Dand E Lion

24 Apr

Why everyone thinks this little plant, which can be used for so many things, is a weed I’ll never understand.  Just go to your local whole foods grocery store, see how much they are charging for a bundle of dandelion leaves in the produce section, and maybe you will think twice before you hack and spray them away.

Now I can’t ever say that I have gotten full use out of the plentiful dandelion crop, that is my yard every year.  I do, however, enjoy the color and character they bring to my lawn.  I even enjoy the fluff tufts that appear after the flower is gone.  It’s like nature’s lace, that little delicate globe, which crumbles and floats away at the slightest gust of air.  Not to mention that you get to make a wish if you can blow off every single tuft in one breath.

This year I am gonna make use of my dandelions.  I have never in my life tasted Dandelion wine, but have heard during a long hard winter month, sipping on a glass of the wine is like tasting spring again.  So that is my plan, a homemade batch of Dandelion wine to save for a time when the sun has hidden for too long.

I spent all morning out in my yard, bent over snapping off these sunny little heads, and managed to fill a whole 2 gallon pot with them.  The aroma was amazing by the way.  So proud of all the work I did, I carried in my pot filled with what looked and smelled of sunshine and went to get my recipe.  It read : “Gather ONE gallon of dandelion flowers on a dry day.”.  Looked outside at the drizzle and made a frowny face.  OK, so I have to redo that little part at a later date.  No biggie.  Its going to happen though.  I will master this dandelion wine, and will be happy to share come winter.

Maybe if you are feeling a tad adventurous and need a nice commune with nature, you can join me on this attempt and we can compare notes!

This recipe is from a wonderful book given to me called, “A Weed By Any Other Name, The Virtues of a Messy Lawn, or Learning to Love the Plants we Don’t Plant”  by Nancy Gift

Dandelion Wine

Gather one gallon of dandelion flowers on a dry day.  Put these in a two gallon crock and pour one gallon of boiling water over them.  Cover the jar and allow the flowers to steep for three days.  Strain through a jelly cloth so you can squeeze all the liquid from the flowers.  Put the liquid in a kettle, add one small ginger root, the thinly pared peels and the juice of three oranges and one lemon.  Stir in three pounds of sugar and boil gently for twenty minutes.  Return the liquid to the crock and allow to cool until barely lukewarm.  Spread one-half cake of yeast on a piece of toasted rye bread and float it on top.  Cover the crock with a cloth and keep in a warm room for six days.  then strain off the wine into a gallon jug, corking it loosely with a wad of cotton.  Keep in a dark place  for three weeks, then carefully decant into a bottle and cap or cork tightly.


2 Responses to “Dand E Lion”

  1. Cindy April 24, 2011 at 4:48 pm #

    Wow! Wish I had this recipe when we lived in PA! I haven’t seen many dandelions here. But I’m gonna save this recipe for the future!

    • thehippiehousewife April 24, 2011 at 6:59 pm #

      yeah i just found it this past winter and am so excited to try it. Sounds a bit challenging but I think its gonna be totally worth it.

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