One of the best parts of running this book group is finding out all the unusual things, when I'm researching the book.
Is there really such a thing as Dandelion Wine? Why, yes, yes there is!
Here are some excerpts from some of the recipes. I'll put the links below. I'm not giving you the entire recipes, just enough to get the flavor (excuse the pun!) of making Dandelion Wine.
"Dandelion Wine is one of my favorite wines, bar none.... My wife actually planted dandelions in one of our flower beds, and the result was quite stunning when they bloomed en mass. Others look upon their leaves as salad or greens, and indeed they are quite edible raw or steamed until the flower appears, at which time its greenery becomes bitter." (1)
"If you omit the body-building ingredient, dandelion wine is light and invigorating and suited perfectly for tossed salad and baked fish...." (1)
"... The approaches to making dandelion wine differs enormously.... Some us (sic) the whole flower heads trimmed only of the stalks. Still others use the flowerheads trimmed of all greenery. Others will use only the petals." (1)
"...the wine is made from the flower petals only. Pick the flowerheads mid- to late-morning and then wash your hands (they get sticky while picking the flowers), sit in the shade and pull the petals off the flowers. Some people have told me they use the flower heads... without excessive bitterness, but I always depetal the flowers." (2)
"This is the traditional "Midday Dandelion Wine" of old, named because the flowers must be picked at midday when they are fully open." (2)
"Wash the Dandelion blossoms really good. Many ants or otherwise nefarious insects will object strongly at this point, however you must stay true to the recipe and carry through with a proper washing!" (3)
"Dandelion must is a milky yellow color. The milkiness comes from the pigments, pollent and other extracts of the flowers and the dense population of yeast.... After several weeks, the wine will "fall clear." When this happens, it will be over quickly and you will probably miss seeing it happen. In all the batches of dandelion wine I've made, I've only caught it happening once.
It will start at the neck of the jug or carboy. The wine will suddenly begin to clear as the pigments and yeast "fall." Within 15-30 minutes, the whole batch will "fall clear" and a thick layer of very fine lees will settle across the bottom...." (1)
"Enjoy, and hopefully the wine will help various memories from your hometown come flooding over you like the ghostly whale-winds that swim through the forrests (sic) of Illinois." (3)
Dandelion Wine (the book) is one of my favorite "go back to" reads. I can pick it up and just read a bit. It's also just nice to kind of remember bits, when you're having a nice time with family. I hope you've enjoyed this as much as I have!
(1) Dandelion Wines: Special Recipe Collection
(3) Dandelion Wine!