Gathering dandelions for ... fritters?
Where art thou, Dandelions?
I suspect some suburban-dwellers reading this will think I've totally lost it, considering that many folks spend a good deal of time trying to rid their neat lawns of this cheerful scourge.
But I can't help it: Reading several stories featuring my favorite “weed” in the May/June 2009 issue of Hobby Farm Home has left me pining for dandelions, yearning for dandelions, dreaming of dandelions.
It's just the first, rainy day of spring, and I want them to come springing out, manes aglow, but it's still too early.
Can you tell I love dandelions?
I've never understood why such a pretty, perky flower – one that's edible and nutritious, too – is so reviled, while those high-maintenance, green (not in the environmental sense) swaths of inedible (by us) lawn are worshipped by so many.
Just off the top of my head, I can think of seven uses for dandelions:
- Create dandelion chains, necklaces, and crowns with your kids.
- Offer a bouquet to your bunnies, goats, sheep, or horses.
- Peel stem into long, vertical strips from the bottom, toss dandelion in water, watch strips curl. Very cool for kids.
- Hold flower close to chin, see chin turn yellow (also cool for kids).
- Toss young leaves into salads, or stir-fry in olive oil and garlic with other greens.
- Make delicious dandelion flower fritters (Yum! See page 15 of May/June 2009 Hobby Farm Home for a recipe).
- Gather lots of flower fluff to make dandelion jelly or wine.
My fondest dandelion dream goes like this: I gather my untamed beauties in bunches and sit on the deck in the sunshine, plucking fluffy petals to the tune of humming bumble bees and trilling song sparrows.
I cook up a batch of delicately-scented dandelion jelly and pour it into jars, where it shines like morning sun-rays. Then I bake up some scones, spread the sweet golden jelly on top, and savor every bite of spring.
Any other dandelion lovers out there?