Dandelion Marmalade Recipe

by Kyle Wagenblast, Executive Chef

It’s that time of year again where, whether you love them or hate them, the dandelions are out in full force. When they start lining up for Mount Julian, we start lining up our pots!

 

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Dandelions are one of the first plants to really green up in the spring. They are also one of a few plants that are entirely edible from the flower down to the root. Typically we pluck the leaves and, yes, we have all had dandelion in salad. Boring!

So, what else can we do with this plant? The roots are often dried and used to make a coffee or herbal tea. The leaves, when young, are tender and great for salad, but another idea is to add them to a soup.

And last, but certainly not least, the flower! Vibrant yellow in colour, full of nectar, and essential for our bees. The flower is also the most fun to play with because there is so much you can do. You can fry them in butter, make fritters with them, dandelion wine is a popular choice, or you can even make beer. Today, we are going to make some Dandelion Marmalade!

Dandelion Marmalade recipe; foraging dandelions

Dandelion Marmalade Recipe

Ingredients

4 cups water
4 cups dandelion flowers, yellow and white part only (I picked 7 cups roughly to achieve this)
¼ cup plus 1 ½ teaspoons of pectin (about half a pouch)
4 ½ cups granulated sugar
2 tbsp lemon juice

Steps
  1. Bring water and dandelions to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 3 minutes. Remove from heat and let sit for 10 minutes.
  2. Strain liquid through a fine mesh strainer; you should get 3 cups – if not, add a little water.
  3. Combine pectin and ½ cup of sugar in a small mixing bowl and set aside.
  4. Bring dandelion water and remaining ingredients to a boil. Slowly add pectin mixture, stirring constantly and boil for 1 minute.
  5. Skim any foam that may have formed and store in air tight containers.
  6. Refrigerate till set, about 4 hours.
  7. Enjoy!

Note: The shelf life on this should be at least 2 weeks if heat sealed even longer.

 

Our restaurants serve food made with fresh, foraged, and locally farmed ingredients, all part of our Whole Hog food philosophy.


Hanging Baskets Plant Care Tips

by Bob the Gardener

Hanging baskets are a beautiful and versatile way to plant mixed blooms. They also make a great gift idea and, once planted, are relatively low maintenance. To keep your plants looking fresh all season, here are some of my care tips for hanging baskets:

Hanging Basket Maintenance
  1. Water often and thoroughly.
  2. Deadhead blooming plants (here is a useful article on deadheading flowers).
  3. In a mixed basket, replace plants as needed.
  4. Fertilize (see below).
  5. Cut back leggy plants.
Fertilization

Second to watering, fertilizer is the most important thing to keep your baskets looking great all season. By constantly feeding, you are ensuring that your plants maintain all the nutrition necessary to grow large and produce blooms. You should find your basket weekly with a water soluble fertilizer. I recommend using a 20-20-20 fertilizer (20% nitrogen, 20% phosphorus, and 20% potassium – the remaining 40% is chemically inert).

Learn more care tips and join Bob on a garden tour, held as part of our spring and summer recreation schedules.

 


What’s On This Victoria Day Weekend

The Victoria Day long weekend feels like the official kick-off to cottage season. Although it’s not yet summer, the countdown is on! If you’re hitting the road for the long weekend and headed to or through the Kawarthas, here are some activities and events for a perfect family getaway:

Bethany’s Victoria Day Weekend

Where: Bethany Park, Bethany (Google Maps)
When: Friday, May 17-Monday, May 20
Event Website

Enjoy activities such as fireworks, family BBQ, karaoke, the 29th Annual Show & Shine, petting zoo, parade, 33rd Annual Pie & Cake Contest, and much more.

Buckhorn Spring Craft Show

Where: Buckhorn Community Centre (Google Maps)
When: Saturday, May 18-Sunday, May 19 from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Event Website

Find over 75 exhibitors and artisans with home made products like clothing, jewelry, home decor, and more. Drop into the Crafters Crafe for homemade soups, sandwiches, and more.

Rotary Victoria Day Fireworks & Family Night

Where: Del Crary Park, Peterborough (Google Maps)
When: Saturday, May 18 beginning at 5 p.m.
Event Website

Fireworks, local entertainment, and a children’s program. Live music begins at 5 p.m. and admission is free.

Viamede Victoria Day Getaway

Where: Viamede Resort (Google Maps)
When: Friday, May 17-Monday, May 20
Event Website

We’re switching over to our spring recreation schedule which includes activities like fishing, farm tours, and bonfires with s’mores. Resort amenities include an indoor pool, steam room, games room in 1885, nature trails, and much more. Guest rooms and pet-friendly cottages.

Whetung Spring Art Show

Where: Whetung Ojibwa Centre (Google Maps)
When: Saturday, May 18-Sunday, May 19 from 1-4 p.m.
Event Website

Beat the tourist season and check out what’s new and exciting at the Whetung Spring Art Show. Their most popular artists will be on hand to display their craft and ideas.


Trout Lilies & The Joy of Foraging

by Ben Samann, General Manager

One of the joys of foraging is finding a community – countless happy little plants around us are known to many people as edible. So, when we hear of a new plant, we go online to find recipes, suggestions, and, importantly, conservation information.

A few years ago, we discovered trout lilies.

You’ve seen them, you just don’t know about them. They’re some of the first greens to pop up, and once they start, they’re everywhere.

It’s important to know a few things. They’re sweetest when they first come up, and once they flower, they turn a bit bitter. They’re slow to spread to new areas, but come back year after year in the same patch. The leaves are easy to harvest, and while the roots are a nice starchy snack, pulling that kills the whole plant.

We’ve been using them for years, mostly in salads (and as a source of vitamins on my hike home). There’s something magical about finding food just sprouting up in nature.

But we’re adventurous! No more “just put it in a salad!”

What are people doing with them? Off to the internet, Chef Kyle! Find some interesting uses! Foraging blogs are easy to find, and many write about how awesome trout lilies are. Recipes abound, but it was the same story: use them in salads, add them to salads, or cut them up and eat them in a salad.

…okay then. Thanks, internet. Off to the lab we go!

Dog with science experiment, captioned

Chef Kyle and I set to work. We pickled, in 3 styles. We jellied. We boiled, mashed, and served in a stew. We made sugar cookies. We candied. Dehydrated.

Interestingly, while this was going on, we were interviewing for a new sous chef. Mandy was coming for an interview to cook a 5-course tasting menu for us. She made a trout lily granita.

In each case, the trout lily flavour was incredibly mild, but always added something. Sometimes it was sweetness, other times we tasted the astringency (bitterness), and sometimes it just added a nice hint of green. But, it was interesting.

At this point, we have a bunch of ideas. We’ll see how many pan out, but there’s fun to be had. It’s an exciting year ahead!

Read more about our food philosophy and how we use foraged, farmed, and locally grown ingredients in our restaurants at The Whole Hog.