Wednesday, May 9, 2012

More Dandelion Experiments

"You cannot forget if you would those golden kisses all over the cheeks of the meadow, queerly called dandelions." -Henry Ward Beecher

I love this quote! What a delightful description of dandelions- golden kisses all over the cheeks of the meadow.  My latest culinary experiment with dandelions involves using the greens, something I haven't tried until now. The recipe I chose is dandelion greens pesto, and I got the recipe on this site.
What I find interesting is that you can buy dandelion greens in many market places in Europe. We are very fortunate that they are free for us! Another interesting fact is that you can actually buy dandelion seeds from some seed suppliers!

I harvested some dandelion greens from my garden and gave them a thorough washing. One tip  I heard was to pick the greens from plants that haven't yet flowered, as those leaves are less bitter.
Yes, this unappealing glop is the dandelion pesto, but it actually tastes pretty good! Dandelion greens are more bitter than basil, so don't just eat this by the spoonful! But spread on something, it has a nice taste. Strong, but nice.

And that brings the total dandelion recipes I have tried to 4. Dandelion syrup (my first foray into dandelion cuisine in 2010), muffins, cookies, and now pesto. I think my favourite has been the muffins. I think I will try to make some salve next, as I just found this recipe! And after that some dandelion wine, once I can recruit someone who knows a bit about making wine and bottling it!

On a non-dandelion related note, Spring is coming along beautifully. I finally have fresh cut flowers in the house again.
We made a raised bed and planted some strawberries. Our yard will now produce strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, apples, and cherries. Our onions are doing great (planted last Fall), and hopefully our potatoes will sprout. We also have hopes for beans, peas, lettuce, kale, tomatoes, zucchini, pumpkins, and a few herbs. My chicken coop garden is mostly planted now.

The sun is apparently rising around 4:30 am (I haven't verified this myself) and it is setting late. I took this picture at 10pm last night. I love the long days so much!

My tomato seedlings are doing excellently! It is just about time to move them up into the next size pot.
Boos likes to use the seedlings to hide her from the birds outside. She likes to stalk them from the "bushes."
Poor Boos. Tortured by the hummingbirds just out of her reach.
The hummingbirds are thankful for the glass door that separates them from the cat. Actually, let's be honest, nothing distracts them from their food! They are out in full force now, draining that feeder! Every few minutes I hear their bumblebee buzz as they swoop up to the feeder. Soon they will get overly competitive over the feeders and make it scary for us to be outside!
Do you have hummingbird visitors too? How are your gardens growing?

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