Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Dandelion Jelly

Wild edibles are very fascinating. I wish I knew more about which plants are edible, and I made it my goal to learn (and eat) at least 5 new wild plants or herbs each year.

I’m using Forager’s Harvest by Samuel Thayer as a plant guide. I really like his book because his information is based off his own experience. I like to have a recipe set aside for when I actually harvest the plant. For recipes I am reading Abundantly Wild by Teresa Marrone and Wise Woman Herbal: Healing Wise by Susun S. Weed. Of course there are lots of other resources out there.

So far I’ve made Ramp Flatbread and Nettle, Ramp, and Potato Chowder. Both were very good! Then I heard about making Dandelion Jelly and I thought, “perfect!” The only thing mature enough to preserve in my garden right now are dandelions.

I have a few spots in my yard where dandelions grow strong and free of chemicals. I felt like I was a child on an Easter egg hunt with my basket in one hand and picking all the bright colors with another hand. I wonder what my neighbors thought if they saw me!

There are a few great recipes already online, but I use Pomona’s Pectin which uses different amounts of pectin and less sugar. Thankfully, I came across one recipe that already converted the different pectin. I added 2 cups sugar instead of the honey. Next time I will try less sugar or add honey and maybe a little less lemon juice. I can’t wait to make this again. Dandelion Jelly is unique and will make great gifts for friends and family.

P.S. Remember our dandelion wine creation? We were finally brave enough to taste the wine.  It didn't turn out, so we will try again another day.  I think that maybe we will try to make a wine with flavors we have had before.

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