Thursday, May 14, 2015

Traditional Spring Treat--Wilted Lettuce Salad

Wilted Lettuce Salad

We always looked forward to the first wilted lettuce salad in the spring, when I was growing who could resist, with that lovely planter full of baby lettuce, chard, spinach, beet greens and more?
I picked judiciously to thin the planter and make some room for the tomato plants, then added a few wild greens as I walked back to the house: tender young dandelion greens, lambsquarter, wood sorrel...

See?  They NEEDED thinning!
I washed and trimmed everything and left it to drain while I fried up 3 slices of bacon, cut into chunks then reserved the grease.

A few onions chopped fine added to the dish...


Apple cider vinegar (a few tablespoons)

OR home made dandelion vinegar which is what I used.  (Pick dandelion flowers and tender leaves, put in a jar with apple cider vinegar for a week or so, shaking every day; strain and refrigerate for extra taste and nutrition!)

1 T. raw local honey
Sprinkle of sea salt and pepper, or Pepperman
Sprinkle of Italian herbs or Herbes de Provence, if you like

Stir well and set aside.

When you're ready to serve, reheat the bacon grease and pour over the lettuce, stirring to wilt and coat, add the dressing and toss.  Top with a bit of extra bacon, and if you want, a bit of grated Parmesan cheese...we were having Italian chicken/herb meatballs in red sauce, so it seemed to work!

Dig in! 

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

It's that time of year again--GARDENING!

First salad from the garden...

It's that time of year again, when the garden calls, the earth is rich and moist, the seeds are burning a hole in my pocket and the garden tools are standing at the ready. And so, last month, we got started--between rains!

We're still using the big planters we got at the discount store years ago...but each year we've added a bit more.  They're a good place to begin, anyway.

April spinach...

April lettuce, radish, mesclun...

May and ready to thin the spinach a bit.  I just stand there and eat it out of hand, fresh...

and a week later...

I say we expanded the garden this year...Joseph says it's an attempt to CONTAIN it, since the squash tried to take over Francis Street!  But whatever the case, we need to get it weeded, planted, and mulched!

And definitely a nice fresh salad...LOOK at that stuff.  You can't even see the planter!  The radishes didn't make as radishes, as crowded as they were, but the greens are fresh and spicy...

The first year, these planters were ALL we had, and it was lovely.  Now?  It's lovelier!

Volunteer squash family...NO idea what but I plan to find out.  We also planted cucumbers, zucchini, and summer squash...still need tomatoes, winter squash, and herbs...I plant between the planters!

This year we planted the Three Sisters in this corner, for history and for respect for those who came before.  I've been reading Braiding Sweetgrass by Robin Wall Kimmerer, and listening to our good friend Robert Francis tell us much the same things in our Indian Fellowship meeting, so today I planted a hill of corn, beans, and squash.

Dear old friend Robert Reves sent us Hidatsa Squash, two kinds of Hidatsa beans (red and shield figure), and a packet of Pawnee blue flour corn.   Joseph blessed the earth and thanked it with an offering of tobacco, and I blew prayers onto the seeds...

That is a HANDY little tool...supposed to be for weeds, but it seems willing to till our small garden just fine.  Now to get the tomatoes in...and flowers...and...

I love being able to provide some of the food for our table, right here at home...fresh and organic as it gets!

Thursday, May 7, 2015

(Sort of) Lola's Broccoli Salad...

A friend has brought this to our gatherings a couple of times, and it's delicious!  So of course I begged the recipe and then proceeded to change it's now organic, pretty Paleo, and even more delightful:

SORT of Lola’s Broccoli Salad

It uses quite a bit of bacon, so we actually planned it for the main dish, but remembered we had a piece of Joseph's leftover mustard-glazed salmon.  It goes well with pickled eggs, too, these from Amish Wedding Pickled Beet Eggs.  (We often make our own, but these are really almost as good, and so easy!)

So let's get at it--it's easy!

1 head of organic broccoli chopped bite size
1/2 to 1 onion
1 C. raisins more or less
1/2 C. dried cranberries (optional)
1 C. organic raw sunflower seeds more or less (other nuts or seeds would be fine, too)
1 pkg. of nitrite and nitrate-free bacon (that's 12 oz., these days)
2 T. organic sugar
1 T. honey (optional)
3/4 cup mayonnaise (I used Mark Sisson's new Primal Kitchen mayo, but sometimes we make our own.)
1 T apple cider vinegar
salt and pepper to taste, or try Pepperman, a mix of various peppers

Cook the bacon so it's crisp, let cool and crumble.  Try not to eat too much of it before you make the salad.  Yum.

Mix the chopped broccoli florets, onions, raisins, cranberries, sunflower seed and bacon together.

Mix the sugar, honey, vinegar and mayonnaise, blend well and pour over the mixture.  Stir till coated.

A lovely picnic on the back deck kind of meal...

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