This post comes to the Mountain News courtesy of the Big Bottom Self-Reliant Community, an organization started by our old friends Anuttama and Billy Budd. Last year, the Budds moved to the Glenoma area, east of Morton, in the Cowlitz River Valley, farming ten-plus acres in a fertile section known to the early settlers as the Big Bottom.
Assisting Anuttama is a woman named Sybil and she’s responsible for putting this wonderfully simple recipe into our hands:
“Before you go out and try to rid your yard of those yellow dandelions sprouting up and showing their bright yellow heads in the sun, take some time to make some of those most beautiful big blossoms into wine. First thing in the Spring, before summer comes on, the dandelion blooms are at their most beautiful, with great big, fluffy and bright yellow flowers. Those are the ones you want to use when you whip up a batch of dandelion wine.”
BIG BOTTOM DANDELION WINE
(The old timers favorite)
- One full quart of blossoms. Carefully cutting off any bit of the stem.
- (Note: stems will make the wine bitter )
- One gallon of water
- One whole lemon cut in slices, but not peeled
- Two and one half pounds sugar (“A pint’s a pound, the world around.”)
- Place into a kettle on the heat and boil for 5 minutes.
- Remove from heat, cool to body temperature, and pour into a jar.
- Add two Tablespoons of yeast.
- Keep jar in a warm place for three days, until it ferments.
- Strain, bottle and cork tightly.
This recipe was taken from a local pioneer copy of Good Housekeeping book, dated 1890
Editor’s Note: I’ve got the carboys to make the wine, and the fermentation valve – but I don’t have many dandelions. If you do, let’s partner-up! – Bruce