A few years ago, I had been inspired by one of my favorite gardening books, The Curious Gardner’s Alamanac: Centuries of Practical Garden Wisdom, by Niall Edworthy, to use my 4th of July party guests as guinea pigs. It is kind of fun experimenting on unsuspecting guests . . . Mr. Edworthy offered a very simple recipe for lavender infused lemonade that I couldn’t resist. I put two and two together and realized I had plenty of lavender in the garden just ripe and ready for this sweet, cool, summer drink.
Of course, it was a hit and now has become an annual expectation at most of our summer gatherings – and I can never make enough!
Here’s what I did (pretty much straight from Mr. Edworthy’s book – it worked very well):
Lavender flowers from about 30 stalks
2 cups sugar
Juice of 4 lemons
Lemon Slices for garnish
Put 6 cups of water in a large pan with the 2 cups of sugar and bring to a boil. Meantime, rinse the lavender and cut off the excess stalks/stems. When the water reaches a boil, turn it off – take it off the heat and add the lavender flowers and let sit and cool to about room temperature. Then add 6 cups cold water and lemon juice and stir thoroughly. Strain out lavender flowers and reserve them for garnish along with the lemon slices. Do not add ice until you serve or you will water it down.
Nasturtiums – Decorative and Yummy in Salad
I plant a healthy amount of nasturtiums every year because I love decorating platters and serving colorful salads in the summer and of course it is fun to watch people’s faces when they ask, “is this edible?” It has a wonderful peppery flavor and the flowers bloom in a wonderful variety of oranges and yellows, which contrast nicely in a green salad or on a cheese or veggie platter.
There is a plethora (love that word) of edible flowers, some that you may have in your garden and didn’t even know you could eat! Here’s a great link to find out what flowers are edible and what flowers aren’t!
Also, Epicurious.com has a mess of great recipes for edible flowers.
So, stop and smell the flowers and take a bite (of the edible ones only, of course!).