“Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others,
faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms.”
I Peter 4:10
This was a week of flowers!! On Wednesday, May 2 was the last New Smyrna Beach Garden Club luncheon until this fall.
Since I was one of the hostesses for this luncheon, I decided to create my centerpiece using the flowers from our new native landscape. Our Christmas present last year was a wildflower garden designed and installed by Kevin Bagwell, Full Moon Natives & Herbs. We have already had an amazing amount of butterflies and birds attracted to our backyard!
This centerpiece includes Scorpion-tail (Heliotropium angiospermum), Lance-leaved Tickseed (Coreopsis lanceolata), Button Sage (Lantana involucrata), Indian Blanket (Gaillardia pulchella), Firebush (Hamelia patens), Tropical Sage (Salvia coccinea), and Coastal Mock Vervain (Glandularia maritime).
The favors were these adorable wildflower honey bears from the gift shop at Full Moon Natives & Herbs.
The speaker was Lisa Roberts, Executive Director of the Florida Wildflower Foundation.
Lisa Roberts & Dee Chism,
New Smyrna Beach Garden Club President
The mission of the Florida Wildflower Foundation is to enrich lives with Florida native wildflowers through education, planting and research projects. Wildflowers are adapted to Florida’s conditions and typically require less water, fertilizer and pesticides plus also support native wildlife like bees, butterflies and hummingbirds.
The New Smyrna Beach Garden Club has planted a wildflower garden this year as a result of a state grant and despite a few set backs, it is beginning to produce a myriad of color especially from our state wildflower, Coreopsis.
In 1991, the genus Coreopsis was designated Florida's official wildflower, thanks to the Florida Federation of Garden Clubs! There are 15 Coreopsis species found in Florida. You can even get a license plate with the state wildflower that supports the foundation!
Today, May 5th, was the third Herb Seminar at Full Moon Natives & Herbs and it was All About Edible Flowers, uses for culinary, tea, aroma, health and the language of herbs. Marvette Bagwell and I teamed up to share everything about edible flowers!
This was my second presentation on edible flowers recently and you can find additional recipes and links on the post April Presentation.
Edible flowers can be used fresh as a garnish; a salad, stuffed; used in stir-fry; can be candied; frozen in ice cubes; made into jellies and jams; used to make vinegars, used to make teas or wines; added to cheese spreads, butters and baked goods; combined for edible potpourri.
They can also be divided into savory and sweet flavors and here are my favorites:
Peppery/Spicy - Onion/Garlic - Herbal/Vegetal
- salad mixes
- flavor marinades & stir-fried dishes.
- with vegetables and mixed with sweet butter
• Borage (Borago officinalis) - cucumber-like
• Calendula (Calendula officinalis) - spicy to tangy
• Chicory (Cichorium intybus) - endive-like
• Chives (Allium schoenoprasum) – onion
• Chives, Garlic (Allium tuberosum) – garlic
• Chrysanthemum (Dendranthema grandiflora) - peppery-vegetal
• Daisy (Bellis perennis) - lightly herbal
• Daylily (Hemerocallis spp) - mild vegetal or sweet floral
• Hollyhock (Alcea rosea) - mild, nutty
• Mustard (Brassica juncea) – hot, pungent
• Nasturtium (Tropaeolum majus) - hot, peppery, watercress-like
• Scarlet Runner Bean (Phaseolus coccineus) - bean-like
• Squash (Cucurbita spp) – vegetal
• Sunflower (Helianthus annuus) – artichoke-like to bittersweet
• Yucca (Yucca spp) - hint of artichoke
SAVORY EDIBLE CONFETTI
Combine and chop fresh savory edible flowers such as nasturtium, Texas tarragon, chives and calendula
SAVORY CONFETTI BUTTER
Cream together 1 stick softened butter and 2Tbs Savory Edible Confetti, 1Tbs lemon juice, sea salt and fresh ground pepper then refrigerate at least 24 hours before serving. Serve with corn muffins, steamed vegetables, fresh roasted potatoes, fresh bread, crackers or over fresh grilled meat just before serving.
RICE DISHES - Add 1-2Tbs Savory Edible Confetti for each cup of rice. Mix well and cook as usual.
EGGS - Mix a little Savory Edible Confetti into your omelets or scrambled eggs before you cook them to allow the natural flavors to blend.
Sweet and Flowery – Citrus - Hint of Mint
- beverages, fruit salads & salsas and cake batter.
- add a cool sparkle to yogurt and ice cream.
• Anise Hyssop (Agastache foeniculum) - anise-licorice
• Bee Balm (Monarda didyma) - minty
• Chamomile (Matricaria recutita) - apple-like
• Citrus (Citrus spp) – floral with citrus
• Dianthus (Dianthus caryophyllus) - clove-like
• Hibiscus (Hibiscus spp) - tart, citrus
• Honeysuckle (Lonicera japonica) - sweet floral
• Jasmine (Jasminum sambac, J. officinale) – floral
• Johnny Jump-Up (Viola tricolor) - mild wintergreen
• Lavender (Lavandula spp) - floral with citrus notes
• Pansy (Viola wittrockiana) - mild mint
• Pineapple Sage (Salvia elegans) – fruity with hint of spice
• Rose (Rosa spp) – floral
• Scented Geranium (Pelargonium spp) – floral, mint or spicy
• Texas Tarragon (Tagetes lucida) - anise-like with citrus
• Tuberous Begonia (Begonia tuberhybrida) - lemony
• Violet (Viola odorata) – floral
SWEET EDIBLE CONFETTI
1Tbs each dried roses, calendula, hibiscus
1tsp dried jasmine
CONFETTI CAKE MIX COOKIES
Cream together 1/4c butter and 8oz softened cream cheese. Add 1 egg and 1tsp almond extract and mix until well blended. Stir in 1 box yellow cake mix a little at a time until it's all blended and then add 1/4c Sweet Edible Confetti and 1/4c chopped toasted almonds. Drop by teaspoonfuls onto a greased cookie sheet. Bake 10 minutes at 350 degrees or until edges are brown.
BUTTER – Combine and chill 1c butter, 1Tbs crushed Sweet Edible Confetti plus 1tsp powdered sugar. Serve with croissants, sweet breads, hot scones, or freshly baked bread hot from the oven.
FLORAL GLAZED BRIE: Remove rind from top of an 8oz round Brie cheese. Arrange edible flower petals on top. Soften 1 envelope unflavored gelatin in 1c cold water for 5 mins., then combine with 1/4c white wine vinegar and 1Tbs sugar and heat until gelatin dissolves. Let cool completely, stirring often. Using a pastry brush, gently brush mixture over top and sides then refrigerate until set. Serve with crackers.
Marvette demonstrated several recipes using edible flowers – Calendula Roll-Ups, Turkey Salad Cups, Nasturtium Tabbouleh Salad, Pineapple Mint Pinwheels, Pineapple Sage Punch and Lavender Scones. Everything was easy and yummy – the recipes for these and more can be found at http://fullmoonnatives.com/recipes.htm