Dandelion Blossoms

dandelions on table

Dandelions. For me growing up I thought they were cute little flowers that popped in the lawn. I hated when they turned to seed, I loved them when they were pretty yellow. Of course, we didn’t fertilize our lawn so they were everywhere.

You are starting to see more about dandelion health benefits these days, most notably with dandelion root tea. It is a tea that provides natural detoxification benefiting digestion and liver health.

So why dandelions? Why now? Well today is Mother’s Day and my mother passed about three months ago. I was sorting through books and came across this binder of recipes from my home county that belonged to my mother. There was date or year noted in the book but I am guessing it was circa late 1960s, early 1970s. My mother never contributed recipes to this cookbook but she referenced it quite a bit.

cookbook

Near the end of the book was this recipe for Dandelion Blossoms. I was taken aback, really dandelions?  I am sure my mother never attempted this recipe and we as kids, would’ve turn up our noses at it.

recipe

I did find Dandelion Fritter recipe. The website was a little more dainty with the dandelions than I was.

soak em

setting it up

fry em

long view of dish

close up of dish

Patty’s Points:

1) Make sure you don’t have allergies to dandelions before you eat them. ALSO make sure there are no fertilizers used in the area you pick your dandelions. You can also  grow them from seed  in your own backyard or indoors.

2) I used a Louisiana Fish Fry for the dry ingredient, lemon-spiced. I could barely tell I was eating dandelions. My husband ate one. My son thought they were mushrooms; I didn’t tell him any differently.

3)  My mother was fearless, in my eyes, when canning produce from the garden: pickled beets, cucumber relish, bread and butter pickles, and tomatoes. I admired that about her.  This recipe was adventurous for me. I’m sure my Dad would think I was a little crazy to eat dandelions. I probably won’t tell him I made these.

Happy Mother’s Day. I miss you Mom.

God took the fragrance of a flower, the majesty of a tree,

The gentleness of  morning dew, the calm of a quiet sea,

The beauty of the twilight hour, the soul of a starry night,

The laughter of a rippling brook, the grace of a bird in flight,

Then God fashioned from these things, 

A creation like no other,

And when His masterpiece was through,

He called it simply…Mother.

Herbert Farnham

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Whoa Nelly! Derby City Chocolate Pecan Pie

The Kentucky Derby is this coming Saturday, May 5th, a rite of passage of spring. Many people have parties celebrating all things Kentucky and horse racing. My sister and her husband went to the pre-Kentucky Derby race activities last year and actually sat in a box next to Bobby Flay!

If you are throwing your own party you should check out the Kentucky Derby website where you can find authentic Derby recipes, including the famous mint julep.

I saw this recipe in the Denver Post May 2011 and was intrigued as I have never made a pecan pie before. As you can read in the article, the Derby Pie was created in 1954 by Walter and Leaudra Kern as the specialty pastry of the Melrose Inn in Prospect, Kentucky. Apparently the recipe is top secret, so this recipe was created from the basic ingredients.

Patty’s Points:

1) EASY.

2) Placing aluminum foil atop the pie while baking for the first 30 minutes will help prevent the crust from burning. Remove the foil the final 15 minutes and the pie becomes the finished product you see above.

Place your bets! This pie is a winner!

Fried Green Tomatoes

We had a hail storm in July that hit our garden, wiping out the cucumbers and bruising the rest of the garden plants. That storm delayed the fruits of our garden so we were so surprised at the mother lode of tomatoes, albeit unripened tomatoes. I have never made fried green tomatoes, so this opportunity could not be passed without giving it a freshman try.

I am not from the South where these are a common staple. The movie from 1991 Fried Green Tomatoes comes to mind, which was on the CMT channel last night. My favorite line in the movie is when Kathy Bates rams the vehicle of two young girls who steal her parking spot at the Piggly Wiggly: “We’re younger and faster” the girls taunt and KB’s character replies “I’m older and have more insurance” I’ll have to sit down and watch it from beginning to end again.

After scouring a few cookbooks I found a recipe in the Mount Vernon (yes George Washington’s estate) cookbook cooked in bacon drippings, but then I went to the internet and found Paula Deen’s Fried Green Tomatoes with Vidalia Onion recipe. The YouTube video of Paula making this dish was a good tutorial as well. Usually this dish is made in July or early August with the first of the fruits on the vine. With the second snow storm of the seasoning whirling outside, this was a flashback to the feeling of summer.

I altered Paula’s recipe by adding a cornmeal dusting. So the breading went in this order: buttermilk, seasoned flour, buttermilk, then cornmeal.

I have such a fear of frying so I put the oil in a deep pot so if the oil splattered it would be far away from me and my skin. It didn’t take very long to crisp up, like 2 minutes each side.

The fried green tomatoes were good enough alone. The Vidalia onion relish was a little too much for me, sorry Paula 😦