Monday, January 25, 2010

Fried Cardunas FTW!

Wow. It has been 5 months since my last blog post. The passage of time seems to have gone into hyperdrive. IBM workload flared up and had been running 'white hot' up until the week before Christmas. (miraculous considering the economic conditions) A steady flow of ministry responsibilities kept things exciting. A week and a half of some time off during the Christmas / New Years break was great. Peaceful. Mostly restful. I was able to really recharge my batteries.

So here we are, nearly a month into 2010. And of all the exciting things that have already happened in this new year, it is the food memory of fried cardunas that has my attention.

2 weeks ago, I helped out some dear friends of ours (Warren and Michelle) with a Skype issue they were having. They were so appreciative that they wanted to do something in return. They asked if I had ever heard of something called, "cardunas". I said, "are you kidding me?!" Michelle had gotten some from a friend and she fried up a batch. (Warren and Michelle are transplants from the Philly area and one of the few couples that we have cultural things in common with.) Those carduna were a blast from the past!

This past Sunday at church, they informed me that Fry's had a batch of carduna in their produce section. Eva and I went to Fry's later that day and picked up a giant stalk. Even though these carduna were far more mature than what I used to pick as a kid, I wasn't going to let the opportunity pass by. So this morning, Eva cleaned, boiled, breaded, and fried the carduna....

WOW! As with everything Eva makes, they were perfect! Tender not stringy. Crispy not soggy. I believe that she made them BETTER than Nonnie used to make them. Flashbacks of those Springtime outings so many years ago to pick cardunas (they grew wild) came to mind.

Uncle Joe and I would visit a few orchards and we would harvest a bushel-full. Nonnie and Mom would clean 'em and cook 'em. Dad and I would harvest the ones around the property. Since they are basically weeds, there was only a short window of opportunity in the Spring when the carduna were the right size and before they were cut down with the rest of the grass and weeds.

It may sound silly, but it is times like these, that make it feel like Eva and I have been together our entire a good way!


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