Wednesday, March 17, 2010

In Need of a Spring Tonic . . .

Thanks to being brought up around a Great-grandmother who held fast to the ways of the "old country" the memories of my childhood are sprinkled with rituals and traditions that are more fitting for someone from a generation before my time. Spring tonic is one of those recollections. The recipe might have varied greatly from one family to another back then but one thing remained constant, there was no getting around taking a dose of it.

Victorian America believed in spring tonics: medicines to eliminate poison from the blood and tissues, purifying the system of all leftover infelicities of winter, and rehabilitating the body for the rest of the year. The practice endured well into the mid-20th century: and my Great-grandmother was an ardent believer in tonics. She once forcibly dosed me with a mixture of sulphur and molasses to cleanse my blood of something that ailed me.

But Dandelion wine was Great-grandma's special Spring Tonic. I believed it was bottled sunshine, the rows of jars gleaming in the dim light of the cellar.

I am in need of a spring tonic this year. I need something that will make me feel alive and full of energy, something that will melt all the excess fat off my body and something that will take away the lines of stress and pain on my face. Do you think someone makes Dandelion wine for the retail market?

"Dandelion Wine. The words were summer on the tongue. The wine was summer caught and stoppered...Hold summer in your hand, pour summer in a glass, a tiny glass of course, the smallest tingling sip for children; change the season in your veins by raising glass to lip and tilting summer in."  - Ray Bradbury

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