In the past week or so, the dandelions in our area have literally exploded onto the scene. Drive down any road near our house and you will see yards littered with them. It's pretty hilarious that I bought Anthony a tool that he asked for to remove them one by one, only to wake up the next morning and see thousands of them all over our property.
I love the pop of color everywhere. I also know that dandelions are very important for bees after a long and cold winter, so at least they are actually doing something, not just pissing Anthony off. The very same day that we woke up to our dandelion infestation, I got an email from a blog I follow, Pioneer Settler, with a post dedicated to making Dandelion Tea. (read it here) What great timing! I began to research all of the things I could make with these pesky weeds and actually got excited to "harvest" them.
It's important to note that none of these dandelions were treated with any kind of chemical, fertilizer, etc. I was sure my neighbors thought I was a complete nut job trying to remove the thousands of dandelions, one by one, while sitting in the grass with Gigi, listening to music. But they came over and asked if I was going to try to make dandelion wine with my flowers and I told them that's EXACTLY what I am going to do, amongst other things. Dandelion Wine? Yes, that will be the first thing I try to make. According to most of the recipes I've read, I won't be able to see how this experiment works out for a few months, due to the fermentation process. I'm going to use this recipe. Dandelion Salve! So, I realize that "salve" is a disgusting word, but hear me out on this one. Apparently dandelion oil can help sooth achy muscles and joints, and believe me, we've got plenty of those going on over here. I'm going to use this process from Montana Homesteader. I found recipes for Dandelion Lotion Bars and Dandelion Lip Balm. I'm willing to try all of these as well. I'm pretty good at procrastinating and would much rather do some experimenting in the kitchen, rather than organizing and putting everything away.(see kitchen remodel, here)
Gigi sleeping on the job
I gathered and filled a bus tub about 75% full and left them to dry in the garage. Tomorrow I'm going to start on the next steps; making sure they are all dried out, removing any stems and dropping them in oil to start the infusion process. I'm not too concerned if none of this works out. This is what the field looked like after I sat in it and picked flowers for 2 hours.
Anthony says that his Grandmother used to use the greens in salads, and I found a fantastic recipe for dandelion fritters. Like I said before, we're both definitely up for trying just about anything, and why not since we have an unending supply of these babies?