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Friday, April 23, 2010

Backyard Foraging: The Dandelion

I don't know if there's anything better than receiving a bouquet of dandelion flowers from a child with grubby hands and delightful grin!! When my children were young I was convinced that I could NOT weed-n-feed my yard, because if God had put something in them that made them want to give flowers to their mother than I wasn't going to squelch it!!! (Come on, ladies, admit it. Some of you would never receive flowers if it wasn't for children and dandelions!!)We still don't weed-n-feed, although for different reasons now. If you are like us in that respect, than you probably have a yard full of dandelions right about now!! Well, let's do a little foraging with those little beauties! The easiest thing to make with dandelions is
Dandelion Tea

Pick 10 dandelion flowers. Pull the yellow petals out of them. Put them in a tea strainer and steep in boiling water for a few minutes. Sweeten to taste with sugar, honey, or the sweetener of your choice. If you don't have a tea strainer just steep them in the water and then strain them out with a regular strainer. Dandelion tea is reported to be good for liver health.

This next recipe is copied from Phelan at Kansas Preppers Network. This recipe is for
Dandelion Jelly
1 quart tightly packed ripe yellow Dandelion flowers
6 cups water
6 cups sugar
juice of one lemon
8 tablespoons Pectin
Make sure your flowers have not been sprayed, pick and wash. remove the ends, and as much green as possible.Place petals, water and lemon juice large heavy bottom pot, bring to a boil, then transfer to a bowl. Place a piece of waxed paper over top and refrigerate until morning.
Return to pot, add sugar and bring to a hard boil. Stirring occasionally. Boil for 10 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool until hand able. Strain through a sieve, discarding petals.Add pectin to the liquid and return to a boil for 5-10 minutes, until it begins to set.Pour into hot sterile jars, and process in a hot water bath for 5 minutes.
*Phelan's notes: You can use a packet of sure-jell instead of the 8 tbsps. pectin. Lemon concentrate to equal juice of one lemon would be anywhere from 2.5 tsps to 1/4 cup. (I personally used 3 tbsps. Gen)

This jelly is so beautiful and tasty--like honey! What a delightful, unusual gift to give, especially to those city folks who aren't lucky enough to have dandelions growing in their yards! Plus, the 'medium' you use is completely free! Thanks, Phelan, for a great recipe!

Prep On!
Gen-IL Homesteader

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Phelan said...

You are welcome. Glad you liked it.

Gen-IL Homesteader said...

I think I might make another batch and save them for gifts! Thanks again!

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