I love spring. The world is waking up all around and with it a bountiful wild harvest seemingly surrounds us in all directions. Its times like these, when the mornings are still so brisk and the sun barely creeps out from behind the clouds that keep me going.
Running a farm can become mundane just like everything else and so finding ways to be adventurous helps keep things exciting and new.
And food sustains me. Not to mention the other people I share my house with, lucky for them I love to cook.
I didn’t always recognize how much I enjoyed food, it really was a slow revolution that began with a cow and grew into so much more (like eating weeds in my yard, ahem). Becoming full-time homesteaders/farmers completely changed how we live and our relationship with food.
The perfect example is the common dandelion weed.
And how unfair is it that this healthy little plant has been dubbed a weed when there are far far worse evil plants out there….like Bermuda grass or bind weed.
Dandelion makes lovely teas, honey like jams and oh-so-delicious dandelion capers.
I love capers of all types.
I may totally be guilty of eating them by the spoonful at night. A salty, guilty pleasure for sure.
And so, since its Spring and all and the little yellow dandelion flowers can be seen far and wide across our property (someones nightmare I’m sure but dang-they’re so versatile!) the kids and I went out foraging so that we could make some delicious dandelion capers, jam and perhaps find some other snacks along the way. They were on flower duty while I hunted and searched for the sometimes elusive buds.
We were even fortunate enough to notice the blackberry plants budding out. Its a special sight watching my two. Even my youngest will pick at plants he knows mom eats like all the yummy blackberry buds…a small treat that tastes like coconuts!
It took about about an hour (Don’t know about you but my kids get distracted by all the rad nature around and makes every task just a tad longer) to collect two cups worth of capers. They are now safely tucked away in my fridge. We will go back out over the next few days to collect enough to have a few small jars to put up.
Dandelion capers are pretty easy. I think the hardest part is finding enough to make it worth your time. If you have at least a cups worth, you have enough for a small little jar-the perfect topping for fish, salads (especially potato salad) and such. The ingredients are super easy: Salt, Dandelion buds and Champagne Vinegar.
A few words about selecting dandelion buds- you want the smallest, tightest little buds you can find. If they are open at all or loose they can still be made into capers but they may become soft and bloom more.