We’ve been blessed with the most glorious weather recently, and given that we are being asked to stay at home, or within 2 kilometres of home, it has been a wonderful gift to help us enjoy our outdoor spaces with ease. I love being outdoors no matter the weather, but there is a certain joy in not having to put on multiple layers before venturing outside. For those who may not tend to spend much time outdoors, it definitely makes the option of time in the garden, or other open space, much more attractive.
Even with the heat, the boys next door were itching to light a fire, so it seemed only natural to find a use for that fire, since we didn’t need it for warmth. With an abundance of dandelions about, and given that we don’t mow a large part of the garden, I felt that we could pick a few without leaving the bees short. And since we were going to eat them, I thought the bees mightn’t begrudge us them either.
We set up camp and, with dandelions picked and batter made, went about cooking on the open fire. There is something deeply connective about picking our own food and cooking it outdoors, a link back to our ancestors for whom this would have been normal. With so much of life taking place for children inside these days, with school such a large part of their day, and technology enticing them to stay indoors once they are home, it is a gift to make time outdoors the norm while we find ourselves spending an extended period of time together in our homes.
So head out and engage with the nature that is on your doorstep. The world has asked us to pause, and reconnecting with the natural world is a beautiful way to do that.
Recipe for Dandelion Fritters
Pick some dandelions, keeping enough of the stem to be able to hold the flower for dipping and cooking, and give them a quick rinse before cooking. We made a batter out of buckwheat flour and oatmilk, but any flour and liquid would work. We measured by hand, you want a runny consistency to the batter, roughly 1 part flour to 2 parts liquid, enough to hold on to the petals but not so thick as to overwhelm them. Dip the dandelions in the batter and then add to a hot pan with some coconut oil (or whatever type you have at home) face down, allowing to brown. You can use the stem to lift them up and check on their progress, returning to the pan until the batter is a golden colour. While all parts of the dandelion are edible from the petals to the root, the green stem can be slightly bitter, so we ate the flower head and passed the stems on to the rabbit and guinea pig.
Served with a cup of herbal tea or fruit juice, this delicious and nutritious snack also continues our connection to nature. Happy cooking.