Monday, May 18, 2015

Dandy Dining first posted online April 2010

Long before the shopping mall, long before the i-pod, there was a luminous time when the common dandelion was seen as a gift from nature instead of a scourge from the dark side.  I accidentally stumbled into the magic of that time thanks to our oldest daughter Anna, and a gifted teacher with an offbeat culinary palate.

Our first summer in our new house in Grand Forks I worked as a clerk in the marking room at Sears.  Each morning I’d buckle Anna into her bike seat, hop on the old Schwinn and we’d peddle over to Federated Church where she attended the summer school program.  I’d then bike on to Sears.  One afternoon I got off early.  When I went to collect Anna I was invited to take part in a class project: harvesting, sauteing and dining on dandelion flowers.

                                                  Dandelion Cakes
-1 cup dandelion flowers, harvested from a field you know hasn’t
  been treated with pesticides and isn’t located too close to a busy
  road.  We got ours from Chantilly library grounds.  Remove stems close
  to the flower but not so close the flower falls apart.   Wash
  thoroughly in cool running water
-1/4  cup milk
-1/4 cup unbleached flour
-vegetable oil--I use grapeseed oil because of its high smoke point
  and it has a mild flavor
 -optional sprinkle of paprika, garlic powder or spice of your choice

Coat bottom of skillet with vegetable oil.  Dip dandelion flowers in milk.  If you chose to add a spice, mix it with the flour--I made ours plain.  Dip both top & bottom of flower lightly in flour.  Halfway through doing this turn heat on under skillet.  Saute until golden-about 2 minutes-then turn over & saute other side.   Enjoy!
Our granddaughter is one of the most discerning diners in Virginia and she couldn’t resist tasting what she helped harvest and prepare.  “It’s good!”

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