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Dandelion Jelly and Wine Recipes, Saving Flower Beds and Tomatoes in Trash Bags

Farming advice from MOTHER and her readers, including dandelion jelly and wine recipes, saving flower beds from scratching hens and roosters and growing tomatoes in trash bags to eliminate weeding.

| April/May 1997

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    Use your dandelions to make jelly and wine. The jelly has won blue ribbons at our local fair.

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MOTHER EARTH NEWS readers share their farming advice, fun tips and country folklore, including dandelion jelly and wine recipes, keeping hens and roosters from ruining flower beds and eliminating excess gardening work by growing tomatoes in trash bags.  

Here's a tip for practical weed control. Use your dandelions to make jelly and wine with these dandelion jelly and wine recipes. The jelly has won blue ribbons at our local fair.

Dandelion Jelly Recipe

1 quart dandelion flowers, well packed (remove all stem and calyx)
1 quart water
1 3/4 -ounce package pectin (MCP)
2 tablespoons lemon juice
4 1/2 cups sugar
3-4 drops yellow food coloring (optional)

Boil flowers in water for 3 minutes; strain through muslin for 3 cups juice. Add pectin and lemon juice, and stir all until pectin is completely dissolved (a few minutes). Bring to a rolling boil; add sugar and food coloring. Bring back to fast, furious, climb-up-the-side-of-the-pot boil, and maintain for 2 minutes. Remove from heat, quickly skim, and pour into waiting jars. Seal according to standard canning procedures. Makes about 4 half-pint jars.

Dandelion Wine Recipe

1 gallon dandelion flowers (minus stems and calyx)
1 gallon boiling water
3 pounds white sugar
3 oranges, cut in small pieces
3 lemons, cut in small pieces
1 ounce cake yeast stone crock or huge glass container, scalded

Put flowers in crock, pour boiling water over them, and let stand for three days, stirring a couple of times a day. Strain juice through muslin. Re-scald crock. Pour juice and rest of ingredients back into crock. Let stand for three weeks, covered, to ferment; stir once a day. Strain through muslin again, then bottle. Either cork bottles, dipping corked tops in melted wax to seal, or use a bottle capper. Makes about 12 12-ounce bottles per batch, and the recipe can be doubled and doubled again, depending on the strength of your back for dandelion picking.

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