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Calendula Buns (from ‘Fresh Herbs’ by Barbara Radcliffe Rogers)

1 c. flour
½ tsp. baking powder
¼ tsp. salt
1/3 c. butter
3 tbsp. sugar
¼ c. candied fruit peel
Petals from 2 large calendula flowers
1/3 c. milk
1 egg

Sift flour, baking powder, and salt. Break the butter up into the mixture and add the sugar. Mix in the candied fruit peel. Let the calendula soak in a muslin bag in the warmed milk. As the milk cools, add the egg and beat constantly so a smooth custard forms. Add this to the bun mixture and fold it in. Bake in greased muffin tins for 15 minutes at 350ºF. Sprinkle a few fresh calendula petals on top of baked buns. Makes 6 buns.

Calendula Pilaf (from ‘Fresh Herbs’ by Barbara Radcliffe Rogers)

3 tbsp. olive oil
1 small onion, minced
½ c. white rice
½ c. orzo (rice-shaped pasta)
2 ½ c. hot chicken stock
salt to taste
½ c. calendula petals

Heat oil in a heavy saucepan and stir in onions, rice, and orzo. Stir constantly to cook rice and orzo and to lightly cook the onions. When rice is opaque, add the stock and salt, stir well, cover, and turn heat to the lowest setting. When rice is tender but not mushy, add calendula petals and toss gently. Cover and leave with heat off for about 5 minutes to steam before serving. Serves 4.

Flower Flavoured Butters

Soften about 1 lb. of butter. Finely chop about ½ cup of best bits of flowers (use petals only). Mix together. Form into a roll. Freeze. Slice and use when desired.

Some good flowers for butter –
Beebalm (Monarda) – use for veggies, and as a bread spread
Nasturtium – use for bread and veggies
Herb Flowers (sage, basil, savory, chives, garlic, rosemary, oregano, dill, mint, thyme) – use with pasta, rice, and with dishes as described in the herb butters guide under Recipes for herbs.

Bloomsbury Salad (from Thompson & Morgan seeds)

10-14 Borage flowers
10-14 Viola flowers
5 Nasturtium flowers
10-14 Nasturtium leaves
4 Calendula flowers
2-3 Bee Balm flowers
Oil & Vinegar (or your favourite dressing)

Select some young, tender lettuce leaves, wash, dry & tear into a wooden or glass bowl. Add several whole nasturtium leaves and toss in an oil and vinegar dressing. Pull the petals off the calendula, bee balm, nasturtiums, and viola – but not borage. Mix them all gently together with the lettuce mixture. Garnish the top of the salad with a few whole nasturtium flowers and rose petals.

Cottage Cheese Dip (from Thompson & Morgan seeds)

1 cup cottage cheese
1 clove garlic, pressed
½ tsp. Caraway seeds
½ cup yogurt
½ cup mixed flower petals, torn into small pieces

Strain the cottage cheese by forcing through a sieve. Add remaining ingredients. Chill for 2 hours and garnish with Borage flowers. Makes 1½ cups.

Marigold Muffins (from Thompson & Morgan seeds)
(ensure that you use Tagetes – Signet - Marigolds, NOT French or African)

¾ cup milk
1 ½ tbsp. crushed dried Marigold petals
2 cups sifted flour
1 tbsp. baking powder
½ tsp. salt
3 tbsp. vegetable oil
4 tbsp. honey
1 egg

Heat milk to boiling; add petals. In a separate bowl sift flour, baking powder, and salt. Add oil to milk; stir and let cool, then add honey and egg and combine with dry ingredients. Fill greased muffin tins 2/3 full. Bake in 400º F. oven about 20 min. Makes 12 muffins.

Bee Balm Sherbet (from Thompson & Morgan seeds)

15-20 Bee Balm flowers
2 cups water
¾ cup sugar
½ cup light corn syrup
2 tsp. grated lime or lemon rind
½ cup lime or lemon juice
2 egg whites

Set the freezer control for fast freezing. Remove the petals of the Bee Balm and coarsely chop them. Place them in a saucepan with the water and sugar. Bring to a boil, stirring until the sugar has dissolved. Let stand until cool. Strain, pressing out as much liquid as possible from the Bee Balm. Add corn syrup, lime rind and juice. Pour into a freezing tray; cover with plastic wrap and freeze until firm. Remove the sherbet mixture to a bowl and break up the lumps with a wooden spoon. Beat until almost smooth but still a thick consistency. Beat egg whites until stiff but not dry and fold into sherbet. Return to freezer tray and freeze until firm. Serve in glass goblets.

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