Wild in your Window Box: Foraging Fridays

Here they grew, from blue to deeper blue, in midst of each a golden dazzle like a glimmering star...the very sunshine loved them and would lie Here happy, because they were so fair.

I love the Victorian era. Amidst epidemics of Scarlet Fever and Typhoid, there was such an attempt to uplift through purity and virtue. Composure, calligraphy, Gibson Girls and gaddabouts, the whole time period was this really wonderful experiment towards an entire way of being. I don’t know how well I would have fared under some of the restrictions, but I still find the turn of the century so compelling.

Having a refined relationship with nature was very important, as were the rules of social conduct…combine the two and you have the language of flowers. The grace of communication was shown in one’s ability to present the right flower to the recipient.

Heart's ease

And what better way to present a flower to a dear one than by turning it into candy? Ok, maybe a lot of better ways, but just go with me on this one.

A special victorian treat was candied violets. But how about candied roses? Candied geranium? Or…candied pansies?

You can candy any edible flower. Despite what some grumpy folks on the internet have to say, it is very easy and a sweet way to pass an hour.

One of the meanings of pansy is "merriment". And truthfully, I have never worked with such cheerful little flower people. They were enthusiastic about being picked for candy. Except for this one.,,,who knows why, but since I always emphasize asking permission, when you get a "no" its best to listen.

This morning I went to a little patch of pansies I had noticed yesterday. Heart’s ease indeed, I felt absolutely gleeful after picking 5 to bring home.

I left the stems on to have a hand-hold while candy-ing

What you will need to make candied flowers:

1 egg white
caster sugar (very very fine sugar but NOT powdered)
small paint brush
wax paper

I gently beat the egg white in a bowl…not enough to create merengue, just enough to break up the sliminess. Some methods recommend adding a bit of water to the egg white but I forgot  but I chose not to.

Taking a small watercolor paint brush, I gently coated each petal with the egg white. The petals like to stick to each other, so I carefully peeled them apart with the paintbrush to make sure all sides were throughly coated.

Next, I held the flower over the wax paper and sprinkled a generous amount of sugar over the petals. (Think of the way you put glitter on glue…you put on a lot more than wil stick, to make sure the glue design will be covered.)

Finally, I put the flowers face up on the wax paper, arranging the petals so they will harden nicely. Jeff stole the camera before I could get a finished product picture, but here is how they looked just after sugaring.

I put on another coat of sugar after this one, until it was quite thick...just enough so that you could still barely see the golden sparkle in the middle.

By the time the flapper girls were tossing petals in the face of their mortified victorian mothers, Edward Bach was discovering flower essences and far away in India, The Mother was building her repertory of the spiritual significance of flowers. Whatever the spin, and however it appeals to you, I highly recommend conversing with flowers. If you feel a little silly about it, don’t worry, I won’t tell anyone.

What do you think this one has to say?

The Disclaimer

Think with your stomach! Do not ingest wild plants unless you are sure you have identified them correctly and are willing to take responsibility for using yourself as a guinea pig. It is SO not my responsibility if you eat the wrong thing and get poopy pants, or die. You’re an adult. you can make your own choices.

Have a wonderful weekend friends!!


11 thoughts on “Wild in your Window Box: Foraging Fridays

  1. That last one there is definitely trying to say, “stick your nose in my face and inhale deeply”. And now I wanna try making candied rose petals (rose ice-cream is already so tasty)!

    Great post, as always.

    1. hey ilana…i saw violets in your mom’s backyard! but i think roses would be divine. (btw, i heard you kinda got screwed over at the job in s. america. that blows, i’m sorry!)

  2. i am handing you an asparagus fern with my right hand!! and i am losing control, which is a good thing, and checking your blog!!! yay! that rose is saying i’m sweet and a badass, so fuck off, unless you’re a bee! i love your header too. so much. smile!!

  3. My mom made candied rose petals all the time when I was little. I think she just got the petals wet and sprinkled them with sugar- but i was, like, 5… so I could have missed a step!

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