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Let's Ask Francine: How Do You Make Killed Lettuce and Onions?

 
Sweet Tea

 

Francine loves questions. She writes our Almost Monthly E-mail, which, as the name implies, goes out almost monthly. It starts out like a letter from your favorite aunt with a little update on whatever might be on her mind at the time. Then it goes into events in the stores, new products our buyers are particularly proud of, and community happenings that might just prompt you to plan a trip. Most every time the e-mail goes out, she gets a question or two. This week’s blog includes a couple that she thought might be interesting to share with everyone. Let's get to the questions and her answers.

Cari writes: I’m from Ohio. Can I make sweet tea, if so, how?

Of course, Cari. Barring some geographical anomaly that I’m not aware of, you can make sweet tea in Ohio, but it is difficult to find it in any of your restaurants. Here’s what you need:

2 quarts cool water
4 tea bags
2/3-3/4 cup sugar

Bring your water to a rolling boil and toss in the four tea bags. Remove the saucepan from the eye and allow your tea to steep until it is warm. Remove the tea bags and stir in the sugar. You’ll want the tea to be just warm enough to melt the sugar. Wait until it is cool before pouring it into a pitcher. If you leave it on the counter, you’ll want to drink it in the next day or so. If you store it in the refrigerator, it’ll keep for several days.

Some people will say that the way I brew my sweet tea makes it bitter, but I can’t say that I’ve had any complaints. You may want to play with the amount of sugar you use. We don’t like it too sweet, so I tend to go with a scant ¾ cup. I hope this works for you.

One more thought, my friend Julie says that she puts a lid on her tea while it's steeping. It helps keep some of the flavor that could be lost in the steam.

Emma asks: When you make blueberry pancakes, do you mix the blueberries into the batter or do you drop them into the raw side of the pancake as it’s baking in the pan?

Well, Emma, this is an interesting question. I’ve done it both ways. My Mom always mixed the blueberries into the batter, and I started off that way. Now, I find that the blueberry pancakes I make when I strategically drop the berries where I want them rather than letting fate determine placement have a better distribution of flavor. Most every bite will have a blueberry in it.

Speaking of breakfast foods, you may want to try this recipe (it’s also good with blueberries dropped into the bowl before you microwave). This is a quick and easy recipe for making your own instant oatmeal packets.

3 tablespoons quick oats
1 teaspoon chia seeds
1 teaspoon brown sugar
Dash of salt (optional)
1 tablespoon cranberries or raisins

Put all ingredients in a snack-sized resealable bag. To cook, put all contents in a microwave safe bowl and add about ½ cup water. Microwave 1 minute. Sometimes I add fresh blueberries before I microwave. You can also add just a bit of maple syrup after microwaving for more flavor.

Killed Lettuce and OnionsMargaret inquires: How do you make Killed Lettuce and Onions?

This is one of my favorite dishes and is one that can be prepared using the first produce out of the garden each year. My granny would have a great big ol’ bowl of this waiting on me in the springtime when I went to visit. Sadly, I still can’t make it as good as she did. I keep trying, though.

Leaf lettuce
Spring onions, chopped
Apple cider vinegar
Salt
Water
Bacon drippings from 3 strips of bacon

Wash lettuce and spin dry. Cut into strips and put in a bowl. You’ll want to have a pretty good mound of lettuce because once you “kill” it, a lot of lettuce only makes a little. Add your chopped onions to the top. I like a lot of onions, but use how much you would like to enjoy. Add salt to taste.

In a saucepan, mix vinegar and water using just a little more vinegar than water. I like mine tangy, so you may need to adjust this a bit to your taste. Add in the drippings from the bacon (some people put the bacon crumbles on their killed lettuce – I just eat the bacon by itself) and bring the liquid to a boil. This is how you are going to kill your lettuce. When it comes to a boil, remove it from the stove and pour the mixture over your lettuce. Toss the lettuce to make sure it is well coated. Now, take a dinner plate and cover the bowl. You’ll want to let it sit covered for a while for the lettuce to wilt.

Some people eat this dish with pinto beans and cornbread. I prefer just making it my meal.

Thank you for your questions!

 

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