Talkin’ forgotten vegetable blues

We have a history of neglecting the fruits of our garden, and here is another instance. We grew a bunch of little delicata squashes last year, which were a bit of a pain to use because they were kind of petite. So down into the basement they went. We’re trying to pinch pennies these days, so in scouring the food storage, Alicia found them and decided it was time to make some risotto. They had changed colors from white with green seams to a golden yellow, almost like little pumpkins. Those things were over a year old, and still going strong… talk about staying power.


Winning some battles, losing the war

We mentioned a post or two back that our yellow crookneck squash plants have hit their stride (as opposed to everything else in the garden…). The other day Alicia made squash muffins, squash quickbread, and for dinner, stuffed squash. I’m starting to feel like Bubba and Forrest Gump, scrubbing the floor with a toothbrush.

Anyway, on the way to the mailbox this morning I decided to see if anything needed picking. And, um…


Baking with Weeds

Yes, weeds in the plural, dandelions to be specific. Hannah and I were out on an errand, and I was telling her about a recipe for dandelion bread that I had just read about (in Langdon Cook’s foraging book Fat of the Land – anybody seeing a trend here? However I can guarantee I won’t be diving down to the bottom of Puget Sound to spear lingcod anytime soon.) Of course she was delighted by the idea of cooking with flowers, so we kept our eyes out for a good patch. We found some huge dandelions out beside a sketchy Chinese restaurant and filled the only vessel we had handy – mom’s hat.

Back in the kitchen, the process of picking the yellow petals from the flower head was a bit tedious, but got easier as I refined my technique. I needed to get a full cup of them, which was no small feat, and Hannah lost interest pretty early on in the project. The bread was a basic quickbread, and the dandelions only seemed to add color (though a lovely color it was), and apparently also a ridiculous amount of vitamins. The flavor was pretty plain, and next time, I’d add some cinnamon, or maybe lemon zest. Fortunately we had some tasty lemon curd from the Bent family pantry, and it made the perfect accompaniment.

I’m also thinking that dandelion petals could go into pancakes or scones just to sneak in a little extra nutrition and interest from the kids, but only when I have an extra half hour to kill. The recipe is after the break.


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