Gather Ye Dandelions While Ye May
Gather ye rosebuds while ye may,
Old Time is still a-flying;
And this same flower that smiles today
Tomorrow will be dying.
Excerpt from To the Virgins, to Make Much of Time. Robert Herrick, 1591 – 1674
Spring has sprung! I am preparing to make dandelion jelly, also known as dandelion honey because it tastes very much like honey!
In case you’d like to follow along, start collecting petals (assuming winter has passed where you are!). I’ll be making the jelly in a few days.
During winter, starch stored by some plants and trees is converted to sugar (this explains why maple sap is collected only at certain temperatures, along with a variety of vegetables).
What this means to me is that the very earliest blooms are going to have the sweetest flavors.
So start collecting as soon as you see dandelions coming up. You want to forage for the first blooms of the season if possible.
The greens of the dandelion will be bitter and you’ll want to remove as much of them as possible. This is one of those times having OCD comes in handy.:\
Separating the yellow petals from the greens is time consuming, some may find it tedious, but I decided to enjoy it.
I found it relaxing to just take my time and let my thoughts wander.
If you find it tedious and you have children, it may be a good time to teach them the value of 5 dollars for a job well done LOL.
Rather than do it all in one day, I pick for awhile, then process until I’m done with it for the day. The petals are wrapped tightly in plastic and stored in the freezer. Repeat daily until done!
I want to collect about 4 cups of PETALS, which means collecting at least 10 cups of dandelion buds. I’m gathering about a cup of petals per day, one day to go! (Once the rain passes!!)
Gather them when blooms are open, pulling just the bloom from the plant.
To process the blooms, use scissors to cut just above the sepals. Open out and lay on surface, removing the greens. I used a baking sheet to work on.
I’ll post detailed instructions with plenty of pictures next week!
UPDATE: Full post with instructions to make Dandelion Jelly.