Sunday, June 13, 2010

dandy jelly, kale fail, and a dwight schrute moment

the dandy jelly was a partial success. the flavor is yummy as all hell, but it didn’t set. this is my first time using pectin (which tastes like pixy stix, if you must know), and my first time trying any kind of preserve, so i’m sure i did something wrong. here’s the recipe. the end result tastes and looks very much like honey, and since mine didn’t gel it even has the consistency of honey, just slightly less viscous.


2 cups dandelion blossoms
2 cups water
2 ¼ cups sugar
2 tablespoons powdered pectin
1 tablespoon lemon juice

when collecting the dandelion blossoms, be very careful not to collect any bugs along with them. i shook each flower, blew on it and inspected it closely as i picked them. this takes a while.

in a medium saucepan, combine water and flowers then heat to a boil. boil for three minutes.

strain out the blossoms and discard, then add pectin and lemon juice to the liquid. bring the mixture back to a boil and add the sugar; boil another three minutes, stirring the whole time.

pour into jars. i didn’t seal mine, but if you want to seal yours, submerge the jars in boiling water for five minutes.

this kale has been growing for months and the largest plant is still only about five inches tall, with only five leaves:

what am i doing wrong? should i pull them up and start over, or just be patient? it’s red russian kale, seeds planted in march/germinated in april, growing in a raised bed where it gets full sun from about noon on, planted next to lettuce, watered frequently. it looks healthy enough, it’s just growing at a snail’s pace.

another basket of tasties from the garden today, including three rouge d’hiver lettuces, three radishes, a pak choi and:

my first chioggia beet. the inside is ringed like a target, as advertised.

i ate it raw. totally felt like dwight from “the office.” it tasted good, like a cross between carrot and radish. the greens, on the other hand, taste much the way certain beetles smell. blegh, beetle beets. not something i want to eat.

i had more fun photographing the beet than eating it...


Jessica said...

This might sound silly, but have you harvested any of your kale yet? It seemed that once I started plucking a few leaves here and there, my kale started to grow more quickly.

Shari said...

Thank you for visiting my blog! I just checked out your blog and I love it. I love your photography and the content. I think I am going to put a link to yours on my blog...

Emily said...

jessica--no i haven't picked any yet. i've basically got nothing to lose so i'll try that tomorrow. thanks for the suggestion.

shari--thank you, and i love your blog too!