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Tired of Dandelions Over-Populating Your Yard? Make Dandy, Delicous Dandelion Jelly!

 

Photo: Homie Kates

THIS is the morning AFTER Homie sprayed weed killer on the dandelions in our yard.  I had asked him, “do you think this stuff will work?”   He answered, “YES, of course it will!  I know what I’m doing!!!!”

Um, ok…..what do YOU think?   Yeah, that’s what I thought.  Any ideas?  What is YOUR sure fire method for getting rid of dandelions?  My mother use to pay me a quarter per coffee container to dig them up by their roots.  But, look at my yard…I could work for hours and never make a dent!

I decided if you can’t get rid of them, USE em’!  Back in 6th grade, when my class had a field trip to Camp Isabella, we picked and cooked dandelions in butter, salt and pepper.  I can’t remember what it tasted like, but I’m sure I was too immature to actually enjoy it.

Have you ever had Dandelion Jelly?  I decided if you can’t kill em’, USE em’!  Here’s the recipe, let me know what you think.

DANDELION JELLY~Prairieland Herbs

You will need:

2 heaping cups of fresh dandelion petals (see note below – you’ll need to gather about 4 cups whole flowers)

2 C boiling water

1/4 C well-strained, clear lemon juice

4 C sugar

3 oz liquid pectin (Certo)

food coloring (optional)

NOTE: Look for fully opened flowers, the bigger the better, for ease of preparation. Of course do NOT use any dandelions that have been sprayed with fertilizers or pesticides!

We’ll want just the dandelion petals for this – not the whole flower head. You’ll get SOME green sepals, and that’s fine – but try to minimize the amount of “green” and have mainly yellow petals for your infusion. It works best if you hold the flower by the end near the stem, and trim the petals into a bowl or cup, with sharp kitchen scissors.

Pour boiling water over petals and let steep from 30 minutes to 24 hours. I infused mine for about 2 hours – until the liquid was almost room temperature. Strain through a fine sieve, reserving the infusion. If not using immediately, refrigerate up to 24 hours.

Place jars and lids on rack in pan or stockpot deep enough to cover them with about two inches of water, bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer, keeping the jars hot until ready to fill.

To make the jelly, stir lemon juice (I actually used lime, because that’s what I had on hand, and it worked quite nicely!) and sugar into reserved infusion in a two-quart nonreactive or stainless steel pan. Bring to a full rolling boil that cannot be stirred down. Add the liquid pectin and continue to boil two minutes, skimming any foam that may rise to the surface.

I decided to add a bit of food coloring – about 20 drops of yellow. I’ve also seen people use green, but prefer the yellow. To me, Dandelion Jelly is honey-like, in flavor, so between that and the color of the blossoms, a yellow-colored jelly makes sense to me.

Ladle quickly into jars to within about 1/8 inch from the top; clean each rim and threads of the jar as it’s filled, and place flat lid and ring on each before filling the next. Screw band on tightly and invert jar on tea towel for about five to 10 minutes. Jars should seal and lids should pop shut within 10 minutes as they cool. If they do not seal, you can place them in a hot water bath for 10 minutes or place in the refrigerator.

Sealed jars will last up to one year in a cool, dark place. Put any unsealed jelly in the refrigerator. it should keep about three weeks. Makes four or five half-pint jars.

If you use my yard, you can make several batches EVERY DAY, ALL SUMMER long!  Hope this helps not only take care of some of the dandelion population in your yard, but think about it, you’ll get a jump start on holiday gifts for your friends and co-workers, lol!!!

 

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