Thursday, April 1, 2010

Creasies, Dandelions, Nettles...and some excellent fried chicken

The spring greens are starting to sprout up here in the hills of western North Carolina. The weather has turned mighty fair of late and I've been out and about, noticing the spikey dandelion greens that seem to call me to dinner in the spring. Do you love them?

I was raised on a wonderful story of my Great-Grandmother Westmoreland who could go out into bare fields and pick a washpan full of greens for a meal. I pick as much as I can--chickweed has been a recent fave.

Creasey greens and dandelions go beautifully together. Here's how I do them:

Wash them...many times. Soak them in cold water for a couple of hours, to plump them up. Then I chop them a bit and saute them in olive oil, often with a little garlic chopped into it.

Serve them hot, with maybe a scrape of hard cheese, like a Locatelli Romano.

Nettles are also peeking out their pointy selves. I also wash them heck out of them, soak them a bit. Then chop them up and boil them down, using the rich green broth and now-tender green shoots for soup.

The next thing I'll need to sample for my mountain spring tonic?



I came down from the high country today and stopped at Famous Louise's Rockhouse Restaurant. I did not have pie and instead asked for a couple of pieces of the crispest fried chicken. I had it with a glass of cold water with lemon squeezed into it. My goodness, it was fine.

I thanked the woman who served it and the kind man who cooked it. When you get hot crispy fried chicken, you should be grateful, I think. It is rare enough to find it in an edible state. This was excellent.

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