Let’s be honest– the real reason most of us became mothers was so that we’d finally have a small person throw open the back screen door on a warm, sunny day mid-spring and thrust a bouquet of dandelions into our hands.
Well, maybe not. But there are few tokens as beautiful and as simple as the sticky, crumpled heads of a fistful of dandelions shoved in the mouth of a jelly jar, and all mothers know it. It is an extravagant act of love, a winsome show of the big emotions that aren’t yet able to take verbal form.
Dandelions, to children, are the stuff of the heart. As such, they are symbols of love for Mommas, too.
This spring has found our side yard dotted with yellow flowers. Now, I know they are “weeds,” but what can I say? Every time I see a new dandelion pop up, I remember the look of toe-curling bliss my kids have after they offer one up to me, and hear me ask, “For me? Really?” The grown-up in me knows I’m supposed to covet an expanse of uniformly green lawn, but I just can’t. Some day, there will be no more just-for-me bouquets. I won’t wish the short season of their offering away in exchange for more grass.
Today, spurred on by childhood memories and a whole assembly line of dandelion bouquets finding their way to my lap, I pulled up an old recipe for cookies that incorporate the butter-yellow petals. Turns out, making a batch of these turned the investment of a few dozen dandelions even more of a labor of love for my kiddos. If you haven’t tried them before, I encourage you to dive it.
This is more about the process than the result, but hey– the result is yummier than you’d think! Employ your kids to collect the dandelion heads. Make sure the area hasn’t been treated with chemicals (obviously). After washing the heads thoroughly, show your children how to grasp the base of the green stalk, and gently pull the petals from the center. It’s even more fun than picking them!
Dandelion Flower Cookies
1/2 C oil
1/2 C honey
1 tsp vanilla
1 C flour
1 C oatmeal
1/2 C dandelion flowers (measure dry and intact)
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Blend oil, honey, eggs and vanilla.
Stir in flour and oatmeal. Add dandelion petals, removing all green. Stir until combined.
Drop by spoonfuls onto greased cookie sheet. Bake 10-15 min.
(Coconut oil is a bit too much in this recipe. I recommend canola or a blend of coconut and another oil.)