Tuesday B & I went foraging for dandelions by the canal to make some Dandelion Jelly. "WHAT? You are going to consume dandelions?" Yep, and here's how:
(Yield: 4 cups)
4 cups dandelion petals
4.5 cups sugar
2 tbsp lemon juice
1 box powdered pectin
Cut the green part off the dandelions and collect 4 cups of just the pretty yellow petals. Its easiest if you do this when they are open. Put the petals in a pan and pour about 3 cups boiling water over them. Cover and let sit overnight. The next day, strain the "tea" into a measuring bowl with a coffee filter to remove all the petals. Add more water to the tea so it equals 3 cups (after the petals are removed...just a reminder).
Put your jelly jars in a hot bath until time to fill them. Add the tea, sugar, lemon juice, and pectin to a large saucepan and boil for 2 minutes. Pour the hot "jelly" into your jars, leaving about 1/4-1/2 inch room from the top. Put your canning lids on then seal them in a hot water bath for about 10 minutes. The jelly should set once the jars cool down, so wait until the next day to eat!
WAIT, you don't have a canning pot with a jar rack? Well, neither do I and until I score one from the thrift store I won't have one. Use a LARGE stock pot, fill with enough water to cover the jars by about 2 inches. Here's where you can get creative and daring: fold up a towel and put on the bottom of the pot to keep your jars from rattling around or falling to their sides OR if you have round cooling rack that will fit, put that baby in there. Bring the water to a boil then add your jars, very carefully. Since you have already cooked the jelly the sealing stage will go quick...about 10 minutes. When you take the jars out, a few minutes later you'll hear a ping...that's a good sound! It's telling you that your jars are sealed and can be stored up to a year!
I paired the jelly with Feta Cheese and Wheat Bread: D-Lish! The jelly has a lemon & honey taste to it. If I were to try to sound like a foodie, I'd call the taste Regal. It is sweet yet tart and pairs well with other strong tastes...like cheeses. Of course you can put it on crackers or bread and gobble it up like that too!
From my homeschooling vantage this was a great opportunity for many "lessons:
- We took a nature walk along an historic canal
- Discussed Stranger Danger
- Foraged for edible plants
- Practiced Scissor Work & Fine Motor Skills
- Practiced Basic math with measuring out the ingredients
- Tried to practice Patience waiting for the jelly to set
- Quality Mommy & Daughter time!
Let me know if you try it and what you think!