Dandelion Jelly

Dandelion Jelly, or as a friend of mine calls it “Yard Lion Honey” is not your typical seasonal treat. While it is referred to as a jelly, its really much more the consistency of honey or agave syrup. This is the way it really is supposed to be.  Dandelion Jelly is a seasonal treat among Amish and Mennonite and truly lives up to the “Use what you have” standard.

My favorite way to use Dandelion Jelly is in tea to replace honey.  I also use it on breads and baked goods and with buttered biscuits or in grits.  Pretty much anything you think of using honey for, you can use Dandelion Jelly.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 4 cups of (packed) dandelion blooms separated from all greens.  This is the labor intensive part.
    • 1. Your blooms need to be fully opened and full of “fragrance”. The bigger the bloom the better.
    • 2.  NO SPRAYING OF ANYTHING.  Blooms must be from an all natural not bug spray, fertilizer spray, weed spray, etc.
    • 3. Blooms must be fresh and separate best within minutes after picking them.
    • 4. NO GREENS are to be left with the bloom “fluff” the greens will be bitter.

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  • 4 cups of water
  • 4 cups of sugar
  • 1 box of low sugar natural fruit pectin
  • Yellow food coloring

SUPPLIES:

  • A large pot for Jelly Making
  • 5 half-pint canning jars with rings and lids
  • Water bath canner
  • Candy thermometer
  • Fine strainer tiny, tiny, tiny holes!

DIRECTIONS:

  1. After perfectly shredding your dandelion blooms to a bowl of dandelion petals. Measure out 4 cups of petals.
  2. Boil all 4 cups of water  in your jelly pot.
    1. We are beginning the process of making your “tea”
  3. Once up to a boil measure ot 2 cups of petals and put directly into the boiling water, stir in.
  4. Let boil for about 5 minutes.  Take off the heat, then let steep for 20 to 25 minutes.
  5. With your strainer over a large bowl, pour the water and dandelion petals through the strainer.  Press the dandelion mush to get all the water out.  The water will look “dirty” it’s supposed.  The Dandelion mush can go to your chickens, compost bin or garden.
  6. Put the water back into your Jelly pot and bring back to a boil.
  7. Repeat the process with the next 2 cups of petals.
    1. put petals directly into the boiling water, stir in.
    2. Let boil for about 5 minutes, Take off the heat, then let steep for 20 to 25 minutes.
    3. With your strainer over a large bowl, pour the water and dandelion petals through the strainer.  Press the dandelion mush to get all the water out.  The water will look “dirty” it’s supposed.
  8. Put 3 cups of water BACK into your Jelly Pot and bring to a boil.
    1. I personally use any extra tea to add to kombucha brewing or save for the next batch of dandelion jelly.
  9. Add in your 4 cups of sugar and the pectin and bring to a boil. (I actually use 2/3 of a cup of natural pectin which I get in bulk from an Amish store instead of using mass produced boxed pectin).
  10. Have your candy thermometer in your liquid.
  11. When your thermometer gets to 250 degrees F, start your timer for 7 minutes.
    1. If you start foaming (and you will) add a pat of real whole butter as with any jam to deaden the foam.
  12. Once your time is up, remove the liquid from the heat.
  13. Add in 2 to 3 drops of yellow food color to intensify the golden color (the more pollen in the blooms the brighter the color will be).

CANNING & PRESERVING

As with anything made in season, its nice to stock up during God’s bountiful season, so you will want to preserve for the months when dandelions no longer bloom in mass amounts.

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Prepare your water bath or steam canner as directed.
  2. This recipe makes 5 half-pints of jelly so sterilize and prepare 5 half-pints, I usually have 1 or 2 4 ounce jars “just in case” ready to go as well.
  3. Prepare your lids and make sure you have good fitting rings.
  4. While your canner is getting ready fill your jars with the jelly leaving 1/2 inch headspace.
  5. Wipe down the rims of the jars with a wet warm towel.
  6. Place your rings on your jars.
  7. Tightly screw on the rings (not like Samson tight, but nice and tight).
  8. Once your canner is ready, place your jars in the canner.
  9. Water Bath or Steam Can for 15 minutes.
  10. Remove from the canner and let rest for 24 hours.
  11. Hearing that wonderful “POP!” letting you know that the jar is sealed, should happen fairly soon after the jars leave their hot canner.
  12. Let your jars rest for 24 hours before storing in a cool place like your basement pantry.

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I hope you enjoy this new seasonal treat and it finds a regular spot in your home pantry.

Until Next Time,

Mrs. Kay Rice

 

 

Sourdough Butter Biscuits

The best way to have your biscuits come out perfect, light & fluffy is to use sourdough starter in the ingredients.

Sourdough Butter Biscuits : Makes 6 – 8 biscuits.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of flour
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/3 cup of real butter — warmed to room temperature
  • 1 cup of sourdough starter (matured)

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
  • In a medium to large bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, baking powder & salt.
  • Cut the butter into the sifted ingredients. I use two butter knives to evenly “cut” the butter through the mixture.
  • Fold in your sourdough starter. Mix well.
  • Turn the dough out on a lightly floured surface.
  • Knead together until no longer “sticky”
  • Gently roll your dough keeping fairly thick.
  • Cut your biscuits out with a biscuit cutter. I use a canning jar ring, regular size.
  • Place on an ungreased baking sheet.
  • Bake for 12 min or until golden brown

This makes some of the lightest biscuits perfect for any side, meal or with jam & butter.

Rice Homestead Sourdough Butter Biscuits

Adding in herbs, garlic, cinnamon or other spices creates wonderful variations as well.

Until next time,

Mrs. Kay L. Rice

Pineapple Spice Bread

My husband comes up with the ideas, I make them a reality. This one turned out exceptionally well. Enjoy this newly created recipe from our homestead.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp ground ginger powder
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves
  • 1 cup crushed pineapple
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 2/3 cup oil
  • 1/4 cup real non salted butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup pineapple juice
  • 1 tsp real vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp rum flavoring
  • 1/4 cups sweet carrots shredded
  • 1 1/2 tbsp Bravado Spice Co brand Blueberry Ghost Pepper Sauce
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 3/4 cup Brown sugar packed

Directions:

  • Preheat oven 350 degrees Farenheit. Grease & Flour large loaf pan or 9×13 cake pan.
  • Sift all dry ingredients together into a large mixing bowl. (Not the sugars)
  • In a separate bowl whip together the wet ingredients.
  • Add in the sugars the to the wet ingredients and stir until well mixed.
  • Fold the wet ingredients into the large bowl with the dry ingredients.
  • Add in your carrots and crushed pineapple. Mix well.
  • Pour into prepared pan.
  • Sprinkle sugar down the middle of batter in the loaf pan.
  • Bake for 45 min at 350 degrees F.
  • Check the loaf with placing a toothpick into the loaf. No batter should come back on the toothpick.
  • If not done, bake an add’l 5 minutes then repeat the toothpick test. Repeat until toothpick comes back clean (not wet).
  • Remove from oven
  • Allow to cool on a wire rack in the pan for 20 minutes.
  • After 20 minutes, remove the bread from the pan and allow to cool, bottom up, allowing any additional “moisture” to dry.
  • Turn over, slice & enjoy.
The Rice Homestead Pineapple Spice Bread
The consistency should be that of a moist dessert bread.

Enjoy & until next time,

Mrs. Kay Lynn Rice