Cider Beans, Wild Greens, and Dandelion Jelly


It was love at first site. I mean how can you not be smitten by a cookbook entitled: Cider Beans, Wild Greens and Dandelion Jelly? This fine work, subtitled Recipes from Southern Appalachia, may take some liberties, I see a number of delicious looking Cajun influenced recipes sneaking in here, but it’s certainly a fun read.

The book features several beautiful pictures of this wonderful and still wild span of States, as well as a short but engaging history of the settlement of the region, but the meat of the book, no pun intended, is, of course, the set of classic recipes, sourced from some of the area's finest restaurants and inns.  There is also a great appendix resource in the book that not only lists all of those restaurants, (road trip anyone?) but also offers sources for some of the typical ingredients used in Appalachian cooking.

This is one of the great regions of America, a region that has retained its own distinct personality and culture to this day, partly because it remains off the beaten track. While being bypassed by time is a double-edged sword, there is something particularly comforting in the food of Southern Appalachia.  These are recipes drawn from states that are almost at my doorstep; yet seem able to transport me back to a time before fusion restaurants and molecular gastronomy! And you know what, I’m liking that trip!
Related Imagery
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Download Recipes
I usually only pick a recipe or two from a cook book but I had to add a third. I mean how can I say no to 'I Love Bacon Muffins"?

These look to be perfect all-day muffins, and something that might round out a meal with some Cider Beans!

makes 1 dozen

Imagine these muffins served with scrambled eggs or an omelet for breakfast. They would also be good served with a luncheon salad or Wild Greens Salad. This down-home muffin is a real treat served with Sweet Onion Butter (recipe follows), and you just may have to make more of both.

2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon bacon drippings
1 cup milk
2 large eggs, well beaten
6 slices bacon, cooked until crisp, drained, and crumbled

Preheat the oven to 400°F. Lightly grease a standard 12-cup muffin pan and place it in the oven to heat.
In A LARGE BOWL, sift together the flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar. Add the bacon drippings, milk, and eggs and stir to blend. Fold the crumbled bacon into the batter and mix until blended. Spoon the batter into the hot muffin pan.
Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until golden brown. Let cool on a wire rack.

Sweet Onion Butter
makes 3/4 cup
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/4 cup finely grated sweet onion
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

In A MEDIUM BOWL, combine the butter, onion, and garlic powder and blend well. Pack the mixture into a butter mold or place it in a serving container and chill it in the refrigerator before using.
Note: The butter will keep for about 4 days in the refrigerator. It can also be heated and served as a sauce over steak, hamburgers, or vegetables.
—From Cider Beans, Wild Greens, and Dandelion Jelly by Joan E. Aller/Andrews McMeel Publishing

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  • Snooth User: shesjo
    563540 10

    Did you mean to see "love at first sight" as in when you see something, or were you making a play on words from a web site, as in a place for something?

    Aug 27, 2010 at 4:04 PM

  • Snooth User: dmcker
    Hand of Snooth
    125836 5,000

    Great recipes, Greg, and once again good eye in snagging this cookbook for inclusion. Have made similar muffins and cidered beans recipes in the past. Why is it that some of the best cuisine in our heritage often comes from our poorest regions? Economic necessity becomes the mother of gastronomical invention, which then gets refined by the community over time.

    Molecular gastronomy is fun for a special event on occasion, but very soon becomes a case of 'too much, already...'. This is more good food for regular life.

    Aug 27, 2010 at 4:42 PM

  • Yum. I'm forwarding these to my resident chef, i.e, my wife.

    Aug 27, 2010 at 4:58 PM

  • Snooth User: kypjs
    564749 5

    I can't wait for those muffins. My mouth was watering during the description...slurp! bacon bits imbedded in a flakey muffin with a melted swirl of the onion butter. Pulezze stop. Go, Kentucky!

    Aug 27, 2010 at 6:13 PM

  • Snooth User: Kyle Graynor
    Hand of Snooth Voice of Snooth
    455797 7,460

    Oh. My. God. Bacon muffins. I'm sold.

    Aug 28, 2010 at 1:18 PM

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