Dandelions are in full bloom. Sure the leaves are edible and the flowers are bright and cheery, but dandelions have a bad rap as a nuisance. We have so many that I spent much of last Saturday trying to mow them down. Then I ran into my friend at a birthday party and she changed my perspective on the situation. Make dandelion wine!
I brought up the idea to Luke because he is the in-house brewmaster. He was down. So we picked a bunch of the flowers, washed off all the bugs, and now they are soaking in a crock of hot water for the next two days. Then we will add yeast, sugar (or honey?) and some citrus for flavor. It takes 6 month to a year for the flavors to develop. We’ll let you know how it tastes.
Has anyone produced wine at home from fruit or flowers? How did it come out?
As the Homegrown Food Challenge approached, Luke reached out to some of his favorite food bloggers for recipes using ingredients we grew right here in our back yard. Simply Life, a charming food blog with many seasonal recipes, suggested Eggplant Caponata.
Inspired by this recipe we set out to create a dish using only food we grew here in Massachusetts so unfortunately olives and capers were out. We substituted Nasturtium seeds for the capers because I’d read somewhere that the seeds were also known as “poor man’s capers”. They are slightly spicy. We also didn’t add the balsamic vinegar that Simply Life’s recipe called for. Instead we relied on the tangy acid of our very ripe heirloom tomatoes. We diced up all the ingredients, threw them in the skillet and let it cook for a while as we started making flour tortillas.
This recipe works great for the HGFC because it uses very few ingredients, all of which are on our list of staples. Flour, water, salt and oil. (The original recipe calls for lard but olive oil works just fine and it is probably better for you!) Basically, we mixed up the dough, divided it into balls, rolled it thinly, and threw it on a hot skillet. The tortillas puff up nicely and taste better with a little char on them.
All together this made a very filling meal. We drank home brewed beer and Luke toasted up corn kernels into little corn nuts for a snack. I thought the opposite might happen, but is it possible that I will GAIN weight on the food challenge? We’ll see. Special thanks to Simply Life for helping us with this recipe. We will surely make it again and again.
For our first HGFC breakfast we made scrambled eggs with onion, bell pepper, jalapeno, tomato, swiss chard, chives, and parsley. To go along with that we made 3 potato hash with onions and garlic. We used fingerling, red and blue potatoes in the hash. We served it with a toasted slice of home baked bread and our homemade ketchup.
This filling, hearty breakfast was the perfect way to start a dreary, rainy day. We both agreed we ate better this morning than most.