Momma Said

By Teri Cayton

The Parsons Advocate

I was sitting on my deck recently and as I sat there contemplating the state of the world I was taken back to my childhood with one little sight.  I saw lightning bugs coming up out of the ground.  That was a childhood favorite after a hard day of playing outside.  We would get an old mayonnaise jar, poke holes in the top and catch lightning bugs as they emerged from their rest.

It was a beautiful sight to sit and watch a freshly mowed hay field come to life in the dark.  We didn’t have street lights and when it got dark… it got dark.  We could see acres of the little bugs lighting up to find a mate.  It was an experience many kids today have never known.  It is so sad to think something as small as a little bug could bring back a happier time in my life.

We would catch a whole jar full, watch them light up the jar for a while and then let them go.  We could make fun out of nothing.  Kids today don’t know anything about the world.  If they can’t Google it, God forbid they go outside and experience life.  Momma Said, “Go explore the outdoors and learn something first hand.”  You learn more by physical touch than you do reading about it on a device.

I will enjoy my hummingbirds on the front porch and sit in back and watch my little bugs and remember that some things are so simple, yet so meaningful.  Such a small thing can trigger a memory and transport you back to your childhood. Momma Said, “Don’t forget the things that make you happy.”



  • Vegetable oil, for frying
  • ¾ cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
  • ¼ teaspoon salt


  • 1 cup ricotta (whole or low-fat milk is fine)
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1½ teaspoons vanilla
  • Powdered sugar, for dusting
  • Lemon zest, for garnish
  • Blackberry preserves, for dipping


  1. Heat enough oil to fill a medium pot about 1-inch full over medium-high heat until the oil is about 370 degrees F.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, lemon zest, and salt.
  3. In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the ricotta, eggs, sugar, and vanilla until smooth.
  4. Add ricotta mixture to flour mixture and whisk to combine. The dough will thicken and be very sticky.
  5. Working in batches, use a small cookie scoop to drop batter into the hot oil.
  6. Fry until the fritters are golden brown, about 1-2 minutes, turning once. Remove cooked fritters from the oil with a spider strainer (or slotted spoon) and place on a paper towel-lined plate. Repeat until all batter has been fried.
  7. Sprinkle the top of the fritters with more lemon zest, and sprinkle with powdered sugar. Serve warm with blackberry preserves.

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