Monday, May 30, 2011

Can't beat 'em? Eat 'em!

We have been blessed with an abundance of dandelions this year! A bumper crop! We decided that picking all of them, pulling them all up, spraying with an harmful chemical ::shudder::, or closing our eyes and hoping they'll go away were not viable options we decided to eat them. A couple years ago I stumbled upon a blogger that had made some, so I thought hey, why not? I fired off an email asking how and this is what I did.
The kids and I picked a whole mess of these little beauties.

Then took some time to "run through the wishers" as Andrew calls them.

So after the running was done, I brought them inside and started making jelly. All you use is the blossom (yellow) part so just cut that off. And place those in the bowl.
Discard or rather compost these, you don't need them, they've done their job, they no longer serve a purpose.
Continue cutting the blossoms off until you have the correct amount.
place them in your pot, add water and boil.

Then you get this really beautiful, sunny, yellow liquid to which you add sugar and pectin.

And you end up with a product like this! Now you may be asking what does it taste like?! Well, it's actually very good! Light, crisp and slightly honey like. Try it sometime you'll like it!
We also have a bumper crop of these and I actually love these, so does Andrew - to eat! Sometime ago he and I were discussing why the animals think grass tastes good and I mentioned to him that there were lots of things that were good to eat in the wild (and lots that are poisonous so it's better the check it out first...) and mentioned for example violets. He picked some, tried them and loves eating them in the spring "as a snack." So when I stumbled across a way to make jelly out of those as well I knew I'd have to at least try it! So we did! (Ron's now thinking "Why are you encouraging the weirdness?!!") Here's what we did!
While finishing up the dandelion jelly I sent the kids out to pick a whole pile of violets. Washed them off, drained them and set them in a stainless steel bowl and poured boiling water on them and set them aside for a couple hours and stirred them occasionally.

Can you see the emerald green water? Don't worry, this is normal. Carry on!
After a few hours of steeping drain the violets obviously reserving the water and put it in the pot to cook. Add lemon juice and watch what happens....
Viola'!!! Violet (colored) violet jelly!
Then you add your sugar and pectin, cook it, jar it, seal it and then you have violet jelly!
I used evaporated cane juice, not the refined white sugar the recipe called for so it's a slightly darker color than if I'd used that, but Andrew is thrilled.


  1. Barb, the grunt!Tuesday, May 31, 2011

    Both of those jellies look divine! You could eat the baby dandelion greens as well. I use them as a cooked side dish or raw as a salad with baby lamb's quarters, another "weed" in most peoples eyes. I see good food!

    I learned something new from you, never had seen dandy jelly before! Violet jelly is elegant and oh so yummy! I grow many violets because I love them raw too.

    Thanks for 2 great ideas for a bounty of eats that are just under our feet.

  2. That is so cool! I have an abundance of dandylions too! never thought about turning it itto jelly, and the violets one of my girls would just love the color. don't have any violets though, but thanks for sharing the idea, makes my mind think huuuummmmm, I might just have to try that!!

  3. No violets?!?!! Seriously? Well, have I got a deal for you! I can hook you up!


So what's the view from your world about that? I'd enjoy hearing it.