So I woke up on Friday morning to a terrifying realization: I am moving out of the country in six weeks.  I still have to call the shipping company!  Visit Rila Monastery!  Have a goodbye party at the school!  Make Tunisia hotel reservations!  LEAVE BULGARIA!  I’m about to enter a few scary, probably unemployed months in the U.S. and while there are things I will be happy to see/do/eat again, I am dreading a bit the return to the Real World, where my employment will not be based on contract, health care is a nightmare, and I have to find housing all on my own omigod.  Time to clear my head, time to take a walk.

I went up for a wander in the hills around the village and took a little bag with me to collect dandelion heads so I could make dandelion syrup, a recipe I saw on FX Cuisine that looked really interesting.  And cheap.  (Have to start cutting back – I’ll be paying insurance premiums soon!  And rent!  And…)  Apparently this is an old old recipe, and I admit I feel rather foolish for not having thought of it before.  You can put anything in a simple syrup – why not dandelion flowers?  So I collected a few handfuls, steeped them overnight, and now I’m drinking a beautiful sweet flowery ade that I only wish I had known of sooner.  And am maybe a little bit less stressed.

Dandelion Cordial

a few handfuls of dandelion heads
lemon juice

Remove green leaves from around flower heads – FX Cuisine suggested a knife for this, but I found it just as easy to twist them off.  Put them in a pot over high heat, with water and sugar, in equal amounts, to cover by an inch or two.  Bring to a boil, drop the heat down to low and simmer for 5 minutes, then turn off the heat and let steep overnight.  Add lemon juice (I’d say the juice of half a lemon should do for every two cups of water you used) and strain into a jar.  To serve, fill a glass halfway with the syrup, then top it off with sparkling or still water.

I’ll also proudly mention that I’ve been tagged for another award – the Arte Y Pico, from Elle’s New England Kitchen.  It says that folks who are tagged should pass on the tag, and I would love to, but I am reminded that many of the food blogs I read are the ones that are already super popular and don’t much need the boost.  So I’ll take it as a reminder that I need to pay more attention to blogs that don’t get 5000+ daily readers!  Thank you, Elle.