Creamed Dandelion Recipe

16-year-old Helena Muffly wrote exactly 100 years ago today:

Monday, April 10, 1911: I helped to wash this morning. Mistress Besse was out this afternoon and went with Miss Ruth out to gather some delicious dandelion. Ours was no good after all.

Her middle-aged granddaughter’s comments 100 years later:

Dandelion! Grandma’s diary entry reflects that excitement that fresh dandelion generated.

Dandelion, endive, and other bitter greens used to be considered a spring tonic. People traditionally had a very limited selection of foods during the late winter months, and they really looked forward to eating fresh greens in the spring.

When I was a child we often ate creamed dandelion served over mashed potatoes in the spring. I remember older relatives saying that they felt healthier after eating spring greens.

I seldom make creamed dandelion, but often make creamed endive.  Endive tastes similar to dandelion, but it isn’t quite as bitter.

CREAMED DANDELION (ENDIVE)

4 cups dandelion (or endive)

3 slices bacon, chopped

1 1/2 tablespoons flour

1 heaping tablespoon sugar

2  tablespoons vinegar

1 cup milk

Mashed potatoes, if desired

Wash dandelion and tear into pieces; set aside.

Cut bacon into pieces and fry until crisp in a large skillet. Stir in flour, sugar, and vinegar. Gradually stir in milk; heat until bubbly using medium heat. Reduce heat to low; stir in dandelion and cover for 1 minute. Remove lid and stir until wilted. Delicious when served over mashed potatoes.

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