I spent the other day picking and shucking dandelions with some friends. We're going to make dandelion wine. I have no idea how it will turn out but I'll let everyone know in six months. This picture is of me shucking-recognize the shoes?
Here's the recipe we're following:
2 qts dandelion flowers
3 lbs granulated sugar
1 gallon water
yeast and nutrient
This is the traditional "Midday Dandelion Wine" of old, named because the flowers must be picked at midday when they are fully open. Pick the flowers and bring into the kitchen. Set one gallon of water to boil. While it heats up to a boil, remove as much of the green material from the flower heads as possible (the original recipe calls for two quarts of petals only, but this will work as long as you end up with two quarts of prepared flowers). Pour the boiling water over the flowers, cover with cloth, and leave to steep for two days. Do not exceed two days. Pour the mixture back into a pot and bring to a boil. Add the peelings from the four oranges (again, no white pith) and boil for ten minutes. Strain through a muslin cloth or bag onto a crock or plastic pail containing the sugar, stirring to dissolve. When cool, add the juice of the oranges, the yeast and yeast nutrient. Pour into secondary fermentation vessel, fit fermentation trap, and allow to ferment completely. Rack and bottle when wine clears and again when no more lees form for 60 days. Allow it to age six months in the bottle before tasting, but a year will improve it vastly. This wine has less body than the first recipe produces, but every bit as much flavor (some say more!).