05-17-2014 Journal Entry-Dandelion Wine Day!   Leave a comment

My goal today is to give all of you a tip.  After you get to a certain age never, I repeat never, make dandelion wine. I know that sounds stupid but let me explain.  Over the years I’ve made dandelion wine a few times and it always tastes so incredibly good you might wonder why I’ve only made it a few times. The main reason is the amount of work that goes into making it.  It’s a labor intensive project that becomes more difficult as you age.

Yesterday I was out in the garden just walking around and happy to see that everything I’ve planted has broken ground and looking healthy.  As I’ve mentioned in previous posts the garden is well underway and my batch of red wine is bubbling happily along. I knew I wanted to make a second batch of wine but really hadn’t decided what it would be.  As I was thinking and walking the mail lady pulled into my drive way with a package for me.  It was a small order of winemaking materials I recently ordered to replace what had been used on the red wine.  It must have been a sign from the wine drinking gods.

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As I opened the box to check the order I glanced out the window and noticed that my yard was covered with freshly blooming dandelions.  I decided at that moment to make a batch of dandelion wine out of those blossoms found in my yard.  I should have had my head examined but foolishly prepared for the project anyway.

I dragged a plastic bag, a pair of latex gloves, and an already sore back into the yard and got to it.  Over the next hour I harvested a few thousand dandelion flowers and filled the bag to the top.  I started out just bending over to get the blossoms but the sorer my back became the more I thought about calling it a day. It wasn’t long before I was forced to my hands and knees to complete the collection process.  One of my latex gloves had torn and that hand was now a bright yellow that took some serious scrubbing to remove.  I now had the hands of a thirty-year smoker.

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I finished up and returned to the house to try and work out the kinks in my back and neck.  Unfortunately the worst was yet to come. I wanted to make at least three gallon of this wine which requires five full cups of petals per gallon. The next step was to sit on the deck for another two hours with with a fresh set of gloves and a huge glass of icy cold Sangria.  I sat there and slowly and meticulously began removing the petals from the stems.  With my hands painfully cramping I finally reached my goal of fifteen cups of dandelion petals.

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“Dr. Frankenstein’s Lab”

To make a long story short, I returned to my man-cave, gathered the remainder of the required ingredients and finally had the batch prepared.  I placed the blossoms into  two gallons of filtered water and boiled them for twenty minutes making a beautiful golden yellow liquid.  I added the other ingredients as well plus seven pounds of granulated sugar and allowed the mixture to cool.  That took a few hours and it wasn’t until after dark that I was able to finally able to add the yeast. 

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If I’m lucking and barring any unforeseen catastrophes,  I should get at least 15-17 bottles of a gorgeous golden wine in approximately three and a half months.  Was it worth the effort? I’ll let you know as soon as I can use my hands again and I can bend over without screaming.

This had better be the best damn wine ever made.

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