The Joy of Less. If you have a second, take a look.
Many of my gardening adventures, and even the projects that result from my gardening, are a search for beauty I think, usually in simple things. There's effort involved: It requires an alliance with nature, which can be uneasy at times. It's a celebration of the natural world too, though, which make it worth the trouble.
Today's project is dandelion wine. Even if you aren't a Ray Bradbury fan, the words probably stir up a dreamy summer landscape, the smell of fresh mown grass and the high blue sky swept by an easy breeze.
Dandelion wine is easy to make, and even though it might take a while, it's a sweet summer favorite.
Dandelion Wine Recipe
*10 to 12 Cups Dandelions (Flowers only)
1 C Honey
2 ½ Pounds Sugar
1 Orange rind, chopped
1 Lemon rind, chopped
1 Gallon Water
2 Tbsp. fresh, chopped ginger
1 Package yeast
1 Cup Orange juice
1/2 Cup Lemon juice
Dandelion Wine Instructions
Combine dandelion flowers, honey, sugar, orange rind, and lemon rind in a large pot.
Boil water in a separate container and pour over flower mixture.
Bring back to a simmer for 30 minutes.
Cool to room temperature.
Add prepared yeast (Follow manufacturer's directions for hydrating yeast before adding it.)
Add orange juice, lemon juice, and spices.
Cover in a non-reactive container (like ceramic, glass, or enamel) and set aside for a month in a dark place to ferment. (This will get fragrant.)
Strain and decant into sterilized jars. Seal. Let wine season for three months or so in a cool, dark place before serving.
Tips and Tricks
*If you want to accumulate 12 cups of dandelions, try harvesting them a little at a time and freezing them until you have enough. This is a great spring project. You can have a batch ready to serve for your Labor Day picnic.
Never use dandelions that have been treated with pesticides.
This recipe uses no sulfites or special equipment.
There's more dandelion fun in store:
Grow Your Own Culinary and Medicinal Dandelions
Dandelion Tea Recipes
Dandelion Pasta Salad
Photo1 - Dandelion2_Wiki.jpg By Sberardi (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
Photo2 - Courtesy of Morguefile.com