Friday, May 6
dandelion dyepot, tea, coffee
the day after we got back from hols was a bit dreich and i was feeling quite fed up with myself to be honest.
i really loved being back under the big skies, being at the coast and being outside for the whole day. i always feel a little twitchy and claustrophobic when i come back!
so i decided i should get out in the garden and pick some of the hundreds of dandelion flowers we returned to, and experiment with some natural dyeing - it's been on my to-do list for waaaaaaaaaay too long.
i'm sure the neighbours thought i was daft - out in the rain, picking the flower-heads off the dandelions! as well as being able to experiment with dyeing, it means the dandelions won't go to seed, so i'll hopefully have less weeds to deal with later on in the year.
here's the dandelion heads in the dye pot. it took a wee while to get to this stage - the flower heads had mostly closed over because of the weather, so i wanted to open out each one to make sure i wasn't committing any wee critters to a boiling pot of water.
just as well i was so careful, look at this wee fella ...
while i was online reading up on using dandelions for the dye bath, i read about dandelion tea. i kept a few flowers back, gave them a good rinse, covered them with water and simmered them for a while (i think it's supposed to be five minutes but i was so occupied with the dye bath, i forgot to check the clock).
it's hard to describe the flavour to be honest! i tried it both with and without honey and i think i preferred it without, it wasn't quite as bitter as i expected it to be. while i don't think i would drink it every day, i did enjoy it and would think about using it as a base for blending other infusions.
i also read about dandelion 'coffee' so a few days later, when the garden had dried out, i went back out to dig up the dandelions to get to the roots. the trick is to rinse, and rinse, and rinse until all the dirt is removed but it's taken me so long to get them to this stage, i'm not sure i can stand much more rinsing! i think i may stick to my jar of barley coffee in the cupboard.
progress report on the dyeing to follow!