bacon dressing

A Coalcracker in the Kitchen

My grandmother LOVED hot bacon dressing over tender, young dandelion greens. We never treated our lawn with any chemicals, just let Mother Nature take her course. As a result, had lots of safe, edible greens growing out back of the house. I clearly remember my Nana walking the yard, stooped over, picking the greens for salad; digging the leaves out with a sharp kitchen knife then dropping the clumps into her apron she gathered and held like a pouch.

The magical apron

She would always wear a full apron, putting it on from the time she came into the kitchen in the morning to the time she was ready to climb the stairs to go to bed. I can close my eyes and see her in it; the apron was cotton printed fabric in a tiny flower patters, rick-rack trimmed the edges. Her apron hung on a hook by the cellar door; many times without her knowledge, this young “coalcracker” would take that apron down, slip it over my head, and believe that there was something magical in that apron that allowed the weared to turn out the delicious meals my Nana made.

Today, I realize it was nothing to do with the apron that made the food from Nana’s kitchen so wonderful; it was the hands that created each dish with love that made it rise above all other’s creations. I miss Nana…

“Always pick dandelion greens before the dandelion flower appears; after it does, the greens are tough and very bitter.”

My Nana

Use the greens of your choice

If the idea of dandelion greens is not to your taste, this is also lovely served over shredded iceberg lettuce (“wilted lettuce”), or other dark greens like baby spinach. My favorite way of eating it? — with a spoon!!

It is tradition to sprinkle the top of the dressed greens with finely diced or sliced hard boiled eggs, but that step is entirely your choice. I rarely ever have Pennsylvania Dutch Pot Pie without serving this salad on the side!

I even have used it as a dressing for potato salad. Adjust the sweetness or tartness to your taste, it is easy to personalize. Leftovers can be stored in the refrigerator and warmed before serving.

Read the whole article and find the recipe on A Coalcraker in the Kitchen