Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2019 - 73

SINGING IN THE GARDEN

okra pod. Green and slimy. Despite the taste and texture,
I still eat the first daylily bud I spot each June as a way of
acknowledging my inner hippie (now hippy) flower girl.
I've heard the buds are slightly better sautéed, but I'm not
messing with my tradition.
I tried nasturtium blooms, Tropaeolum majus, next.
They are peppery and fresh like arugula and make a pretty
addition to a plate of tomatoes or a bowl of fresh greens.
These carnival-colored flowers, which come to us from
Spain, are so easy to grow that even a brown-thumbed
gardening newbie can do it. They don't like fertilizer and
once you poke a few seeds a half inch into the ground,
you can ignore them unless the weather turns terribly
dry.
Perhaps my favorite floral treat are the little
wild violets, Viola oderata, (not to be confused
with African Violets which are not edible!)
which grow in the moist woods above my
house. By the time you read this, their season will be past, but remember them. The
sugared blossoms make the perfect decora-

tion for a vanilla-iced cake, and I've been trying for years
to gather enough petals to make violet jelly.
Pansies are grassy and minty and lend themselves to
the sweetness of a fruit salad. Rose petals, with their light
floral taste, make a fanciful garnish for many desserts, and
yield a beautiful, pastel jelly which Martha Stuart likes
on buttered toast. Lavender blossoms add depth to peach
crisp, while zucchini blossoms can be stuffed and fried, or
sautéed and added to pizza.
There are many on-line sites that discuss recipes and
medicinal uses for far more flowers than I've listed. All
warn users to be sure their flowers come from pesticide-free locations. If you don't want to forage for
flowers you can grow them. The seed company
Gourmet Sweet Botanicals specializes in edible blooms.
My Nana used to always say to me
"Beauty is more than skin deep." It
turns out that flowers, are like most people. They have much more to offer than
meets the eye.

JULY/AUGUST 2019

73


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Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2019

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2019

Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2019 - Intro
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2019 - Cover1
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2019 - Cover2
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2019 - 3
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2019 - 4
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2019 - 5
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Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2019 - 8
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Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2019 - Cover3
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2019 - Cover4
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