Dandelions Down at the Doublewide

It is spring in West Texas when you hear the first robin cough. We’ve had some blowing dust and a few days up in the 80’s  while other parts of the country are getting snow and rain. I’ll take the heat and count on the spring winds subsiding soon. Weeds have begun to pop up in the yard and know I’ll have to dedicate a morning to working on them. One weed I’m happy to see is dandelions, a favorite treat for me! My children were afraid I was trying to poison them when I picked spring dandelions from the lawn and brought them in for dinner. In spite of their protests, they managed a few bites and lived to tell the tale.

The other day, I noticed bunches of large dandelions in the produce department at the grocery. My heart skipped a beat and if I were a few years younger I’d have clicked my heels! I added a bunch of bright green, 12-inch long dandelions to my basket and started planning a Dinner at the Doublewide. We haven’t been down to the doublewide in a while and was time to visit for some good ol’ country cooking.

Doublewide dinner menu:  dandelion greens with minced garlic, diced bacon and bacon drippings;

Black eyed peas with okra and tomatoes;

Corn bread;

Grilled pork chops.

No recipes for these dishes, but there are some hints and tips in the photo captions.

Dandelion greens, steamed with a couple of tablespoons chicken broth and diced garlic; finished with diced bacon and drippings.
Black eyed peas (thank goodness the store has a frozen foods section) with okra, tomatoes and some slivered bacon. I slice the okra and sauté it for a couple of minutes to set the sticky secretion so my okra isn’t slimy. Halved grape tomatoes are flavorful and colorful. A sprinkle of sliced green onion finishes the list at the table.
I use the package recipe for cornbread as a suggestion. Sometimes, I add whole kernel corn or chile to it, but I never add the sugar it calls for. It is always cooked in a cast iron skillet that has been dedicated to cornbread exclusively for at least three generations.
I have groomed my meat cutter at the market to cut me inch thick center loin pork chops that I fix with a dry rub and cook on my grill. He keeps telling me I need to cook for him since I show him pictures the meals I make with those chops.


Of course you know you just cain’t have greens and black eyed peas without a few shakes of Trappey’s Hot Peppers in Vinegar. Trappey’s began in Louisiana in 1898. I know I’ve been enjoying it in Texas for more than 60 years! It is a staple in the doublewide kitchen.


One thought on “Dandelions Down at the Doublewide

  1. fromthefamilytable

    When I was a boy, my grandmother would pay me 5 cents a bag for digging up dandelions. She made wilted dandelion greens with crisp bacon, croutons browned in bacon fat, and a vinaigrette made of bacon fat and vinegar. She kept the rest of the greens for her own dandelion wine – even though she was president of the local Women’s Christian Temperance Union chapter.

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