Thursday, April 28, 2016

Love Thy Neighbor

In previous posts written on this blog Chris and I have shared with you plans we have made, dreams we have chased and ideas we have brought to life. We have shared our hits and our misses, and our plans to do things different in the future. We have also shared that we didn't always have plans to homestead, but now that we are, we learning as we go having faith we are in the right place. 

Following our dreams and our faith has also led us to our partners and friends who have been helping us greatly with this homesteading and farming adventure. There are two people who have helped us out in more ways than we can count through support, teaching us and telling us of their experiences and lessons learned. These two wonderful people are our neighbors. Without their help the dreams we have shared would not be becoming our reality. They have shared with us their time, land and resources to help ensure that our farming and homesteading experience is a success. In previous posts written when I have mentioned our partner please know that to us it's more than a partnership but a friendship as well. 

There is a newer Tim McGraw song out now called "Humble and Kind" that reminds me of our life where it stands right now. In it he says 

"When you get where you're goin
Don't forget turn back around
And help the next one in line
Always stay humble and kind"

We are new, we are inexperienced and we are dreamers. Our neighbors have tuned around to help us to get where we are going for that we will always be thankful and we will remember their generosity.  One day we hope to do the same for the next one in line.

Monday, April 25, 2016

Eating From the Wild Side: Sweet Dandelion Fritters

This weekend we took our menu to the backyard with these sweet dandelion fritters. We love experimenting with new recipes, however these were especially fun to make because the kids gathered the ingredients themselves. The boys are both know to nab a dandelion from the backyard from time to time and gobble it up, but before this weekend we never cooked them. The boys have been asking to make these after we mentioned the possibility to them, and really they tasted fantastic! They were better than I expected them to be the sweet flavor of the batter molds well with the wild dandelion flavor, and the flower makes for a chewy center.

The first step to prepare these babies is have the kids go outside and grab a few handfuls of the biggest dandelions they can find. This recipe works best with fresh dandelion heads that have opened fully in the sun. Once you have them give the flowers a rinse and heat a pan filled with about 1/4 inch of oil. I uses a small cast iron pan that used about 3 tablespoons of oil. As the oil heats prepare you batter. This is the recipe I came up with....

Sweet Dandelion Fritters

  • A few handfuls of fresh dandelion heads
  • 1 cup of flour
  • 1 cup of milk
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 tsp pie spice I always use Penzey's pie spice Hand-mixed from: cinnamon (China, Korintje, Ceylon, Vietnamese), vanilla sugar (sugar, vanilla bean), mace, ginger, nutmeg, anise seed and clove.   It's fantastic and spices up sweet treats perfectly. 
  • cooking oil
  • Heat the oil over medium heat in pan while preparing batter
  • Mix the flour, milk, egg, vanilla, and spice in a small bowl well
  • dunk flowers into batter head down with only a minimal amount of stem left.
  • place batter covered flowers into heated oil and heat until browned
  • flip and heat the other.
  • drain on paper towel
  • serve warm
We served our fritters with a side of maple syrup for dunking. Honey would also be a good side option. Aside from this recipe tasting great this recipe is also quite fast taking only 15 to 20 minuets from start to finish. Which is helpful when the kids are "starving" as my boys seem to always be ;)

There are variations to this recipe you can pull the petals off the flower and make them like pancakes or make a savory batter and serve these with a marinara sauce. They are something fun to experiment with. If you have a different recipe for dandelions please share it I would love to try it!



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