Recipes flutter about on social media like flies to..well, honey.
I saw one such recipe as it floated by on the wings of one of my Facebook groups. It was a site I typically only half pay attention to, because some of the members are…well, a little….over-the-top. A little too focused on end-of-the-world, apocalyptic scenarios, if you know what I mean.
Anyway, I kept thinking about the recipe I saw. It was for ‘fake’ honey – a honey made from dandelions. A couple of folks had made it and swore that it tasted almost exactly like ‘real’ honey. And bonus – no bees are robbed in the process.
As I was sitting on our back deck, woefully looking at our neighbors overgrown back and side lawns, it occurred to me what I was looking at – a field of dandelions. Since I knew he wouldn’t mind if we snipped some, my daughter and I took a bowl and a couple of pair of scissors and gathered some for our test. We figured we will make one batch and try it – if it’s good, we’ll make more. If not, we haven’t wasted the time and sugar on a huge batch of ‘yuck’.
The recipe is pretty simple. 4 cups of dandelion petals (only the petals, as little ‘green’ as possible), 4 cups of water, one peeled orange (or lemon) in pieces. Bring to a boil for about ten minutes or so, remove from heat, cover and let sit overnight (Truth be told, I was impatient and only let it sit for about 6 hours).
Strain through cheesecloth, squeezing the petal mixture to remove all the liquid. Throw the petals and orange away (or in your compost). Heat the liquid and add three cups of sugar to a low (bubbling) simmer, for two hours. It will go from cloudy like this:
To a little more clear like this:
I’m not kidding – it really and truly smells like honey! It will seem ‘runny’ while it’s hot; not to worry, it thickens as it cools. You can either store it in the refrigerator or can it in glass jars for later use (just as you would real honey or jams/jellies). This single batch made about one quart.
Time for the taste test. WOW! Holy moly, it really DOES taste like honey! Even Her-Royal-Highness-the-Picky-Eater loved it! And, no chance of bee stings while trying to raid their home. Awesome! Definitely a keeper recipe, and I’m happy to have found yet another use for the poor ‘weed’ dandelions!