Dandelion Sima ‒ Voikukkasima

Gardening is about trying to weed out the plants that flourish in certain soil and conditions and trying to make plants that don't want to live in those conditions prosper instead. This summer we rented an allotment garden from the city for the first time, so we'll see if that's true. Already when seeding I did get this strong feeling we'd be at constant war with certain grass types that grow just awesome roots that snap every time you try to pull them out. Dandelion is perhaps more common plant that some people really try to fight with on their lawn. This is something I've never understood. I mean, they're really beautiful and may even make those otherwise awful golf yards look almost bearable. But perhaps that's just me who mostly likes yard that look like no human hand has ever touched them.

At least these "teeth of a lion" or "butter flowers" like they are called in Finnish can be quite delicious to get rid of. Their leaves can be used as salad leaves and their pungent taste gets often compared to that of salad rocket. Their roots can be roasted, ground and used as a herbal tea or coffee substitute. And those pretty flowers themselves, well, they smell and partly even taste like honey. Which is why I like to make a sparkly summer drink out of them.

- 3 l dandelion flowers
- 6 l water
- 1 dl farine sugar (or muscovado)
- 4 dl sugar
- 1 rhubarb stalk (or a lemon)
- 1 fingertip sized piece of fresh yeast

Right after you've picked the flowers, boil them and in three litres of water for about ten minutes. Fish out the flowers, save the liquid and boil the flowers again in a fresh batch of water. This time discard the flowers altogether. Chop the rhubarb and add it as well as the sugar to the liquid. Stir to make sure all the sugar has dissolved. When the liquid has cooled down to lukewarm, add the yeast piece. Let it rest for a day or so.

Next day, bottle the sima into clean bottles. You can also add a teaspoon of sugar to each bottle to assure they'll sizzle. Leave them in room temperature and let the extra pressure out every now and then so they won't explode. I personally prefer plastic bottles because of this. Check the taste after three days. Serve cold on a hot day.

Nutritional values / 6 l:
energy 2040 kcal
fat 7 g
protein 21 g
carbohydrates 491 g
fiber (not applicable)

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