17 March 2006

Spring! Time to Grab That Tonic Bottle!

Yes, it's almost spring! What a glorious time of the year.
You know, in some respects, it's only because of the hard
dedicated work of nature, during the winter season, in
supplying us with an abundance of cold, blustery, snowy
weather, that we can fully appreciate the glory of spring.
Thank you, winter.

Now, having made that confession, I must say that I've been
terribly concerned this past month or so -- concerned about
whether I would be in the mood to fully appreciate spring.
You see, the winter here in Nova Scotia (even Cape Breton!),
had been so mild and lacking in the blustery, snowy
weather, cited above, that I doubted whether spring would
be much more than cause for a "ho-hum" reaction. I was
wrong! Mother Nature must have heard my concerns, because
we were hit so hard by a cold spell during the last half of
February, that I darn near froze a toe as I walked to the mail
box to pick up my bills and love letters.

So, now, I'm thinking: "Hello, spring, let's grab the tonic
bottle and welcome you home!"

In fact, while on the subject of "tonic," there is one
particular flowering plant that comes to mind -- the
dandelion. It is quite famous as a tonic plant. Have you
ever sat or stood in a field of dandelions, and enjoyed the
beauty of the yellow canvas spread out around you? It is
truly a tonic for the soul and spirit. This, alone, puts us
in a frame of mind suitable for the spring season. In terms
of a physical tonic, or something we can drink to invigorate
our mind and body, the dandelion serves the purpose.

The young leaves can be cleaned and added to salads, to
supply the body with an array of minerals and vitamins. As
well, one ounce of the leaves, steeped for ten minutes in a
pint of water, is a good general tonic that can be sweetened
by the addition of honey or molasses. A wineglass full can be
taken twice daily for tonic purposes. The occasional glass
of dandelion and ginger wine is also a delightful tonic
treat. I have a recipe for this wine. If anyone would like
the recipe, just drop me a line at llacey@tallships.ca, and
I will be happy to send it to you.

My very best wishes to everyone!