OK, before I get started let me just tell you that it concerns me, actually deeply horrifies me, that most food available to us in our standard American grocery stores is tainted. There are all sorts of ingredients of questionable origin, unnatural dyes, extenders, sweeteners, and packaging that are harmful to humans – yet served to us as food. Unlabeled genetically modified fruits, vegetables, meats, and fish are available to purchase and consume. There are caged, beakless chickens who never see the light of day laying our eggs. There are vegetables that have been grown in soil depleted of any natural nutrient, sprayed with chemicals, and shipped across the world to us in little plastic boxes. I feel it is our job to seek out and support natural foods in any way we can. Shop at Farmers’ Markets. Grow gardens. Buy a share in a local CSA (Community Supported Agriculture). Wild harvest what you can. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if every public school across this great nation had to grow and preserve the food they served? Think what a wonderful skill set that would impart in our students. Think of the ripples.
Blender or Food Processor (a big knife and elbow grease works just fine too)
10 ½ Pint Canning Jars (or 5 Pint sized jars) with covers
Measuring Spoons and Cups
Large Soup Pan or Equivalent
Small clean dry cloth (washcloth will work)
10 half pints (or 5 pints)
1 Pomona’s Universal Pectin kit
4C. Dandelion Blossoms
1C. Fresh Squeezed Lemon Juice
4TBSP Freshly Grated Ginger Root
Wash the jars and covers in hot soapy water and let dry.
Rinse Dandelion Blossoms in cold water and measure them into a blender canister. Add water and blend just enough to break up blossoms. Pour that inot a large saucepan. Add Lemon Juice, and 3 tsp. calcium water (from Pomona’s Universal Pectin kit). Stir well.
Measure Sugar into separate bowl and stir in 3tsp Pectin (from Pomona’s Universal Pectin kit). Stir well to mix evenly.
Heat Dandelion Mixture to a boil. Add Sugar Mixture and stir vigorously for 1-2 minutes to be sure the Pectin has completely dissolved. Continue stirring and return to boil and remove from heat.
Fill jars to ¼” of top. Wipe rims clean with clean dry cloth and screw on lids.
Put filled jars in a pan full of boiling water that completely covers them and boil for 10 minutes. Remove jars from water and let cool. Jam will continue to set as it cools for up to 24 hours. Check seals to be sure lids are sucked down. Jam (preserves) will last for months on the shelf and about 3 weeks in the fridge once opened.