Ah, Spring. The magical season that appears after a long, cold winter.
The air is fresh, birds are singing, and the flowers are in full bloom. It’s a time of growth and renewal. On the homestead, it means babies, watching the bees emerge from the hive, and new plants growing. Spring is truly here when the flowers are all in bloom. I can’t think of any flower or plant that I DON’T love to see in the Spring, to be honest. I do have my favorites, though.
One of the flowers I love the most is the dandelion. Truly, they are one of the most easily recognized flowers in the Spring.
From their yellow blossoms, to their deeply notched green leaves, the dandelion is a magnificent flower. In the Spring, the bright yellow blanket of sunshiney happiness covers my lawn. The flowers are a wonderful food for bees, who are winter weary. Dandelions can be made into wine, cookies, cakes and even pasta.
Of course, foraging for dandelions is fairly easy.
Most of the time, you just open your door, take a couple steps outside and there they are! If you don’t have a lawn, try looking for some at a park, on a hiking trail, or asking a friend for theirs. (yes, you want to be careful about them being potentially sprayed with chemicals-ask first! That would make eating dandelions dangerous, if they had chemicals on them.) My neighbors agreed to not spray them anymore, as long as I come get them, root and all.
I am always more than happy to oblige! I’ll come get you, little dandelion, and take you for my own!
I collect as many as I can, leaving 5-6 for each one I take. That way the bees have their share, too. Simply pop the yellow heads off the stem, gently shake to remove any insects, and add to your collection bowl. Snip a couple greens with your scissors, and save those for a delicious salad or pesto! Eating dandelions from yard foraging is truly a spring time treat.
The yellow blossoms have a delicate, sweet flavor that is almost like honey. They can be used a wide variety of culinary uses. They add just a light touch of sweet that is balanced by the other ingredients in the dish. Just make sure you pull only the yellow parts off, and not the green. The green stems can add a bitterness to your dish.
This dandelion honey butter is just the right amount of sweet, delicate, and yummy. Spread some on homemade bread, over bagels, muffins and even cornbread! It’s great even for tossing over pasta, or popcorn. It’s 3 simple, quality ingredients that make a delicious spread. Butter, honey, dandelion blossoms. You can just taste it right now, can’t you?