That’s what my grandmother always called it when we prodded the dirt around the plants, looking for baby potatoes, but left the plants intact so they could make big spuds, too.
“C’ mon” she’d say, “Let’s pick a mess of greens to boil these with.”
She never stepped outside without a bonnet. Never. Her arms were leathery and spotted, but her face was white and smooth like baby’s skin.
Since it was a hardscrabble farm, the only lawn she had was a patch fronting the dirt road that went by the house. The rest was trails through weeds, feedlots, and pasture. We’d wander around gathering a few leaves of dock, and as much Lamb’s Quarter as we could find. We never could find a lot.
“I guess we’ll have to use dandelion greens for the rest,” she’d say. No matter how dry it was—even when there were cracks in the earth—there were dandelions. We’d only pick the small ones. The big ones were too bitter.
I suppose they were medicinal. I have no idea what they were supposed to do, except remind me that in hard times, you make do with what you’ve got.
So now my taters are boiling along with a few sprigs of chives. (I figured Grandma wouldn’t mind if I spruced it up a bit.) I’m sitting back, staring at my lawn, dotted with golden flowers, and wondering how many dandelions I’d need to make wine? As Grandma always said….
“Make do with what you’ve got.”