Our property came with a bonus – a huge crop of watercress that grows in our little stream. I always thought of watercress as something uppity. Wanamaker’s Tea Room used to serve Watercress Tea Sandwiches. As a kid, I wasn’t impressed. What was watercress anyway – and why did I want a salad in my sandwich? I hadn’t heard of “super foods” back then, and wouldn’t have been any more inclined to eat it even if I had.
But now, it’s a freebee of the farm (kind of like our eggs, if you don’t count the price of the chicken coop, chicken feed, heat lamps, chicken treats, and the like). So Arianna and I donned our rain boots and set off into the stream with a pair of scissors and a colander. We snipped just above the root line and brought our cache of watercress into the kitchen where I washed it many, many, multiple times – plucking out the stray strand of grass and other indecipherable green things.
We sampled it. I expected Arianna to turn up her nose at the peppery after-taste, but she just shrugged her shoulders – kind of the reaction I had to Wanamaker Watercress Sandwiches.
But this batch went into a pot of Watercress soup. Chicken broth, potatoes, onion, butter (what’s not to like about all of that), and watercress; followed with a dollop of whipped cream on top. Basically, it ended up being green potato soup with a slight peppery flavor – full of antioxidants, high in Vitamins A and C, fights infections and cancer, good for bone and dental health, digestive health, clears acne and aids in weight loss. It seems the only thing it doesn’t do – is cure poison ivy.