Happy Leap Day!

Walking through my garden this morning, I kept looking up at all the fascinating clouds in the sky. What an amazing day for clouds! The sky was full of swish and swirl clouds which floated across the blue providing plenty of opportunities for using up your camera’s battery! All kinds of graceful virga floated merrily overhead as well as other wispy cirrus forms decorated the blue sky.

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At our home, temps were in the upper 60’s under mostly sunny skies with a light breeze.  Dandelions are popping up everywhere.  I love these bright and cheery yellow flowers. And I don’t dig them up as weeds, unless of course I’m planning to use the flowers or leaves in a supper salad. Yes! You can eat dandelions.  All parts of them even.

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In my garden grass, the first crocus bloomed today as well.  What a joy to welcome these pretty little flowers which suddenly surprise us in the spring.

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And speaking of clouds again, there was one cloud that looked just like a dog leaping across the sky and another one which looked like a white tornado.  Both of these shapes came from virga cloud formations.  How fun to see cloud pictures in the sky!

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Feasting on Dandelions!

Eating dandelions has become quite a fascination with me this spring.

007I have always loved the bright yellow dandelion and occasionally pick its leaves to put in our salads, but in all my 68 years have never thought about eating any other part of the plant until I recently read this article about making dandelion jelly.  Dandelion jelly?!  My Slovenian grandfather used to make dandelion wine and from what I remember it tasted quite good.  Dandelion wine, dandelion jelly and dandelion greens in salads.  What next?

Yes, dandelion fritters!  Although I haven’t tried canning any dandelion jelly yet,  I do want to try dandelion fritters!  Deep Roots at Home blog has a recipe for this tasty sounding dish.

I told my daughter I needed to find a cookbook for dandelions.  It wasn’t hard to find one and I plan to buy this book The Ultimate Dandelion Cookbook by Kristina Seleshanko.  Kristina has a wealth of information regarding the healthful benefits and culinary uses of dandelions on her blog.

Happy dandelion feasting!

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Dandelion Jelly

Spring is coming and dandelions are starting to pop up in my garden.  The dandelion’s official name is Taraxacum officinale which means “the official remedy for disorders.” The whole plant is actually edible; flowers, leaves, stems and roots.  My Slovenian grandfather used to make dandelion wine.  Our family has enjoyed tender dandelion greens in salads, but dandelion jelly?!  Never heard of that.  Of course there are a lot of things I’ve never heard of and dandelion jelly is one of them until this past week when I got an email from Sharon Peterson’s delightful Simply Canning newsletter.  She sent out instructions on making dandelion jelly.  Here is the link in case you want to give it a try!

http://www.simplycanning.com/dandelion-jelly.html?inf_contact_key=bb9493b1be621348fc191714253d7160a8535ee189626b8b4e7cd429b1cdc2e8

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Cheery Little Dandelions!

For some reason I have always loved dandelions.  As a child I remember my father walking around our yard with his dandelion uprooting tool.  I always thought it a shame since they were such cheery little flowers on the green lawn carpet.  He said they were weeds.  In my garden I never pull up dandelions.  I still love their bright color and soft cheery faces.  Although my Slovenian grandfather used to make dandelion wine, I haven’t yet tried to do so, but I do pick some of the tender leaves to put in salads.  Dandelion leaves are known to contain minerals such as calcium, potassium, phosphorus, zinc and iron.  They also provide vitamins A, B, C, and D and act as a blood purifying agent.  Not only are dandelions an excellent food for us but they also provide food for bees as well.  I just saw a poster this evening which I will share with you regarding our dying bee population.

“What I need is the dandelion in the spring, the bright yellow that means rebirth instead of destruction, the promise that life can go on no matter how bad our losses, that it can be good again.” ~Suzanne Collins

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