“i’m just a dandy-lion”

how to make dandelion wine? take one best friend, one little girl, a fuzzy stubborn dog and yourself, and walk up to a city park after a month of rain on a beautiful sunny saturday morning. bend down in the dewey grass, watch out for dogdoo, and pluck the little yellow heads and put them in your cloth sack. when your sack feels soft and heavy, check your hands to see if they are golden and check your ears to see if they are pointy.  if they are, then you probably have enough and you should head back home to have a snack.

make sure you have all the other ingredients (including real wine yeast) and then spend the next four meditative (otherwise known as tedious) hours separating out the petals from the green. (i have developed a technique…just ask!).

make sure you take breaks to eat more snacks, to feed the baby booble, to laugh and stretch and have your friend take a snooze and return phone calls.

(shane and our little mouse cohabitator.  grandma mcwhiskersons  snoozed behind the computer while it was playing music.)

it’s best to begin the alchemy of flower infusion after the sun has gone down and you are totally tired and wondering why you thought this was a good idea.

let mixture steep overnight.

the next day, spend an inordinate amount of time straining the mixture through a coffee filter. enlist your skeptical boyfriend to help. boil the liquid again to kill off any unwanted organisms and then let mixture cool down.

once you reach the point where you have checked under the pot several times to see if the flame is still on because whythefrick hasn’t it cooled off yet, separate out a cup of the golden sunshine and add that little special packet of yeast.

watch the yeast come to life and begin to burp and fart and make bubbles. add it to your bigger pot, cover it up and wait another day. don’t lift the lid! but if you do, you’ll notice that it has started to become carbonated.

the next day, decant the wine into sterilized jars, put them in a dark place to do their magic and wait.

next update? three weeks!

here is the recipe we used, a combination of several after doing research:

8 cups dandelion petals

4 qts water

juice of four minneola oranges

peel of one orange

peel of one lemon

juice of one lemon

2 lb sugar

1/2 lb golden raisins

1 packet montrachet dry wine yeast

that night, make home-made gnocchi, because you just didn’t do enough this weekend. eat in total exhaustion and celebration.

i hope your week is refreshing and magical.


8 thoughts on ““i’m just a dandy-lion”

  1. Wow, who’d a thought you were into to making your version of Hooch! Now if there was just someway to get to one of the Kentucky Hooch contests to see if yours would win, that would rock! When I was deployed to the Middle East during the first Gulf War, the guys would put grapes in bottled water for a few days to make their own brand of hooch. No booze aloud in Saudi Arabia, we got ways around them laws.

  2. Really enjoyed reading about your trip to Russian River – although I live in the UK I have driven through there a few times on the way to visit friends in Garberville. One of these days I’ll get to stop off.
    Really fancy having a go at making the dandelion wine next spring as the field in front of my house is usually yellow with them (of course when they seed I have a great many dandelion weeds to contend with)
    Will go and read some more of your blogs – thanks

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