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Author Topic: if life gives you lemons.....or in this case Dandilions:  (Read 4500 times)
spoOk
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« Topic Start: June 25, 2011, 09:01:34 pm »

so I had wanted to turn this driveway edge patch of back yard into a herb garden with some root veg , but then my life got rather busy,16 hour days etc. so that never got beyond stripping out the initial layer of weeds.
I never managed to grow anything,except a robust bed of dandelions.
I am a big fan of making use of what's on hand and literally locally growing in my area. like chickweed ,mint ,blackberry etc.
so today I finally got around to harvesting a few of the dandelions,root and all.
I plan to try out all the recipes for teas,salads and coffees that I've collected.
I will let you know how this first round of try outs goes.
LOL
the teas and salads from the flowers will have to wait. most of mine have gone to seed.
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« Reply #1: June 25, 2011, 09:48:00 pm »

so I had wanted to turn this driveway edge patch of back yard into a herb garden with some root veg , but then my life got rather busy,16 hour days etc. so that never got beyond stripping out the initial layer of weeds.
I never managed to grow anything,except a robust bed of dandelions.
I am a big fan of making use of what's on hand and literally locally growing in my area. like chickweed ,mint ,blackberry etc.
so today I finally got around to harvesting a few of the dandelions,root and all.
I plan to try out all the recipes for teas,salads and coffees that I've collected.
I will let you know how this first round of try outs goes.
LOL
the teas and salads from the flowers will have to wait. most of mine have gone to seed.

I look forward to reading what you come up with when you do. I'm of like mind about using what is growing locally.

I have several vacant dirt filled pots that I never got around to filling with anything but clovers took over. I often used to munch on the clover with the tiny yellow flowers (the kind I have growing now) when I was a tike. I recently read where the clovers are good in salads and I can understand that as the closest flavor I can attribute to them is that of fresh spinach. Anyway, I freed the weeds to the yard and have let the pots of clover grow. And they are. Like mad. I plan to use some of them in salads this summer. Pretty and delicious!

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spoOk
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« Reply #2: June 25, 2011, 09:59:01 pm »

I look forward to reading what you come up with when you do. I'm of like mind about using what is growing locally.

I have several vacant dirt filled pots that I never got around to filling with anything but clovers took over. I often used to munch on the clover with the tiny yellow flowers (the kind I have growing now) when I was a tike. I recently read where the clovers are good in salads and I can understand that as the closest flavor I can attribute to them is that of fresh spinach. Anyway, I freed the weeds to the yard and have let the pots of clover grow. And they are. Like mad. I plan to use some of them in salads this summer. Pretty and delicious!


ok here's the first reports:
5 minute steeped teas from root,from flower(found five blossom heads),from leaves:
all taste fine,not bitter,but much like a watery version of exactly what each plant part smelled like initially.
I drank them straight but it is suggested they can be sweetened to taste with honey or sugar and still be of use.
the boiled leaf remains smelled and looked a lot like spinach so I'm thinking I've got a handy spinach substitute should i ever need it.
I've got a pan of root waiting to go into the oven to roast for the coffee.
I've also got a cup of chopped leaf steeping for an infusion I will refridgerate. and plans tomorrow to try an interesting dandelion salad recipe I have that involves bacon(defrosting) onion, garlic and sauted with rice wine vinegar.

when I get a chance to collect a quart of blossoms I will try to make the wine.
« Last Edit: June 25, 2011, 10:04:24 pm by spoOk » Logged

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« Reply #3: June 25, 2011, 10:46:59 pm »

ok here's the first reports:
5 minute steeped teas from root,from flower(found five blossom heads),from leaves:
all taste fine,not bitter,but much like a watery version of exactly what each plant part smelled like initially.
I drank them straight but it is suggested they can be sweetened to taste with honey or sugar and still be of use.
the boiled leaf remains smelled and looked a lot like spinach so I'm thinking I've got a handy spinach substitute should i ever need it.
I've got a pan of root waiting to go into the oven to roast for the coffee.
I've also got a cup of chopped leaf steeping for an infusion I will refridgerate. and plans tomorrow to try an interesting dandelion salad recipe I have that involves bacon(defrosting) onion, garlic and sauted with rice wine vinegar.

when I get a chance to collect a quart of blossoms I will try to make the wine.

Not bitter! Wow that is good to know. I might give it try then. What were the effects on you? A good sip? Any energy? I do not know the chemical make up so am unaware if dandelion is a stimulant or not. Will be checking online. My medicinal field guide doesn't cover them. Bummer.

Only had dandelion wine once. Quite enjoyable. Actually, I think it was more close to a mead. I hope it is not cost prohibitive to make it! A man here makes it sometimes and uses old wine bottles with screw tops that he's collected, so it may not be too expensive to do. In any event, good luck with it!  To this plant geek, that is so cool! Doesn't hurt that it reminds me fondly of the Bradbury book. I hope yours bring good stories along with it as well.

And that last salad you described sounds outstanding! Both yum and nom!

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spoOk
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« Reply #4: June 25, 2011, 11:20:35 pm »

Not bitter! Wow that is good to know. I might give it try then. What were the effects on you? A good sip? Any energy? I do not know the chemical make up so am unaware if dandelion is a stimulant or not. Will be checking online. My medicinal field guide doesn't cover them. Bummer.

Only had dandelion wine once. Quite enjoyable. Actually, I think it was more close to a mead. I hope it is not cost prohibitive to make it! A man here makes it sometimes and uses old wine bottles with screw tops that he's collected, so it may not be too expensive to do. In any event, good luck with it!  To this plant geek, that is so cool! Doesn't hurt that it reminds me fondly of the Bradbury book. I hope yours bring good stories along with it as well.

And that last salad you described sounds outstanding! Both yum and nom!

this just in ,roasting dandelion root smells freaking yummy!

I have only sipped the three various teas,this first occasion.
initially the still steamy brews did give me a perk,but I am someone who finds almost no effect from standard coffee anymore.
they are supposed to be good blood tonics and detoxifiers and good for achy joints and Girly problems. great sources of iron and a diuretic that actually supplies potassium rather than remove it from you.
upon further sipping,the teas have gotten cold. the root one tastes the worse of the three when cold. the leaf one just tastes like cold herbal tea.
so when they get cold it seems the flavour strengthens.
but a dob of honey and a minute in the nuker fixed that right up.
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« Reply #5: June 25, 2011, 11:56:33 pm »

the teas and salads from the flowers will have to wait. most of mine have gone to seed.

If you can gather enough of the yellow blossoms and you're interested in such stuff, you might try making dandelion wine. 
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spoOk
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« Reply #6: June 26, 2011, 12:12:04 am »

If you can gather enough of the yellow blossoms and you're interested in such stuff, you might try making dandelion wine. 
that's on the list.
I might go round the neighbourhood on a harvesting mission,I'm sure no ones going to mind!
LOl
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« Reply #7: June 26, 2011, 08:02:56 pm »

that's on the list.
I might go round the neighbourhood on a harvesting mission,I'm sure no ones going to mind!
LOl

Ha! I think you're right there! The recipe I was reading on wikihow calls for two quarts of flowers (less bitter if only the petals are used). Around here the dandelions are on their second bloom of the season. If you cannot find enough, maybe try a park that doesn't have chemically treated grass?

I want to do this one day myself. I think for the price of 3 candy bars I could have the neighborhood kids (already bored with summer) pick far more than I would need. ha!



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spoOk
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« Reply #8: June 27, 2011, 01:11:01 pm »

Ha! I think you're right there! The recipe I was reading on wikihow calls for two quarts of flowers (less bitter if only the petals are used). Around here the dandelions are on their second bloom of the season. If you cannot find enough, maybe try a park that doesn't have chemically treated grass?

I want to do this one day myself. I think for the price of 3 candy bars I could have the neighborhood kids (already bored with summer) pick far more than I would need. ha!


well we don't want to clean out the neighbour hood!
lol
and you gotta know if their the right kind,the ones with the not milky tube stems are not the right kind,but they look about the same.

the salad first attempt: next time I'm going to drain some of the bacon grease off before mixing in the greens. but it was yummy. I think I also need to try younger greens too. less bitter.
looked up the recipe from my book on the net and there were several variations of this French dandelion bacon salad. so we chose the one that worked best for us.
used red wine vinegar and a bit of chopped garlic,we had no onion....LOL

I must report I got my period the next day after drinking the teas and I'm going to jump out there and say I think all the recently consumed dandelion went a long way to making this month very much less crampy than my usual. I didn't need to have almost any advil like usual.
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« Reply #9: June 27, 2011, 01:47:06 pm »

well we don't want to clean out the neighbour hood!
lol
and you gotta know if their the right kind,the ones with the not milky tube stems are not the right kind,but they look about the same.

the salad first attempt: next time I'm going to drain some of the bacon grease off before mixing in the greens. but it was yummy. I think I also need to try younger greens too. less bitter.
looked up the recipe from my book on the net and there were several variations of this French dandelion bacon salad. so we chose the one that worked best for us.
used red wine vinegar and a bit of chopped garlic,we had no onion....LOL

I must report I got my period the next day after drinking the teas and I'm going to jump out there and say I think all the recently consumed dandelion went a long way to making this month very much less crampy than my usual. I didn't need to have almost any advil like usual.

another opttion for the flowers would be to use the yellow parts in fritters, trim off the green and extra white parts, and either batter the flower heads themselves, or mix the petals with batter and fry like other fritters.  Pretty good.
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« Reply #10: June 27, 2011, 08:27:41 pm »



(Were you looking for specifically magical advice on what to do with the dandelions?  I just ask because this thread as-is might fit better in the Cooking SIG, but I didn't want to move it if that would change the focus from what you were actually looking for...)

My father just sent around a recipe from 1977 for dandelion jelly:

Use 1 quart of bright, fresh dandelion blossoms. Rinse them quickly in cold water and snip off the stems and green collars under the blossoms. Boil the petals in 2 quarts of water for 3 minutes. Cool and strain, pressing the petals with your fingers to extract all the juice. Measure out 3 cups of the dandelion liquid and place in a large jelly kettle. Add 2 tablespoons of lemon juice and 1 package of powdered fruit pectin (1 3/4 ounces). Bring the mixture to a boil. Add 5 1/2 cups of sugar, stirring to mix well. Continue stirring, and boil the mixture for 2-1/2 minutes. Pour into small glasses and cover with paraffin when the jelly is cool.

(I should note that some things have changed since 1977--notably, paraffin is no longer considered a safe way to seal jars that are to be stored at room temperature.  You should probably process this stuff in a boiling-water bath the same way you would for other jellies.  Or freeze it if you don't want to deal with canning it.)

I'm curious about the flavor; next time I can get a quart of dandelion heads together, I might try this.
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« Reply #11: June 27, 2011, 11:39:03 pm »

that's on the list.

Oops, sorry,  I didn't see that you'd already mentioned wine.  It's good stuff;  try it if you can.
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« Reply #12: June 28, 2011, 10:24:26 pm »

(Were you looking for specifically magical advice on what to do with the dandelions?  I just ask because this thread as-is might fit better in the Cooking SIG, but I didn't want to move it if that would change the focus from what you were actually looking for...)

My father just sent around a recipe from 1977 for dandelion jelly:

Use 1 quart of bright, fresh dandelion blossoms. Rinse them quickly in cold water and snip off the stems and green collars under the blossoms. Boil the petals in 2 quarts of water for 3 minutes. Cool and strain, pressing the petals with your fingers to extract all the juice. Measure out 3 cups of the dandelion liquid and place in a large jelly kettle. Add 2 tablespoons of lemon juice and 1 package of powdered fruit pectin (1 3/4 ounces). Bring the mixture to a boil. Add 5 1/2 cups of sugar, stirring to mix well. Continue stirring, and boil the mixture for 2-1/2 minutes. Pour into small glasses and cover with paraffin when the jelly is cool.

(I should note that some things have changed since 1977--notably, paraffin is no longer considered a safe way to seal jars that are to be stored at room temperature.  You should probably process this stuff in a boiling-water bath the same way you would for other jellies.  Or freeze it if you don't want to deal with canning it.)

I'm curious about the flavor; next time I can get a quart of dandelion heads together, I might try this.

oh! I guess it might do better In the cooking one.
I never noticed there was one!
I was looking forvsomewhere to put a post on the herbal uses of dandelions really.
not so much specific cooking but like dandelion as useful ingredient,medicinal or magical.
I thought miscellaneous would be ok as I wasn't sure where to put herbal things otherwise.
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« Reply #13: June 29, 2011, 05:53:06 am »

oh! I guess it might do better In the cooking one.
I never noticed there was one!
I was looking forvsomewhere to put a post on the herbal uses of dandelions really.
not so much specific cooking but like dandelion as useful ingredient,medicinal or magical.
I thought miscellaneous would be ok as I wasn't sure where to put herbal things otherwise.

Well, it's OK in that you aren't in trouble or anything--I just want to be sure it's best placed to get you the kind of feedback you're looking for.  Smiley  I can't remember off the top of my head where we've put herbalism discussions before...  Maybe I'll just leave it for the moment, not really knowing where to put it myself.

Although obviously, as the thread has shown already, people will respond as they see fit anyway.  Wink
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