Aunt Lillian’s Dandelion Pancakes

May 7 2011

“Dandelions go to sleep early and wake up late, as should good children.”

I’m extremely excited to report that my yard isn’t the heinous mess I thought it was.

I know.  Try to recover from the surprise so you can keeping reading.  I assure you, no one is more shocked than I am.

See, what I thought was an unbearable (read: totally bearable and I wasn’t going to do anything to change it) weedscape is actually an edible garden.

Greg’s Aunt Lillian has saved us.  She writes:


Your yard looks very healthy; start feeding it to your children.

Dandelions, a wonderful food source, have saved whole villages from starvation and were brought over on the Mayflower.

In fact, before the 1800’s, people used to pull up their grass to make room for dandelions.

Dandelions are our friends.


I love it, love it.

Because I’m a mother, and, therefore, a protective freakazoid who thinks up apocalyptic scenarios in my spare time.  I often wonder what I’ll do when modern society collapses, and I’m forced to burn my dog’s dried poo for warmth (should’ve bought a bigger dog) and contemplate how much meat is on his bones (aaannnd again with the bigger dog… poor end-days planning on my part, I tell you.)

It’s not just me who’s a freakazoid, though.  Greg invents improbable scenarios, too.  For example, feel free to ask him all about exactly what he’ll do when terrorists take over his office building.  FYI, his office is in a two-story strip mall above a grocery store.  So it’s super, duper, extra likely that a terrorist will take over his office someday.  That’s why Greg has an executable plan that includes hiding in the ceiling and some form of jumping into a dumpster.

I mock now, but when the apocalypse happens, I’m going to have to apologize to Greg so he’ll share all the survival knowledge he gained from reading Robinson Crusoe and Mysterious Island.  That apology is going to suck for me.

Anyway, to discover that I, an inept gardener who once neglected a cactus to death in my college dorm room, have managed to plant an ENORMOUS garden that will keep my children from certain starvation… there aren’t words.

OK.  That was funny.  There are always words.  In this case, they are: hooray and yay!

So far, post-apocalypse, my kids are eating:

  • our lawn
  • blackberries from the adjacent field
  • scrub cherries from the towering trees that shed tiny, sticky, rocklike cherry pits all over my backyard, hurting my kids’ bare feet because I don’t force them to wear shoes even though I know no-shoe-wearing could result in an emergency room visit at some point in my near future
  • any animals we can steal from our neighbors, as soon as I figure out how to conceal a llama

Poor, unsuspecting llama.  (Seriously, any idea how to steal one of these bad boys?)

But, thank goodness, Aunt Lillian didn’t stop her hopeful message there.  She also shared her recipe for dandelion pancakes.

We followed her recipe this very morning.  Because a) how fun!, and, b) it was sure to make my children look at me like I’ve lost my mind.  And they did not disappoint.  Here are three of ’em, pre-dandelion-picking:

Nope.  Didn’t stage it.  That was all them.  And, um, if anyone wants to send me a donation so I can afford to buy pants with two legs for Cai, just let me know.

Here’s the recipe, without further ado:

Aunt Lillian’s Recipe for Dandelion Pancakes

Best made on a Saturday as children must stay in bed until the dandelions are awake.  Dandelions go to sleep early and wake up late, as should good children. Dandelion awakeness may be established by looking out the window.

When both children and dandelions are awake, send the former out with small baskets with instructions to bring in only the yellow blossoms.

[Nice job, PJ Boy!]

Plan on two blossoms per pancake. I use Snoqualmie Falls pancake mix and add organic applesauce instead of water and a little melted butter.

[I used Krusteaz ’cause that’s what’s cheapest at the discount grocery store, and it comes in 10 lb. bags.  I added water.]

Have the children remove the green part from the blossoms ( green parts may be added to a stirfry for supper).

The yellow parts need to be separated, not in a clump.

[I deflowered dandelions.  How can it be wrong, when it feels so right?]

Stir the separated yellow blossom parts into the pancake batter.  Make small pancakes as they turn easier, and use lower heat and cook longer than for regular pancakes.  We heat the rest of the applesauce in the microwave for a topping, drizzle with honey…. YUM!

[And here are mine, with syrup and butter.  And a few more blossoms for color and joy.]

Sure enough, Greg’s aunt has the right idea!  Yum, yum and yum.

Thank you, Aunt Lillian, for making my bathroom-garbage-ridden, canine-tromped, kid-bashed, toy-strewn lawn into something beautiful.  And useful.  And excusable.  I love you for it.  I do, I do.


Ahem.  Legal notice: don’t eat dandelions from an area that has been poisoned in the past.  Eating poison is bad.  Also make sure you can accurately identify a dandelion; if it’s mushroom-shaped, you’re on the wrong track.  So let it be said, so let it be done.  Amen.

Now that we’ve got the Backyard Schadenfreude all figured out, I wonder if Aunt Lillian can give me an equally wonderful recipe for the other Schadenfreude I reported during Christmas.  What do you say, Aunt Lillian?  Do you have a recipe for something delicious out of the foam mattress on which my dog peed?  Don’t let me down!