Over a Cup of Coffee: Remembering Mom’s Cooking
Yesterday morning when my husband Lyle and I were feeding the cows, Miriam Zimmerma, of Craig, came by for a visit. Not only that, she came across the pasture, hopped up on the feed trailer (boy, is she agile), and helped me put off the hay. (Miriam’s bread recipe was featured in this column about a year ago.) After we finished feeding, Miriam and I were looking around outside, and she noticed the dandelions.
Miriam and I got to talking about cooking up dandelion greens. I have not cooked dandelion greens myself, but my mother (Judy Osborn) sometimes did. As I remember, she cooked the green leaves only and served them with cut-up and cooked bacon and vinegar. I remember that they tasted a lot like spinach. I don’t remember at what time of the season they were picked, but my brother (Duane Osborn) says he recalls that the best dandelion greens were those that had lost their color from being under something.
So I need your help. Who knows about cooking dandelion greens? Please call me at 970-824-8809 or write to me at Box 415, Craig 81626. (And a safety note — never eat plants unless you know for sure what they are and that they are edible.)
Tomorrow is Mother’s Day, and all of this talk about dandelion greens has gotten me to thinking about all of the cooking Mom did when we lived on the ranch. She canned hundreds of jars of jellies, vegetables, fruits, and meats — even soup mixes; she prepared pickles by soaking them in brine in a crock; she made homemade horseradish from plants that grew along the ditch that ran beside the garden; she made her own bread and all kinds of rolls which included a gooey cinnamon roll recipe that none of us has been able to duplicate; and a whole lot more. Everything was made from scratch, from ingredients that she had on hand. What a lot of work it was!
This week’s recipe is one of my mother’s and one of my favorites. I featured the recipe once before in one of the very first “Over a Cup of Coffee” columns. I remember that Mom used to mix up the roll dough early in the morning so that the rolls would be ready for lunch. She usually baked them when she was cooking for a haying or branding crew. I have baked these rolls many times.
Three Hour Rolls
2 cups milk
1 ½ teaspoons salt
¼ cup sugar
2 tablespoons Crisco or butter
1 cake yeast
¼ cup warm water
5 cups bread flour
Scald and cool the milk, sugar, salt, and Crisco or butter mixture. Dissolve the yeast in ¼ cup warm water and add it to the cooled milk mixture. Add about 5 cups of bread flour. (Depending on the consistency of the dough, you may want to add a little more flour.) Mix and then knead on a board. Put the dough in a greased bowl, cover with a towel, and put in a warm place to rise. Let the dough rise, and knead it down. Let it rise again. Form into rolls and put them in a greased pan. Let them rise and then bake at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes, until rolls are nicely-browned.
Recipe from Judy Osborn’s collection
If you have information about cooking dandelion greens or any other recipe you would like to share, call me at 970-824-8809 or write to me at Box 415, Craig 81626.
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