I’ve loved dandelion since I was a little girl, and never could understand why anyone would prefer a swath of plain green grass to a lovely scattering of cheery yellow blossoms. Dandelion is so friendly and kind, why would you want to exterminate her? I still just don’t understand. Of course, I don’t understand our fascination with pristine green lawns anyway, but that’s a post all by itself. Needless to say, we welcome the dandelions on our shabby, tumbledown acre, and the hubster is as enthusiastic about them as I am.
This is a week of glorious dandelion profusion. All the blossoms around our place are huge and radiant, and seem to shout at you, “Look at me! Touch me! Pick me! I’m delicious.”
Monday I picked enough dandelion flowers to try the dandelion fritter recipe in Susun Weed’s Healing Wise. I discovered that the batter needs a lot more milk than the recipe calls for! But other than that, the recipe was simple, the results were tasty, and the hubster and the spawn were just as delighted as I was to gobble them down. Only next time I’ll make way more, because they really were splendid. We had them with butter and real maple syrup, but I’m considering making some dandelion syrup to accompany them.
I also put up an experimental batch of a sort of cordial/extract with the blossoms, combining them with 100 proof vodka, a few young leaves of lemon balm, and about 2/3 cup of raw local honey. I thought it might be a nice winter-time pick-me-up, and digestive aid, if it lasts until winter. I guess we’ll find out how it tastes in a few weeks; right now the vodka is still very sharp.
I’ve been reading about Dandelion flowers, since they’re dominating center stage in the back yard theater right now. Apparently, all parts of the dandelion are beneficial for the liver, and aid digestion. The flowers specifically beautify the skin, and an infused oil of the flowers is a wonderful massage oil to promote breast health. My (personal, inexperienced, emotional) perception of dandelion, on the energetic level, is that it encourages emotional expansiveness. Ideally, of course, this would be expansive joy; but so often we have held painful emotions inside for so long, that an alliance with dandelion might first bring about the release of years of pent up anger or sorrow. The good news about this is that once these emotions are brought to the surface, we can release them, and experience a deep emotional healing. Judith Berger addresses this quality of Dandelion in Herbal Rituals. I’m planning to create an energetic elixir which I hope will be useful for this freeing, flowing purpose. I’ll start this up on the new moon, and post more about it then. (Consider yourself warned that airy-fairy herbalism is forthcoming.)
Oh and last but not least–the pickled dandelions? DELICIOUS. I used the recipe from the e-book Wild Foods for Every Table, available here, but I imagine you could use your standard pickle recipe to good effect. The Drama Princess made faces when I offered her some, but after trying them her expression flooded with the light of desire. We will be picking more dandelion buds–but next time I’m enlisting everyone’s help. Could dandelions end up being an endangered species on my property? I really hope not . . . but if they do, our neighbor offered to let us pick his. Just in case, I made sure to distribute dandelion seeds yesterday, when I found one of the wonderful white seed puffballs in the field.