My plan had been to collect flowers from the allotments off Harrogate Road, but all entrances were locked and since Julia died I no longer have access. I wandered around the adjacent park, where dandelions were sparse and mostly half-opened, and then down the hill to Gledhow Valley Road, where I saw an open area of grass dotted with points of gold. From here my spirits lifted and I picked six pints of flowers in the sunshine, feeling only slightly self-conscious as cars, joggers and pedestrians passed.
Back home, after all of Saturday's chores and a quintet rehearsal, I started taking the petals from the green base of each dandelion head. This was slow going and I had little time, so after doing about a tenth, I gave up and poured all flowers into the stock pot. I covered this with seven pints of water and put in 2 lbs 9 oz of sugar and the thin peelings of two lemons and an orange. This was brought up to the boil and I let it boil for either ten or twenty minutes (I forget). Meanwhile I minced half a kilo of sultanas and squeezed the juice from the lemons and orange and put these in the bucket. Once the dandelions had finished boiling I poured all this in too and let it sit overnight.
On Sunday morning I added a teaspoon each of nutrient, tannin and pectolase and sprinkled in the yeast.
After a very busy Thursday at work, getting everything done before a week's holiday in Cornwall and staying until 6:30, I put this into its demijohn. Its colour is a gorgeous mustard yellow and I get a good feeling about this wine.
|The gorgeous yellow doesn't look quite as biege as this!|