For me, it’s always around this time of year that winter seems to go on forever. I’m simply DONE with appreciating the lovely shapes and textures of a winter garden. I’ve been teased by a few warm days and I need to see flowers and I need to touch flowers and I need to plant flowers. But I had no idea I needed to taste flowers.
Fellow master gardener, Marion Baker of Duchess of Gloucester Flowers arranged an educational workshop on common garden flowers that are edible. I signed up early. Marion provided the flowers and the popular chef at Gloucester’s Inn at Warner Hall, Eric Garcia, prepared the mouth watering delicacies. Just entering the room set for high tea, I was hit with a visual smorgasbord of color that cured my winter flower withdrawal at a glance.
I learned that not only can your eyes appreciate the beauty of flowers in the garden, many of those same flowers can dress up and flavor the foods we eat. While Marion lectured us on flowers we can eat and those that are poisonous, how to harvest, how to keep our harvest fresh, and the dangers of pesticides, we were served tea and an array of flower-infused, garnished or tossed choice treats from the kitchen at Warner Hall.
While we sampled from the table, Marion gave us recipes, shared her abundant knowledge and Eric added great cooking tips. We asked many questions and shared stories and we ate and we learned and we sipped our tea. I was fulfilled. Now I think I can make it through the rest of the winter.
Some of the other delicacies served were:
-Cream cheese and edible flower mix on crackers
-Smoked salmon, Boursin cheese and edible flowers on crackers
-Cheese selection of smoked cheddar and paprika, Pleasant Ridge Reserve, Wisconsin
-Pear, lavender and cornmeal cake topped with pears glazed in wildflower honey
Ann Hohenberger, The Garden Club of Gloucester