Photo: thecameo (flickr)
Many years ago when I first arrived in California from Australia to begin graduate studies in the mid 1960’s at the University of California at Santa Barbara, a kind colleague took me to dinner at the Ventura Inn. I have no memory of what I ate that evening, but even after all of these years I can remember that the ice cubes in our drinks had flowers frozen in them. I was entranced!
Of course all edible flowers can be frozen this way and used in drinks, however, one must avoid poisonous flowers or flowers that have been exposed to pesticides.
The creative possibilities are seemingly endless with this fun trick! Imagine the fun of having a party and using a purple tablecloth and ice cubes in the water glasses with violets frozen into them. Or, a Valentine’s Day dinner with rose petals frozen in the ice cubes and a splash of rose water in the water to tantalize the taste buds as well. However, I won’t try daffodils for Easter because they are so poisonous that even deer won’t eat them!
Recipe: Lavender Syrup
Lavender is edible and always safe. This syrup is often featured in old cookbooks:
- Mix together 1 cup of fine sugar with ¼ cup of pesticide-free lavender flowers and 2 oz of rose water
- Add this mixture to a cup of boiling water in a saucepan and simmer until the sugar dissolves
- Cool, strain and store in a glass container in a refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.
- Use a few drops in ice cubes or water to suggest the hint of the aroma of fresh flowers.