These wild springtime blossoms have a mild, slightly bitter flavor.
When picking dandelions, pinch blossoms off from top of stems. Fill a medium bowl with 4 cups of cool water. Add 1 teaspoon salt and lemon juice. Place dandelions in the bowl and push them down into the water several times to clean them. Drain dandelions upside down on paper towels.
In a medium bowl, sift together flour, cornmeal, remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, pepper, and chile powder. Add thyme, and mix well. In a small bowl, whisk together egg and milk. Pour egg mixture into flour and stir until well combined to form a batter.
Pour 1 inch of oil into a 9-inch cast-iron skillet. Heat oil to 375 degrees. Gently dip each flower into batter. Carefully place in hot oil; do not crowd. Fry until golden, about 2 minutes, turn, and fry 1 more minute if necessary. Drain on paper towels. Salt lightly. Serve hot as hors d'oeuvres or a side dish.
Pick dandelions just before using and work with them quickly and carefully; they close up soon after picking.