About this blog

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Wales, United Kingdom
In autumn 2010, my husband Ian and I both quit our jobs, sold our house and left the flatlands of the east for the mountains of Wales. Our goal is to create a more self-sufficient lifestyle in a place we actually like living. Whilst Ian will continue to earn some money as a freelancer, my part of the project is to reduce how much we spend by growing and making as much of what we need as possible. The purpose of this blog is to keep friends updated with how the grand project is progressing, but all are welcome here. If you're not a friend already, well perhaps you might become one.

Monday, 23 April 2012

Dandelion wine

St George's Day is the traditional day for gathering dandelions to make wine and as the sun was out this morning, that is exactly what I did.


Grandma's chair surrounded by dandelions

I did have a look at a recipe this year, as the 'Ish forum's resident wine expert recommended the second recipe on this page, but then largely ignored it. I drank the last bottle of last year's attempt yesterday and decided that it's really rather nice, as a light, refreshing drink.

The recipe calls for two quarts - that's four pints - of dandelions to one gallon of water. I'm making a bucketful, which is two gallons, and last year I used all the flowers within easy reach on the north side of the house. This year I upped that a bit to all the dandelion flowers on my patch, north, south, east and even a couple to the west, growing up by the conservatory roof, plus a few from my neighbour's garden. That came to two and a half pints. I also had a few dried flowers left from last year, so I chucked those in as well. I added two (very) small lemons, after relieving them of their pips, plus a bit more lemon juice. Sugar quantity was a one kilo bag plus what was left in another bag - probably about three pounds in total.

I chucked everything in the bucket, covered with a kettleful of boiling water, then filled up with cold and sprinkled yeast on the top. That was lunchtime and it's not doing anything yet, but I'm sure there'll be bubbles some time tomorrow. I don't know how long I left it in the bucket last year, but I might actually pay attention to the recipe and give it no more than two days before straining into demijohns old pop bottles.

After that it's a matter of patience, racking into bottles, more patience, ideally another racking, and yet more patience before drinking it.

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