This was my second post ever and probably my personal favorite! The story is better than the tutorial or the pictures (this is when I set my eyes on a better camera)! I fried some black locust blossoms again and did a better job of documenting it this spring…but I’ll leave this post forever!
Today I was determined to have time for one of my spring favorites- BLACK LOCUST BLOOMS!!!! Bear with me here, but I’m not all researched up on botanical names, or specific plant identification. As always you should research any wild plants you are consuming thoroughly to make sure of proper identification and personal medical interactions. My knowledge of this is passed down and local. Here in southern Indiana it’s mid-May, and you smell them as fast as you see them. It’s an odd sort of thing. The air is absolutely permeated with the perfumed scent of these blooms! It doesn’t smell like anything you’d want to eat (but oh boy do you), more like something you’d rub on your wrist for date night. So, I’ll start at the beginning of this episode of culinary delightfulness.
My husband cut saplings in the pasture and he and my oldest son decided to lean all the small trees against a larger tree in what we call “our campground”. His dad did this for him when he was a boy. They ended up with a sort of tee-pee. That’s how I came to get the invitation to join them at the campground when the twins woke up from naps. So we did and they all loved it so much!! I’m so glad he shared this tradition!
It wasn’t long until our little baby pyro was pestering us to build a fire. No kidding, he really loves fire. Better parents might not let their 3-year old poke sticks in fire until they catch but we’re not better parents. We’re us. Funny tidbit, though, when his stick catches fire he gets all excited and tells us that he “caught a fire” like it’s a fish or something. Funny how little minds work.
STOP!!!! I’m only reminding you because I forget. It all gets away from me. My
husband brought me a branch from a locust yesterday to fry some of these up and I just left it on the porch. I was just too busy. It was already almost dark today, but I couldn’t help but think of all the beauty in my life and all the gifts that God gives and I’ve been forgetting to take advantage of. He strings treats in the trees and scatters medicine on the ground. He not only gives us children but also this incredible love and joy that can be found no other way. This particular moment they all were happy, so it made it easier to see, which I’m going to chalk up to grace. I’ve been so wound up. I really did need everything to line up just right for a minute to reset.
NOW GO!!! Find some determination and do it. Whatever it is! There were locust blooms. There was a fire. I had about 40 minutes before it would be dark. All I needed were some scissors to cut the clusters the tree, a skillet, butter, and some flour. So that’s what I got. I also remembered egg and a bowl, and a paper plate for the finished product. I forgot to get a fork to break up the egg for the batter and any kind of utensil for flipping them if the stem happened to dip below grease level and water to rinse them and my hands. I tried to snap a few pics of the very hurried (as night was coming fast beneath the trees)process as I went (some turned out decent but I found out my stupid new smart phone doesn’t have a flash). I didn’t notice any bugs or anything and I knew there couldn’t be any pesticide residue or anything where we were, but, in any other circumstance I would have taken them to the house and rinsed them really well. So Step One: “Rinse The Blooms” was out. Then came whisking my eggs. My scissors turned into a whisk. I stuck the blades in the fire for a second to hopefully neutralize the raw egg. Then my daughter helped me quickly complete Step Two: “Batter the Blooms” and we rubbed our hands in the grass for awhile (again, no water). I just stuck my grate on the burning wood since it wasn’t much of a fire, which resulted in a very uneven cook surface but worked. So on to Step Three: “Fry the Blooms”. The uneven surface caused my blossoms to slide down into the grease, resulting in submerged stems (handles). Go figure. So then I grabbed my scissors and they became a forked spatula thing. I flipped away, laid them off to the side where my youngest son promptly placed his hand and got burned. It didn’t leave a mark…just enough that he didn’t leave his hand on it and cried until my magic kisses took effect. My oldest got a small green seed thing in his eye, so I was forced to make him cry(…is that bad parenting?) and that worked out. Then they were beautiful golden brown on both sides, I used my scissors/whisk/spatula/branding iron to get the blooms out of the butter. So, Step Four: “Eat the blooms”. Don’t eat the central stem, just use it for a handle. Let me tell you, they were delicious, and the chaotic rush once again turned to treasure as everyone quietly (laced with a pretty constant supply of “um” sounds) enjoyed this delicacy from the woods.
Note: If I would have went back to the house to cook them the kids probably would have denied themselves the joy of even trying them. But, let’s just own this moment as it was and ignore how they generally are. I needed them to be happy to be happy myself. Father continue to give me grace and inspiration!