I learned later that the wine was a disaster - and when I reread the recipe I knew why. In addition to yeast and sugar and dandelions, the recipe calls for three lemons and three oranges, but the size of the fruit is not mentioned, and there were no instructions about preparing the citrus.
Should they be sliced - cut up - ground? And after the ingredients are combined in a big earthen jug, are they refrigerated or set out in the sun for the next two weeks? I still have the recipe, but anyone interested in concocting a potable brew should find other instructions.
As I look out the window at my yard, strewn with fool's gold, I'm reminded of other experiences with dandelions, of people with whom I have shared those experiences. But it is not all a matter of looking back. The bright flowers also hold a promise of the sunshine and the bounty that summer will bring. Dandelions are not just weeds!
Betty VanNewkirk is the historian for the Frostburg Museum.