Did you know this is a real thing? Not just a Ray Bradbury novel? Well…thanks to my trusty Backyard Homestead book, I knew what to do with the zillions of yellow blossoms that showed up on the front lawn last week.
When I first read the recipe I thought it would be easy. So I started with step one:
1. Collect the blossoms when they are fully open on a sunny day. Remove any green parts; they will impair the fermentation.
Clearly, I misjudged the latter directive…it is not as simple as plucking the blossoms and gently pulling the green base off. It takes patience and precision to cut, tear and peel the green bits from the petals. M and I watched an entire movie while conducting the tedious surgery, but at long last we had a crock full of yellow petals.
After that, however, it is pretty simple. You just stir the flowers into boiling water and let it steep for a few days.
Then you boil it again, along with some lemon & orange peel. Strain it, add sugar and yeast and some raisins and let it ferment for a few days. (I had to tear up some coffee filters and put in a colander — you’d think I would just have cheesecloth lying around…FAILED that homesteading merit badge.)
This is as far as we’ve gotten so far, and the concoction is bubbling away in my fancy crock (M bought it for my birthday) out in the garage. But the next steps seem pretty straightforward:
Once it stops bubbling, “rack” it (which means siphoning off the liquid into bottles, leaving the sediment), and let it sit for a couple more days then cork it. It needs to age for at least 6 months, but I have it on good authority that 2 years is the sweet spot for delish dandelion wine.
I’ll have an update when we get to the next stage…