It is true that in the midst of everything—and there is a LOT of ‘everything’—I venture off the farm long enough to forage for urban weeds. Dandelion is one of the most pervasive weeds, and therefore easy to plunder. Did you know dandelion’s roots used to be used for a coffee-like tincture? No doubt you have heard of dandelion wine and a million other dandelion uses. You can eat the stems, roots, leaves, flowers and buds.
I find making a simple syrup a fun and quick way to use a bitter weed. To make dandelion syrup, simply put 1 cup sugar and 1 1/2 cups water in a pot and bring it to a simmer. Then add a few very large handfuls of dandelion greens, push them under the liquid, turn off the heat and let it simmer for half an hour. I strained it, and my sons made a few rounds of Dandelion Italian Sodas. James and I went straight for the mojitos:
1-2 T Dandelion Syrup
Juice from 1 lime (OR a lime ice cube; I freeze lime and lemon juice in ice cube trays… in this case I popped 1 ‘lime’ ice cube into the drink)
1 jigger of golden rum (actually, I just used one of those ‘mini’ bottles)
large splash of club soda
Garnish with dandelion, OR use the dandelion stem as a straw. Yeah, you heard me right. Somehow, drinking through a foraged weed straw has ‘urban hick’ written all over it. Banjo anyone?