Wilted Lettuce – Local Style

How many, many posts I have sitting in draft mode – waiting to perfect, etc., but tonight…?

Yup, easy post to do –

Here’s the back story (seriously, you KNOW me by now – there is ALWAYS a back story….)

Yesterday I hauled my outta shape, been working in front of computer/leisurely running around the library body out to neighbors to aide in putting up deer fence around the herb garden – I hammered, I nailed, I stapled, I took frequent breaks, I used a post driver to get a t-post driven further in the ground and straightened up, somewhat –

I also cussed alot – cuz ya know, when you’re out of shape and angry at how far you’ve let yourself go, working on modern stuff, ya just GOTTA cuss over how weak you are (and hope your cursing convinces the nail, hammer or fencepost to straighten up and do what you want, right now….)

And then, I was invited in for lunch/break – and King of the Household whipped up some “Wilted Lettuce” – from his mama’s recipe – and I was offered sprouted garbanzo beans, sunflower seeds and locally raised/smoked brauts to round out lunch –

Man-a-Live – BEST meal I’ve had in ages!!

How?  You ask?

Well, maybe it was the fresh lettuce, onion picked out of the garden about 2.5 seconds before it was cooked – – maybe it was the locally raised/processed bacon….maybe it was time honored recipe –

…maybe, I was just beside myself over sitting down and having a plate of food put in front of me, to eat, with no more asked of me, than, “Glad you are here” –

Who knows, really, in the end, what feeds our souls and tickles our tastebuds?

But, project done, I headed home yesterday afternoon, with gifts of:

  • Bag full of mixed lettuce
  • Bag full of onions
  • Bag full of radishes
  • Bag full of rhubarb (their rhubarb is ahead of mine and getting out of hand on waste not/want not status….)

And later, at home, I received via email, the recipe for Wilted Lettuce –

Which uses sugar, and I asked if I could substitute basalmic vinegar, instead, cuz works for tomato based sauces, right?  And I don’t have much sugar on hand – 🙂

Suffice to say, I experimented for supper tonight – one of a handful of suppers I have actually ‘cooked’ for myself over the past year or so, unless company was here and I realized it’s only polite to feed folks while they visit…

(I’ve been living off cheese, crackers, boiled eggs, beef jerky, canned tuna, etc.  just cuz, who has time to cook?!? at o’dark thirty at the end of a long day?!?)

And so, follows is my poor, poor attempt at re-creating the fantabulous meal of yesterday – I adjusted amounts, then I substituted basalmic vinegar for the sugar, and…added more bacon (real physical labor makes me totally starving with less than 2 meals a day…) and…I don’t have any garbanzo beans sprouted, I’m out of sunflower seeds till this fall, and I sat at my desk, working, and realized,

“It just doesn’t taste as good when eating sans good conversation with friends….”

In the end, I cleaned the entire plate of food, after smacking my lips and shoving down the last 2 forkfulls, cuz my tummy said, “Enough!  You have nutrition enough!!!”

Sighed and came to the final conclusion,

“Edible and satisfying, still – – Not as good as I had yesterday…”

I’m figuring I ought not try to free-wheel it with recipe adjustments, NOR can I ever replace work during eating with Good Conversation with Friends and feel the same way about both –

Follows are the pics of my supper meal – with the  REAL recipe (follow it, trust it 🙂 sugar and all – c’mon, you can use organic cane sugar, right?!?  Promise I’ll let ya know if coconut sugar works – trying that next time, CUZ I have THAT on hand!!!),

followed by my lil ad hoc adjustments for tonights meal –

Bottom line?  I’m still convinced

Good Neighbors & Friends, good food, hard work that makes a difference, and taking the time to cook for yourself, all feed the body and soul more than a quick, easy meal does –

I’ll let you know if I change my mind, this lifetime….

Wilted Lettuce Recipe (Original)

  • Cut up and fry 3-4 strips of bacon.
  • Slice 2-4 green onions, with or without tops.
  • Add to hot bacon and drippings 1/4 cup of white vinegar, 2 T of water (optional), 2 T sugar, salt, and pepper.  Sliced onions can be added to frying bacon or placed with lettuce raw.  
  • Pour hot drippings/bacon over 8-10 cups (or less) of leaf lettuce, toss, and enjoy.
  • A sliced hard boiled egg can be added for more protein.

Picture of a couple half-hearted handfuls of lettuce from my ‘haul’ brought home yesterday from generous neighbor and ONE, yes ONE green onion of many that were plucked  and graciously gifted, from their garden as of yesterday –

I have worked more physically, than mentally these past 10 days, so I boldly did 3 strips of bacon to go with the 2 – 3 cups of lettuce/onion ration – I am a carnivore at heart, where physical labor is included,  no matter how lightweight I’ve become on the physical labor front…. 🙂

And then, do I follow the recipe?  Um, no ….all I can say is my local folks seem to forgive me my idiot ways – – Here’s the ‘pantry items’ additions:

Cook the bacon cut into pieces for a time (add onion half way through bacon cooking, if you’re a  carnivore at heart and cook way more bacon than called for your reduced cups of ‘green, good for ya veggies’ type rations…)

Add the ingredients to make the ‘sauce’ – I admit… I was a lil worried about dumping in the vinegar/water, etc., into hot bacon grease – don’t ask me why –

….don’t I splash a cup or a gallon of red wine into sausage grease with impunity for Italian recipes?!?   No worries, it all turned out good, didn’t splash or burn myself, even given my long hiatus from actually using kitchen implements….

Pour that crispy, carmelized, simmering mess in the skillet all over the bowl of lettuce – toss, cover, and then fix your plate….eat almost all of it – be overtaken by wonderful memories of moments in time from yesterday, take a break from eating the last few bites, and write a blog so your pals know you seriously just cooked AND ate what you cooked, all by yourself tonight – LOL

Seriously, folks, with fresh, local produce?  You cannot mess this thing up, even if you adjust for what you have on hand or your preferences – except…except, fairly certain the bacon grease adds something – not sure tofu will carry it off – just saying –

Wilted Lettuce (Ballybin’s Attempt)

  • 2 cups lettuce
  • 3 strips of bacon & 1 local large green onion, sauteed
  • 2 TBL white vinegar
  • 1 TBL balsamic vinegar
  • Salt & Pepper to taste