Preserving Flowers for Crafting

Potpourri  Preserving the Floral Harvest

Drying Flowers with a homemade desiccating powder

First:

Mix together in a shoebox:

2 cups corn meal
1 cup borax laundry booster
Then:

Select flower blooms (to dry) and…
in the shoebox, bury the blooms in the drying mixture, taking care they are not touching.

Depending upon size, the flowers will dry within a few days.

Store covered, until plant materials are thoroughly dried.

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Water-wise Gardening

Gar Path  Think Ecosystem & Permaculture = Save time + $ + water in your garden!

Permaculture — Use Little water, time & money in your garden design: Visit 2 gardens to see how they were designed to use very little water!

Waterwise Gardening – Hints & Tips “click on” your area (of the US) for region-specific hints and tips…

Herbed Roastin’ Ears

Corn  Herbed Roastin’ Ears

4 ears fresh corn, in husks
2 Tb unsalted butter, softened
2 Tb chopped fresh herbs (ie, marjoram, oregano, sage, thyme, or fav blend)
-OR-
2 Tb herb butter (of choice/or on hand), softened

The method of roasting these `roastin’ ears’ is on a grill: gas grill, heated to medium temperature; or if using a charcoal grill, over glowing, ashy coals, but not directly over them.

Cut the stalk (“handle”) end off each ear of corn, leaving the outer husks intact; peel back the husk, removing the corn silk. On each ear, spread ½ Tb unsalted butter/fresh herbs or herbed butter. Replace husk, and tie to secure with cooking twine in 2 places on each prepared ear of corn. (If you are concerned the twine will catch fire, soak it in water for a few minutes, first.)

Place the ears on the grill, cooking for about 20 minutes, over indirect heat, and occasionally turning them.

NOTE: Cooking time depends upon your grill and preferences. You will want to check it throughout the cooking process. The husks will brown as they cook. If the husks catch fire when lifting the grill lid, quickly turn them, and close the lid.

Gardener’s Glossary

Book Stack   Gardener’s Glossary

Mutation: an induced or spontaneous genetic change, often resulting in shoots with variegated foliage or flowers of a different color from the parent plant. A mutation is also known as a sport.

Source: The American Horticultural Society Encyclopedia of Gardening, DK Publishing, New York, New York, 1993.

Cooking with Flowers – Part II

Rose Rugosa   Flower Essences in Cooking

Flower essences may be added to recipes in a number of ways – whole or parts of flowers, as well as flower waters, long a pantry shelf staple…

Harking back to Victorian times, flower waters are actually an infusion of the selected flower – most commonly used are rose or orange flowers. Flower infusions are made by steaming the selected (organic) flower petals in water, placed in a double boiler, for one
hour. Remove the limp petals, and replace with fresh flowers. Repeating this process for a total of 7 times.

Or – you could always buy “flower waters”! They are available most often in specialty shops, and are bottled in cobalt blue bottles.

Flower waters add the delicate essence and underlying hint of flavor as a recipe component. They can be used to make syrups, sauces, jellies, ices and sorbets, as well as to flavor drinks and desserts.

I remember hearing about an Indian delicacy – Rose Ice Cream – sounds absolutely luscious, doesn’t it?

Think back to deeply smelling a truly fragrant rose, or enjoying the sweet scent of a citrus tree in bloom, and you get the picture of the pure essence of flower waters.

Cooking with Flowers

Rose Rugosa  Cooking with Flowers

When first approaching this topic in preparing this feature, I remembered back a dozen years ago or so, the first time I sampled daylilies in a salad – at first wary! Of course today, we often enjoy chive blossoms, nasturiums, herbflowers – and how about those lavender blossoms we grow? And others!

All organic, of course. I endeavored to write about using flowers in recipes, but decided instead to remind you of another lovely way you can add flowers to your dishes, without using fresh flowers, especially if you do not have access to organic varieties. As
always – everything old is new, again! Included below is a link to Cook’s Thesaurus of Edible Flowers, for you to check out!

Cook’s Thesaurus of Edible Flowers

Lemon Balm is Official Herb of 2007

Lemon Balm  Lemon balm (Melissa officinalis L.) is a lemon-scented member of the mint family. A native to southern Europe, it is a perennial that will over-winter in hardiness zones 4 to 5.  

As it grows, the lemon balm plant develops multiple branches, growing to a height of about two feet. Leaves are often 2 to 3 inches long, oval to almost heart shaped, shiny and wrinkled texture with scalloped edges. Small light blue to white flowers appear in late spring through midsummer.

 

Lemon balm has a delicate lemon scent and flavor. It is often used as a culinary, cosmetic and medicinal herb.

 

Fresh sprigs are used as garnishes for cold drinks and on salads and main dishes.

 

Fresh or dried leaves make a refreshing iced or hot tea.

 

Dried leaves are used as an ingredient in potpourri.

 

Lemon balm essential oil is used in aromatherapy and in creating perfumes.

 

 

And more Home Gardening Info

 

More Horticultural and Plant Use Info

  

Medicinal Uses for Lemon Balm

 

History, Cultivation and Medical Uses

 

My favorite lemon balm recipe and an herbal leaflet for you.