Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Dandelion Jelly

I went searching for my dandelion jelly recipe this week, found where I had written this post on my old blog over six years ago..thank goodness for blogs, they save tons of time...so here is the old entry....

The Bee

March 30, 2006

Such a beautiful, warm day today, with a hint of rain in the air. The Dandelions are in full bloom, and I decided to try a new recipe for Dandelion Jelly. I can remember my Grandma Parks picking the young, tender shoots in the Spring, and she would fry them in bacon grease with potatoes, and what good eating that was, back in the little coal mining town of Lloydell, Pennsylvania. My thoughts often drift back to that little town and living on the farm with my grandparents. I would climb the hills in seach of wild strawberries, dandelions, elderberries, and look for jack-in-the pulpits at an underground spring. I have always been a loner, and would play in the barn and the fields. I would try to save the kittens. My grandpa hated them and would get rid of them, so I would hide them in the haystacks or where I thought they would be safe, but he always found them. He would make me stand and watch as he drowned each one, one at a time, in a bucket of water. I came to despise him. Tears would not help, he was the adult and I was the child. My grandma was the love of my life. I still can see her cooking with her apron pinned on her dress. She was always special in my life.

As I pick the dandelions, I think of my childhood friends, Anna Marie Royko and Cecelia Ann Snyder. We all walked to school every day, from Lloydell to Beaverdale. a great distance for us. We would take the dandelions when they were at seed, and blow them at each other, sending parachutes of seed everywhere. We would giggle and laugh, helping them to grow again in their yellow splendor.

Today as I picked the dandelions, a bee kept following me. Every flower I picked, there he was. I would lightly brush him away. He didn't try to sting me. His legs were heavy with pollen, and he was working so hard. I watched him flit from flower to flower. He was content to be doing the job the good Lord intended for him to do on this earth. I, too, need to be content, do the best job I can before I take my dirt nap. Funny how a little bee can bring back so many memories. I just went along singing as I picked, “Bee all that you can Bee”.

Dandelion Jelly

1 quart packed yellow blossoms (take off all the green parts)

1 quart water

1 3/4 0z. package pectin

2 Tablespoons Lemon Juice (fresh)

4 1/2 cups sugar

A couple drops of yellow food coloring

Boil the flowers in water three minutes. Strain through several layers of cheese cloth. (3 cups of juice)

Add pectin and lemon juice and bring to a rolling boil.

Add sugar and food coloring.

Bring to a fast boil and boil 2 minutes. Pour into sterilized jars.

Makes 4 1/2 pint jars

Dandelion Jelly has been called "Poor Man's Honey"....it has a very sweet, mild flavor of a diluted honey....and they are free for the picking...How the Lord watches over all of us...Spring freebies...LOL