When I was a kid, I used to forage in the wild. Okay, it was usually my backyard, but it was still an adventure.
Generally, I ate known food. You know – plums, chestnuts, pears. Those things were familiar. And they never tasted so good as they did back in the day.
But sometimes, when I was feeling particularly daring, I would try other things. I had a lovely spell where I dined on my next door neighbor’s roses. And they were darling. I would have continued eating those roses, but the neighbor caught me and had a bona fide hissy fit. She told my parents and made sure I got in beau-coup trouble. Bummer.
That wasn’t as odd as another forage find: sour grass. I don’t know what possessed me (or my sisters), but I decided to try it. It was sour, in the very best way. And it was fresh, and even tasted green. Because our yard was basically a big weed field, it was also plentiful.
Now, if you’re thinking “Sour grass? What the?”, I understand. As kids, we didn’t know how to identify anything horticulturally. I never knew that what we were munching on was probably some form of clover or shamrock. To us, it was just a weed. A sour weed. That didn’t make us sick. We liked it, so we kept eating it.
I don’t remember when the foraging stopped, but it did. I guess it was some time around the 3rd grade, when my family moved away from Spencer Street. No more plum trees, no more chestnut or pear trees, either. Sour grass may have been in our new weed field, but the thrill was gone. Or maybe I was just growing up. Either way, that part of my adventurous self was gone.
My adult culinary adventures tend toward restaurant experiences now. I don’t remember the last time I ate something out in the wild. But when I passed by a front yard the other day, a front yard that wasn’t much more than a weed field, I spotted a patch of sour grass. And I slowed down to look at it. And to remember. I’m not gonna lie: I was mighty tempted to reach down and pull up a handful, for old time’s sake. But I didn’t. I took a photo, then I moved on down the sidewalk.
Remembering will have to do.