2-3 cups fully opened flower heads
2 cups cooking oil for deep frying
Mix egg and flour to form a thin batter. Add finely chopped onion, salt and pepper. Dip flowers into batter, coating evenly. Fry a few at a time in hot oil until golden brown. Drain well on paper towels. Serve hot.
For dessert, omit the onion, salt and pepper. Dust with powdered sugar or drizzle with honey or syrup.
Here is a recipe that I definitely want to try while there are still buds in season. (One note of caution, however -- this wild vegetable has a laxative effect on some people; try only a bit at first. I found out the hard way!)
Day lily buds Oriental
1/4 cup oil
2-3 cups unopened flower buds-can be young and green, or orange and just ready to flower
1 clove garlic 1/2 cup wild onions, chopped
Soy sauce or tamari to taste Grating of fresh ginger (optional)
Heat oil very hot in heavy skillet. Add all ingredients and stir-fry until just tender. Season with soy sauce or tamari to taste. Serve over rice, if you like.
Our blessed Savior has blessed West Virginia with such a bountiful supply of wild foods, along with the climate to raise our garden crops. I am reminded of the verse in Psalms 68:19, which says, "Blessed be the Lord, who daily loadeth us with benefits, even the God of our salvation." I have been abundantly blessed.
We have had several requests for pickled products, and since this is the season to preserve food, I am including some recipes:
For pickled beans, (my sister Mary Ellen prefers half-runners, but I always favored Logan giants) you need the beans of course, canning or pickling salt (do not use table salt) and boiled water (not chlorinated.) Cook the beans until just tender, but still firm. Drain off water. Cool beans. Boil water and cool. Use 2-3 teaspoons of salt to each quart of beans. (She uses two teaspoons, but some people prefer three.) Fill jars with cooled beans. Put salt on top of beans. Pour boiled (cooled) water over beans. Seal tight. After a few days (or weeks) when beans are cured enough to suit you, they can be cold packed.
We promised a reader a brined pickle recipe, and this, too, came from Mary Ellen. It sounds complicated, and there surely must be a simpler one. It came from a very old Ball canning book, which belonged to her mother-in-law, Eva Friend.
Wipe, but do not wash cucumbers. Place in stone jar. Cover with cold brine made by dissolving one pint of coarse salt to a gallon of water. Cover with a board or plate. Use a weight heavy enough to keep the cover below the surface of the brine. The next day, put one pint of salt on the cover where it will dissolve slowly. Let stand one week, and then put 1/2 cup of salt on the cover. Put 1/2 cup salt on the cover every week for five consecutive weeks. Remove the scum as it forms. The cucumbers are cured and ready for use when they are a dark olive green color throughout and contain no white spots. Curing requires from six to eight weeks.
Cured cucumbers are called salt pickles and must be soaked to remove some of the salt before they are used for either sweet or sour pickles. To do this: Cover with cold water and heat to 120 degrees, or a little hotter than lukewarm. Repeat until desired amount of salt has been removed.
For pickled corn, cook ears for about five minutes, cool in ice water. Place in churn, and add 2/3 cup canning salt to each gallon of water. Weigh down with plate and add weight to push corn under brine. The ears of corn can be placed in a muslin bag or pillowcase before putting in churn. Remove scum as it develops.
Contact Alyce Faye Bragg at alycef...@citlink.net or write to 2556 Summers Fork Road, Ovapa, WV 25164.