Gardening, Cooking and Decorating on the Prairie of Kansas

Welcome to Linderhof, our 1920's home on the prairie, where there's usually something in the oven, flowers in the garden for tabletops and herbs in the garden for cooking. Where, when company comes, the teapot is always on and there are cookies and cakes to share in the larder.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

A Rite of Spring -- Wilted Lettuce

One of my spring favorites was the wilted lettuce.
Mom was not a big gardener,
keeping a small garden mostly of tomatoes
But she did plant spring things --
radishes, lettuce and green onions

And until they were all gone
(i.e. the lettuce "bolted")
we had wilted lettuce salads for dinner
as often as we could.

I don't vegetable garden
preferring instead to buy my produce at the Farmers Market.
But I do sow lettuce in my flower pots in February
That way my March and April garden doesn't have empty pots.

And like my mother, I mostly sow black seeded simpson.

Alas, there are no radishes or onions in the garden
But they are readily available at the Farmers Market

It's a simple salad, wash and spun dry garden lettuce
thinly sliced radishes
green onions
and bacon

The bacon is important you see
for it is what's left in the pan that forms the basis for the dressing
Warm bacon dressing

My mother always used this little skillet when she made wilted lettuce.
It was one thing I wanted when she passed away
(She also always fried my egg in it for an fried egg sandwich --
it's just big enough for one egg!)

To the bacon grease, you add the same amount of sugar and vinegar
And stir and warm until the sugar is dissolved and the dressing is hot.

Then you upturn the skillet over the bowl of vegetables.
And let it steam a bit

It's a tasty addition to a meal of cheesy potatoes, ham, and roasted asparagus.

We eat wilted lettuce as often as we can for once the season is gone,
it's gone.
No store lettuce produces the same flavor as just picked garden lettuce.

It's a rite of Spring!

It's Friday and I'm joining Michael at Rattlebridge Farm for Foodie Friday.


Entertaining Women said...

Of all the delightful deliciousness that you shared with us tonight, my favorite tidbit is that you still use your mama's sauté pan. I still have some of my old family pieces, and I love every time that I use them. Cherry Kay

Thickethouse.wordpress said...

Wonderful memories. My mother always made this in the spring...I think her dressing also had an egg in it........It was great.

Linda Jennings said...

This brings back wonderful memories of my mother's wilted lettuce salad. Yum! Yum!

Pondside said...

It sounds delicious, Martha. I like a rite of spring that is all about good food!

Southerncook said...

Loved your post and I too particularly liked the fact that you use your mama's pan that she also used. I get a special feeling each and every time I use one of my own mother's or my grand mother's kitchen things.


Marilyn Miller said...

Oh warm bacon dressing on a garden fresh salad, how utterly scrumptious!

Pat said...

I can almost hear the sizzle as the bacon dressing first unites with the lettuce, dear friend!!!