Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Dandelion Syrup

I've decided to discontinue my vegetarian blog because... well, I have a husband, 3 kids, 2 dogs, fish and lots of housework that isn't getting done. I just don't have the time to maintain it. Instead, I plan to share any extra special recipes -- like today's recipe for dandelion syrup -- here.

My dandelions a couple of weeks ago
A few weeks ago, I was inspired by all the dandelions in my yard. After a long gloomy winter, their small sunny faces delighted the eye. I wanted to capture that sunshine in a bottle.

I started Googling recipes for dandelion wine, but I quickly decided that I really didn't want to start another hobby. I could picture myself quickly getting sucked into all kinds of winemaking paraphernalia. However, during the course of my research, I stumbled upon a recipe for dandelion syrup. I knew that's what we had to do.

We don't treat our yard with any chemicals, so I knew the dandelions were safe for consumption. Altogether, my younger son and I picked over 200 dandelions and then prepared them according to the recipe on (Even if you don't try the recipe, check out the site. It's one of the most gorgeous blogs I've ever seen.)

At first, I was a bit disappointed in the syrup. Although it had a lovely glow, it really just tasted like a sugar syrup with a very faint herbal undertone. I bottled it anyway and let it sit overnight.

The next morning, I tried it again, and the flavor had changed remarkably. It was mellower and the dandelion flavor was more pronounced. Happy! Happy! Joy! Joy!

My dandelions now
A couple of weeks have gone by, and I'm loving my dandelion syrup. Time has made really good things happen in my bottles. The dandelions in the yard are nearly gone, but my syrup tastes green and gold, sweetly herbal. It's flavored with my little boy's hands, the smell of springtime, and the sound of my baby laughing in the yard.

Since dandelion syrup is basically just a simple syrup infused with dandelion blossoms, you can use it just as you would any simple syrup. Try it as a drink watered down with ice and water, or in other drinks like lemonade or iced tea, in desserts, on pancakes -- the possibilities are endless!

Also, if you decide to try this recipe, follow the author's directions to pick a special spot. It's true. Every time you use your syrup, you'll think of the place you gathered your flowers. So select a location that fills you with happiness because your memories are exactly what you're going to taste.



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