Sunday, May 26, 2013

Dandelion Black Walnut Muffins--A Recipe

Every April our yard explodes with dandelions.  For several weeks they are everywhere.  Then suddenly at the end of May we are left with a field of fluffy dandelion seed heads and only a few blooming dandelions scattered here and there.  This year, with a newborn on site, we nearly missed our easy gather opportunity--in the past we've made dandelion muffins on a weekly basis in the springtime.

But on this cold and blustery weekend, Yub Yub and I collected what we could scavenge of the remaining dandelions, and the whole family hauled out the black walnuts from the basement and got cracking.

To make this recipe, separate dandelion petals from their green base--you want very little green, and the petals should be loose and individual--like soft yellow fluff.

2 cups flour
1 tsp salt
4 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup maple syrup
1 cup yogurt--plain or vanilla
1 egg
1/4 cup melted butter (1/2 stick) or 1/4  cup oil
1 to 2 cups dandelion petals
1 cup black walnuts (regular walnuts can be substituted)
  • Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  • Grease muffin tins.
  • Mix flour, salt, and baking powder in large mixing bowl.
  • Add maple syrup, egg, and yogurt.  Mix well.
  • Add butter or oil.  Mix.
  • Add dandelion petals and black walnuts.  Mix well. Separate clumps of dandelion petals.
  • Pour into muffin tins.  Bake 10 to 14 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean.
  • Makes one dozen.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Red Clover Vinegar and Vinaigartte

There are many methods of making flower or herb vinegars.  I started making clover vinegar when we started the foraging family project three years ago.  This recipe works well.

Fill a quart sized Mason jar with red clover blossoms. 
Add 2 cups white vinegar, 1/4 tsp salt, and 3 tbsp honey to small pot.  Boil.
Pour over red clover blossoms.  Let sit.
The next day strain liquid back into pot.  Boil. Add liquid back to flowers in mason jar.  Repeat for 3 to 7 days until liquid becomes purpley pink.
Store clover vinegar in a jar without a metal lid--the vinegar will destroy the lid. The vinegar lasts a long time--I've used mine for over a year.

Red Clover Vinegarette:

I play around with the amounts in this recipe (usually eyeballing it), but try this to start--adjusting the amount of any ingredient to suit your taste.

1/3 cup olive oil
1/3 cup red clover vinegar
1 tsp mustard
1 tbsp maple syrup
salt and pepper to taste

Shake well and serve over salad!

Where has the foraging family been?

 It has been nearly a year since our last post...what could we possibly have been doing in that time?
  • Thag began a new job teaching biology and physical science to high school students.
  • Ooga did a triathlon.
  • Thag wrote and published several articles in the awesome magazine Northern Woodlands.
  • Yub Yub started preschool.
  • Thag wrote the first draft of a full length novel.
  • Ooga had a baby!  
Yes, the foraging family has a new member--a beautiful boy--9 lbs 1 oz born in late April of this year.  He has yet to be given a cave name!