stimulate digestion and the pancreatic secretion, regulating the amount of glucose in the body. (I need to go dig some!)
Chicory is used to adjust the level of cholesterol in the body, and for digestive problems such as gastritis and hepatitis, gall bladder problems and a multitude of other ailments. The most popular use is probably for a coffee substitute.
Dig the largest roots you can find (you can also use dandelion roots) scrub well or peel. Slice in 1/8 thick slices and roast in a 350 degree oven until dark brown. Grind and add to your store-bought coffee for that old "New Orleans" taste, or use alone for a unique flavor.
When it is young and tender, chicory makes excellent spring greens. They are a lot like dandelion greens; they must be used early in the season. Lamb's-quarter greens are in season now, and they resemble spinach. Wash them, and you can cook them in a skillet with a tight lid with what water clings to them. Of course they must be seasoned with bacon grease (heaven forbid!) and salt and pepper.
The orange day lilies pop up all over the place, and there are many ways to prepare them. Day lily fritters are simple and easy to make.
Day lily Fritters
1/2 cup flower
1/4 cup finely chopped wild onions
Salt and pepper to taste