Sunday, June 9, 2013

Cold Toddies from the Unkempt Summer Lawn







Burned into the forevers of the internet is the satellite image of an immaculately kept sprawl of earth, mowed down tight and cleaned up right, as if she knew she was being world wide web mapped that very day. And it's quite unfair really because if you were looking for said sprawl of earth, whether driving by or flying high, you certainly would never find her based on those pictures alone. It's kept a wooly mess of wildflowers and weeds thanks to too few hours in the day, inclement weather, and a broken lawnmower. Guilt was heavy when she first started to grow out her green and yellow, pink and purple hairs, but then there were the dandelions who gave way to fritters and pestos. The wild chives were there, too, lending their spice to nearly every meal. After that came the buttercups and clover and lupin and wild irises. Saturday she surprised the slowly-but-surely-path-making people of the place with oxeye daisies- good for a salad, good for a pretty jar. So, I guess it could be asked, is it really in the best interest of those learning the land to mow her down before she really puts forth all she has to offer? I should say not.


Red Clover Tea with Whiskey

Both red and white clover can be used for this recipe. Clover is most easily identified by the white V shape on their green leaves. As I'm not there to identify plants with you, please consult additional sources if you are unfamiliar with clover. It's not nice to hold me accountable for foraging missteps when I can't throw in my two cents! Never harvest clover from patches near the road or from areas where your animals spend a good deal of time. When you're harvesting clover seek out the brightest flowers as those will have the best flavor. Leave those not fully bloomed alone and avoid blooms that have begun to brown. For those interested, check out the fantastic health benefits of red clover here.

5 cups clover blossoms
20 cups water
1 1/2 cups honey
3/4 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
whiskey, optional

Gather clover blossoms from the yard. If you aren't able to harvest five cups of blossoms use the recipe of 1 part blossoms to 4 parts water and adjust honey and lemon to taste.

Remove any remaining leaves and stems from clover blossoms. It's pest to do this part of the job outside if you're able because it's during this process that any remaining bugs  usually flee the blossoms. Place blossoms in a large colander and rinse with cool water.

In a large pot bring blossoms and water to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from heat. Add honey and stir until dissolved. Allow blossoms to steep and liquid to cool for a few hours or, if you have the time, overnight.

Add lemon juice, ladle into jars, and chill. Serve with whiskey or enjoy as is. Both are dangerously delicious.

27 comments :

  1. This is awesome. Our lawn is a sea of clover.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I can imagine this tasting delicious as a warm drink (it's winter here, I'm craving warmer drinks). Trying for a baby so I will have to omit the whiskey but I'm keen to try out the non-alcoholic version. Thank you for sharing
    Bella xx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well, if you can get your hands on some clover it can be aid in fertility! Look into it. :)

      Delete
  3. Wild and free is always best! I stumbled upon your blog and love it! We are actually saving to move to Maine as well (hopefully in a year or so) and eventually hope to have a small farm. We were up visiting a couple weeks ago, as well as scouting for places I can sell my art and we can't wait to be back up there already!!! On another similar note, I was harvesting wild clover the other day and just posted a little post about it tonight on my blog!!! Such a wonderful plant :)

    xo
    Brittan

    www.littleowlarts.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'll have to check out your post! Good luck on the farm hunt- I know how trying that can be. :)

      Delete
  4. Love this! I've always loved hot toddies, but had never thought to enjoy a cold one:) Beautiful photos...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It was an afterthought.. like after I tasted it I realized I had essentially made a cold toddy. SO GOOD! And thanks. :)

      Delete
  5. coooool i'm going to try to make this

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. awesome! let me know how it goes.

      Delete
  6. I need to smother that child in kisses and hugs.

    ReplyDelete
  7. This sounds delicious! I might have to venture out of the city and find me some clover...Beautiful blog btw, I love it.

    ReplyDelete
  8. These photographs are gorgeous. I love your wild garden and may I suggest you keen (even a part of it) that way just for the joy of it and the pleasure of your little child. Thank you for posting these beautiful pics.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, we have not much intention of changing it. I think around the house we might mow for appearances sake but everywhere else is going to wildly rugged.

      Delete
  9. Don't you just love spell-check. I meant to say 'keep' your lawn that way.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Fantastic! We keep a large portion of a yard this way. We like to see what blooms and grows. Last year we managed to make 2 batches of dandelion wine which we'll be able to try this year from our unkempt yard! <3 Love this post.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. awesome! you have me wondering if I could make clover wine.. I'll have to look into that.

      Delete
  11. Awesome. My mom's yard was super shaggy when we first arrived this past week and we loved the buttercups etc... then it got cut and rolling in the grass was pretty great too. I was actually amazed by the transformation! No hard alcohol for me just yet... but I bet James would love this- yum.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The tea version for you, then! Red clover is great for women and uterine health. You may just want to go a clover pickin'!

      Delete
  12. The unkempt lawns, they are the best kind! You have all the same flowers as us. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. nice! and I agree.. I just always worry our neighbors disapprove because they keep EVERYTHING very clean cut.

      Delete
  13. your new recipe posts are an inspiration...love! x

    ReplyDelete
  14. Darn that sounds so good. I love your yard like this. We have areas of our yard that are overgrown with clover, poppies, and daisies, and I FORBID my husband to mow them down. So I'm going to try this one. My clovers are just at the right point to gather and get all boozy! Thanks so much for sharing.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. hope you like it Ruthie! And I'm the same way.. there's a patch of ajuga at the end of our driveway that I refuse to allow the mower near. :)

      Delete
  15. I found your blog via this post on Pinterest (lovely, and just what I was doing with my toddler last week, sans whiskey). I noticed that you went to school in Boston and moved and miss it. Ditto here, albeit the move was two hours south. I miss that city. But I'm finding the wider spaces of the suburbs beautiful in their own ways. Hope to continue finding inspiration here too. Happy summer! - Kaci

    ReplyDelete