Sunday, April 11, 2010

Gardening Time and Cupcakes

Have you ever wanted to decorate a masterpiece for your guests using real flowers, but hesitate as you do not want your party to turn into a murder mystery night because you poisoned your guests with what you though were edible flowers?
I have been there, done that with viola, well I was pretty certain they were viola. The package did not call them viola and I did not kill anyone by my blunder, however, I am pretty sure my guests wished I had taken the time to research what I had doused on a layer of egg white powder meringue and berry sugar just days before. You know the the drill, bake a cake or cupcake, have a diabolical plan to out play out wit and out master all your friends so you get the bigger wow! Well friends killing your friends is not the way to do this. Here is my plan to save you from using Johnny Jump Ups to mildly poison your friends, get them high unwillingly and send them home with super cramped bowels. Yes, I Sure did do that, (battin lashes) and I had the prettiest apron on too. These are viola of the prettiest and sweetest tasting I have found and you can get them here VIOLA
Now, beating the hell out of egg white powder, painting it on violets and then sprinkling with sugar is tedious but it is kind of fun, You can even get feisty and use the rose blossom water and orange blossom water for the best tasting flowers ever.
After years of feeding people flowers I am pretty sure I have mastered the art and can now help you to intimidate your friends with pretty flowers on your cupcakes.
I do recommend that you start here at Cooks Garden and request a catalogue Okay moving on, there is a plethora of edible beautiful flowers out there and this post is not about how to use them, but to get started with your garden. The Queen Victoria Pansy Mix, is a cross of a pansy and viola which produces more cold hardy plants that are covered with small pansy blooms of the most unusual patterns. Flowers with colorful swirls and streaks of antique shades are the perfect choice for unique garnishes, especially for cakes. You can get those here QUEEN VICTORIA PANSIES Drooling now aren't you? It keeps getting better, I blog about cakes although I love to make salads and use flowers as much as I can, to go on and on would be fun but my post would never publish. Just keep in mind a couple of simple grass root ideas in your mind. You can always pluck a flower and give it a taste, that's right just eat it. People may think you are crackers but you are n ow a true foodie. Who knows maybe you can get a few nursery dwellers to chow down a few petunias with you! The rabbits do it so plant lots! Yes petunias, they are a delicious and a marvel to all kinds of cooking and baking and work nicely with rose water. A splash in you egg white powder for mixing is lovely. You can get the HEIRLOOM PETUNIAS here. The NASTURTIUM is my best friend and these wee salmon coloured flowers, given their structure and colour can take your mind and friends to a culinary fiesta. In saying most of this now you are probably wondering ooook so where do I start? I would start in pots, yes pots! You do not need a lot of space to have spectacular results, roof top gardening is soaring in popularity, patio planting, with just old fashioned Italian Terra Cotta pots and a little love, devotion and sunshine, Just like your Momma probably raised you with! The reward of the results is undeliverable to you in any words I can write. I would be remiss if I did not tell you about LAVENDER ENGLISH MUNSTEAD A true loyal friend of mine Lavender blossoms lend a floral flavor, with lemon and citrus notes, to cakes, custards, sorbets and ice creams. They also lend themselves to savory dishes, especially wine-reduced sauces. We grow Munstead strain because it has a nice, full, compact habit with large 18" bloom spikes, and is the most cold hardy of all. Now that I have you started and most likely enough info to at least get you to dream on this I will leave you with a list of edibles, please do not be bold and detract from this list and even if you want the flower to be viola and it isn't, don't do it. Even if there is a letter V on the seed packet, don't pretend it is the word Viola! Now for my list: Cornflowers, Daisies, Marigolds, Borage, Anise Hyssop are a few to get you going and really all you should need! Get yourself a nice quality British watering can, Terra Cotta pots, wee signs, top quality 4 way seed starting mix and a couple of hand tools, a trowel and a wee shovel. You will be glad you did!

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