For an urban gardener-come-cook the weather this week has been quite dramatic: you can almost hear the peas squeaking as they flail around the bamboo canes, tiny scarlet wild strawberry flowers look like jewels, mixed in with regular plants that I bought for 50p each at the garden centre.
Most dramatic of all this week are the sage flowers, like stem violets and smothered with bees. The gardening books will of course tell you to remove the flower heads, but I think a home garden should be as pretty and aromatic as it is edible.
An early spring lunch of a cheese soufflé with English Asparagus “dipping” spears looked all the more special for a scattering of herb flowers. Maybe not every day food, but super easy – a pint of cheese sauce, enriched with an egg yolk, folded into three beaten egg whites fills four ramekins. Baked for twelve minutes until golden and puffed up it looked like I had slaved for hours, not ten minutes.
And who can resist the first big flush of elderflowers? Food for free in virtually every open space, I spied my first in a school playing ground where Slow Food London is creating an edible and sensory playground for Autistic children. Whether made into old-fashioned cordial, or picked, dipped into a light batter (shake out any lurking bugs first) and turned into elderflower fritters, I can’t get enough.
Next week I am getting Jammy for the Jubilee – do leave me your Jam memories here, or tweet me on Twitter. Have a delicious week!