Archive for May, 2017

dandelions.jpg

I remember when my grandmother picked dandelions many years ago. She would equip herself with a knife and a white plastic bag and would disappear for a couple of hours. She knew exactly when to go pick them and how to cut them in order to minimize the work involved to prepare them. When she came back the bag resembled a big stuffed pillow. She would ask for our help in cleaning and separating her find. The dandelions were to be cleaned and processed the same day in order to get the ultimate benefits.

So if you’re a longtime dandelion picker or just beginning,  you will find the post “Dandelions as Food and Medicine“, written by herbalist and forager Sarah Lawless very educational. Sarah’s blog “Fern & Fungi”  is a treasure house on foraging.  Discover what is growing all around us!

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dandelion flower jelly

My neighbor’s backyard is not only big but also dandelion heaven. The flowers are a beautiful deep yellow and very big. She is elderly, so rarely uses her yard. It is all fenced in, no dogs, and no pesticides.  So I have her permission to forage as many dandelions as I want. Looking from my window at these beautiful flowers I went to pick a few and decided to make this jelly. This is a very easy and fun project to do with kids. It will become one of their favorite activities to look forward to in the spring and learn to appreciate this amazing power flower!

ingredients

4 cups water
4 cups dandelion blossoms 
1/4 cup plus 1 1/2 teaspoons ( 1/2 package) powdered pectin
4 1/2 cups granulated sugar
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
rind of 1/2 lemon cut in very thin strips

instructions

Bring water and dandelion blossoms to a boil in a medium saucepan. Reduce heat to medium, and simmer for 3 minutes. Remove from heat, and let stand for 10 minutes. Strain through a fine sieve into a measuring cup, pressing solids. Discard blossoms.

Combine pectin and 1/2 cup sugar in a small bowl. Bring dandelion liquid and remaining 4 cups sugar to a boil, stirring constantly to dissolve sugar.

Add the pectin mixture, stirring constantly to dissolve pectin and sugar. Add lemon juice and rind, and boil for 1 minute. Skim foam from the surface. Let cool slightly.

Pour mixture into an airtight container. Cover with a lid. Refrigerate until set, about 4 hours.

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