Hoot Owl Holler Farm: Food That's Both Artful and Delicious

 Hoot Owl Holler baby squash in concrete leaf, Kentucky

Hoot Owl Holler baby squash in concrete leaf, Kentucky

 Lonnie Wilson and Sharon Stratton, owners of Hoot Owl Holler Farm, Kentucky

Lonnie Wilson and Sharon Stratton, owners of Hoot Owl Holler Farm, Kentucky

Like many other wonderful central Kentucky growers, Sharon Stratton and Lonnie Wilson bring homegrown, hand-tended food to the Lexington Farmers Market every week from their Hoot Owl Holler Farm. Hoot Owl Holler stands out, for me, because of the care Lonnie and Sharon take to make their products beautiful as well as delicious.

 Sharon Stratton of Hoot Owl Holler Farm with squash blossoms

Sharon Stratton of Hoot Owl Holler Farm with squash blossoms

 Crisp, fresh, beautiful living herbs from Hoot Owl Holler Farm, Kentucky

Crisp, fresh, beautiful living herbs from Hoot Owl Holler Farm, Kentucky

Tender squash blossoms; herbs like sculptures

Lonnie must be a fantastic cook. I bought my first Kentucky fennel from Lonnie years ago, and I asked "How would I cook this?" He told me several ways he uses fennel, including draping salmon filets with fennel fronds before grilling. That proved delicious.

This morning when Lonnie and Sharon showed me their beautiful, fresh, pale gold squash blossoms, I asked, "How do you cook them?" Emphasis on you. I didn't mean, "How does one cook squash blossoms," because I had a feeling Lonnie would know from experience what really works.

Lonnie said, "Stuff them with cheese, dip in a batter, and deep fry." Oh yum! Well, actually, he may have said, "Roll them in meal" or "Roll them in flour," but I heard "batter," because I made an instant assumption that Lonnie is the kind of guy who whips up a batter without a recipe, and fries crispy bites perfectly in fresh oil without raising a sweat.

And then the talk went on, about whether stuffing is needed at all, about how Dudley's may use mushrooms as stuffing (oh, really, yummmmm), and so on. If you and I are thinking alike, we're thinking we might need some recipes for squash blossoms. Here are a few you may find appealing -- and be sure to use your squash blossoms the day you pick them [male blossoms only] or buy them from a grower.

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This is Savory Kentucky Bite number 25 of 116 Savory Bites created in honor of the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games.