On Dandelions and Flourescent Ballasts

This time of the year in Northern Indiana we find all the grass growing speedily albeit unevenly. What results is a lawn that appears as if I gave it a haircut while imbibing. With one teen son at Indiana University and the other working his part-time job, I decided that it fell to me to mow the lawn (totally disregarding the doctor’s orders). When we moved to our current home just over 6 years ago, it took me about an hour & half to push-mow my lawn. Yesterday…well, it took all day. Of course I had to grab several breathers and a couple of breaks just to let the back rest a bit. Throw in a spaghetti lunch, and I was soon lying on the picnic table bench contemplating dandelions.

My Neighbors Must Hate Me

My neighbors must hate me for the sheer amount of dandelions in my yard. Looking to the north and south from our yard you will see wonderful lush lots of well manicured green lawn. My lawn is primarily yellow in color. What is even more amazing that no matter if I mow over the dandelions, they always seem to either duck out of the way or grow back with incredible fierceness. I have often wondered when mowing what God thinks of all these people and corporations so bent on ridding the world of a beautiful, useful flower.

Useful?

If you wondered what I meant by “useful”, then you are certainly a product of this tech-driven, super-Walmart society. You can eat dandelions you know. Many of you might know that you can eat the greens, and perhaps you have – they aren’t bad at all. But let me direct you to the wonderful fried world of the dandelion blossom! You batter and pan-fry these flowers just as you would zucchini or other such delicacies.  Allow me to direct you through the process.

  • Firstly, find a batch of mature dandelions away from the area your dog can travel on his chain. Although the blossoms may appear to be larger and more appealing there, I suggest you travel a bit farther to the back of your property to find more suitable, edible candidates.
  • Secondly, pick blossoms that are fully open and fully mature. Similar to what I have in the photo.
  • Thirdly, when preparing, rinse and clip as much of the green away from the blossom without causing it to fall apart.
  • Fourthly, use a batter similar to how you fry other vegetables, or perhaps your favorite panfish batter.
  • Fry them up – really this step can’t be too difficult. Use your fav oil, or real butter if you’d prefer.
  • Serve them as an appetizer or side dish.
  • Enjoy their sweet, succulent deliciousness.

What Do Ballasts Have to Do With Anything?

Nothing really. I thought I didn’t have enough to blog about with the dandelion but see I have plenty. The issue with my light is that in my “office” in the basement (which is really just a cement block haven of firearms and a cheap computer desk) is a couple of hanging, fluorescent shop lights. It seems like the office was getting darker, or my eyesight was rapidly failing, so I purchased a couple of new “sunlight” bulbs.  Placing those in my non-working light fixture was simply an exercise of futility. I ended up having to return to the hardware store in search of a ballast to fix the situation.

Part Numbers are for Other People

What I found was that there were a kazillion, plus a few, various types of ballasts for a 48 inch hanging shop light. After contemplating whether I should call home and try to get someone to take my light apart and retrieve the proper part number, I opted to shop for a new light. What I found was a conspiracy beyond conspiracies! The new 48 inch shop lights are cheaper than a new ballast! I grabbed a desirable light fixture, patiently listened to the cashiers degrading a late co-worker as I paid, and then headed home with prize in hand. Installation was a breeze and I am sitting in the warmth of new “sunlight” fluorescent lightness.

And I now I have an extra light fixture to repair, if I so desire, or simply to store in the attic of the garage with a mountain of other such treasures.

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