Wild Things Round Up - April Flowers


April was people's choice month at Wild Things.  Seems like just about everyone was inspired to cook with foraged flowers (any variety).  What better way to get into the spirit of the season?  I hope you enjoy the parade of flowers as much as I have.

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If you think that elegant candied violets are hard to make, look at this tutorial from Methow Valley Herbs, and see just how simple making homemade candied violets can be.


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I just tried my first redbud flower the other day, so I'm very excited to have this post from Penniless Parenting to give me the scoop about redbud blossoms.


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Now that you've had your introduction to redbuds, I think you will really enjoy this recipe for Ham and Redbud Soup with Dock from Artemis Herbals.


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Chef Knuckles has blessed us with two fabulous recipes for infused alcohol this month.

1. Cherry Blossom Brandy.  I cut the blooms off the stems, one by one.
Added to the Brandy and let macerate for 1 month, minimum.

2. Green Apple Blossom Bourbon.  Same as above but put them into the
Bourbon.

The Brandy has a powerful, intoxicating aroma, robust of cherry.  The
flavor, is literally, of a blossom.  Floral and cherry scented, but powdery
soft.

The Bourbon is more subtle and slightly astringent on the nose and palette
with apple sour.  Unreal.


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My buddy Beks has generously shared her recipe for Elderflower Cordial.  Make some while you've got a chance, because this is something you will want to enjoy many times over.  I'd like to add that her picture of elderflowers is the most beautiful I've ever seen.


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Herbmother has shared two simple recipes to make with borage flowers - borage flower vinegar and candied borage flowers.


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Foraging enthusiast Laura Alarcon has shared her recipe for Violet Redbud Meringue Cookies.

4 egg whites
1/3 tsp cream of tartar
2 tbs raspberry liquor
1 cup fine sugar
1 cup violets
1.2 cup redbud flowers

and some flowers to garnish

Preheat oven to 300
Whip egg whites until foamy, add fine sugar slowly.
Combine cream of tartar, and beat until stiff peaks emerge. add liquor
(half the amount for hard cookies) and mix.
Fold in flowers, and garnish with extra flowers.
Bake 1 hr for chewy cookies, or 2-3hrs at lower temps for traditional
meringue hardness.


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The 3 Foragers share my love for an unusual flower food - cattails.  Here, they've shared their recipe for Cattail Flower Griddle Cakes.


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I've never tasted black locust flowers, so my imagination is spinning with the 3 Foragers' recipe for Black Locust Custard.


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I know I can always turn to the Dyhanaverse to find creative ways to cook with foraged foods.  Here, she's wrapped up the taste of spring with Dandelion and Maple Flower Spring Rolls.


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Hank Shaw, author of Hunt, Gather, Cook, has also shared his recipe for Elderflower Cordial.


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Los Angeles area forager Pascal Baudar has shared his recipe for Thai-inspired pickled yucca buds.

Pickled Yucca Flower Buds. This will make a perfect condiment. It didn't work with the flowers but the flower buds were perfect and strong enough to sustain the heat of canning. The pickling solution is Thai inspired: Lime juice instead of vinegar, water, ginger and sugar. I kept the ratio of juice and vinegar extremely safe, the acidity of the solution if very high too (Around 3) so I know it's good to go and it's delicious too BTW.


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This is one of the most unusual foods I've ever cooked.  If you can catch them at the right stage, cottonwood catkins are delicious when fried tempura-style.


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My Batter-Fried Dandelion Flowers are a great first flower to eat, and are also kid-friendly!


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Yucca flowers are abundant in my area at a certain time of year, and I really enjoy turning them into Yucca Pesto.


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I also like to take advantage of the near-artichoke flavor of yucca blossoms and make Marinated Yucca Flowers.


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Here is my own entry for Cattail Flowers served simply with garlic butter.


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A sweet friend picked an enormous container of violets for me this spring.  I wasted no time in turning them into a syrup spiked with cardamom and black pepper, and used it to make Violet Cardamom Soda.


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I used the leftover flowers from making syrup to create this yummy Violet Walnut Conserve.


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I really like to thank all of the contributors who shared their fantastic flower recipes with Wild Things this month.  I'm looking forward to seeing what you are cooking up next month!

Comments

  1. A very nice array of dishes. I am sorry I missed the event. I didn't think about showcasing borage flowers, of which I have a steady supply, because I planted a seedling of this plant some years ago. It now grows where it wants. Those yucca flowers look very interesting.

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