Inspired by Jacqueline Durban (Radical Honeybee on Twitter and Instagram), I decided to make dandelion syrup. Two cups of dandelions will make about half a jar of syrup.
If, like me, you’re British, and your reaction to measuring in cups is “how much is a cup?” (in North America all the measuring jugs have cups marked on them) a cup is about 8 fluid ounces or 240 ml.
Yesterday I gathered about a cup and a half of dandelions from the back garden (even though there hasn’t been as much traffic due to the lockdown, I’m not using the ones from the front garden, in case they’ve absorbed traffic fumes).
When I went out again this morning, I gathered another two cups of flowers. So there will still be plenty of flowers left for the bees.
I gained a whole new level of respect for hunter-gatherers while doing this. I already respected them, but now I realize how much work is involved.
I also gained a whole new level of appreciation of dandelions. They’re so pretty. I’ve always liked them and their cheerful faces, and I think it’s a pity people see them as weeds.
I’m using this recipe from Herbal Academy.
The procedure is pretty simple. Pick enough dandelion flowers to fill two cups.
Snip the green bits off with a pair of scissors.
Add three cups of water.
Press the petals down into the water.
Add half a lemon.
Bring to the boil. Allow it to steep overnight.
Next morning, strain the petals and lemon bits out. You can use a regular sieve or a cheesecloth.
Then add two cups of sugar to the resulting liquid. Bring to the boil and simmer for about an hour to an hour and a half.
Once it’s about the consistency of maple syrup, leave it to cool. Then pour it into a jar.
Apparently it’s nice on ice cream and waffles and pancakes.
I was quite surprised that it is still possible to taste the dandelion after adding the lemon and the sugar, but it is.
Very important step: putting it on your pancakes and eating it. Yum! I was surprised by the consistency of the syrup; it came out of the jar in a sort of blob.