Old Friends – New Setting

To everything there is a season.  And now it is summer and I am in Washington, DC, with much to engage my forager’s eye – from the yards of beautiful homes whose considerate landscapers planted herbs as part of their design scheme, to the honeysuckle covering fences, there for the sipping.

Fortuitously, my sister Jocelyn invited me to dinner at the home of a friend whose house is surrounded by an expansive organic garden.  As our host walked us through the chaotic bazaar of summer bounty, I had several happy encounters with the East Coast relatives of some old friends.  A patch of purslane which had taken root in an old pot attested to life in a climate where water can be counted on to come from the sky. Back in the summer-parched Galilee, you would never find purslane that isn’t hugging a water spigot or irrigation pipe.

Knowing my interest in edible wild plants, our host showed me this plant and asked if I knew what it was.

duck's foot

Lamb quarters, he explained.  Also known as duck’s foot.

I don’t know what a lamb’s quarter looks like, but the duck’s foot is a dead giveaway. And there they were, the same webbed feet, just more lush and verdant than their Galilee cousin.  Even more delightful was to meet that ducks foot again at the dinner table, prepared as wild greens like best – sautéed in olive oil and seasoned with a little salt.

And these cheery blue chicory flowers I’d recognize anywhere – even mid-summer on busy Connecticut Avenue.




  1. Good to see that your locational change has not interfered with your culinary interests and that we will continue to read about your new discoveries!
    Ducks feet?
    Why not!

  2. Such an interesting piece, hearing about plants here that have relative in Israel, and the parallel to your life! Now I know what the lamb quarters are, I assumed they were just weeds here. I knew what purslane was from VT, it grows everywhere. We have wild chives in our back yard here in Brooklyn, mug wort, pokeberry, if left to there own devices the back yard would be all weeds since they are the most opportunistic, adaptable and aggressive! So many are edible and usable it seems a kind of grand design. However, I am still planting Dahlias, and bee balm and etc, they feed my soul!

    • Abbie Rosner says:

      How wonderful to feed your soul from what grows in your surroundings – wild or cultivated!