It would seem spring is here! The sun has been shining (most of the time) here and the trees and flowers are starting to take notice. A few unexpected things have happened: The potatoes we forgot to harvest last winter have sprouted again and our purple sprout plants that never produced sprouts have gone to seed…. Hopefully this means we can get a bumper harvest of potatoes at the end of the season although the grow bags we have them in at the moment seem full to bursting! I think I will also figure out how to harvest seeds from the sprout plants so we can try growing them again next year, perhaps this time trying some butterfly deterring techniques as they decimated the whole crop last year.
Despite the sunshine I don’t have much of an urge to garden this year; although we have recently acquired a greenhouse which I suspect will raise a tomato growing urge very soon! No, I’ve been more interested in the home at the moment. We have started decorating work on our spare bedroom which is also going to be my dressing room and double up as a second living room if needed, and this has spurred another urge for some DIY and crafts to make it truly ours! Plans currently include utilising a lot of chalk paint and modge podge! Watch this space!
Whilst working on today’s project I’ve found myself really enjoying our camera, playing with settings and wanting to take pictures of flowers! Which is very unlike me; we are not flower people in general, we like to grow edible things. However the tulips on the dining table were calling to me with their gorgeous red petals glowing in the sun, and our rosemary bush has bloomed beautiful purple flowers! As a definite novice with camera I rather enjoyed tinkering with the settings, playing with the zoom and manual focus to take some pretty close ups of our new blooms. I am rather proud of my pretty pictures, although close up the rosemary flowers do look a bit like aliens….
These flowers have inspired me in other ways too, so today I thought I’d share with you my current culinary adventure! Herb flower vinegars. Now I do like using herb flowers in food -particularly salads- to add pretty colours and a delicate flavour, but this years rosemary has more flowers than I can use in salad and I really wanted to utilise them in something new! I chose vinegar although I imagine you could also flavour oils, butters or even water with the flowers to make it just that bit more interesting. I will be using my rosemary vinegar in salad dressings of course, but any dish that uses vinegar could use it to add just that bit more depth of flavour.
A bottle of vinegar (any will do really but I chose white wine so it wouldn’t overpower the flowers but cider vinegar would work lovely)
A cup of rosemary flowers (or flowers from any herbs you have, you can even mix and match!)
Twine, label and a pen (these are for aesthetics mostly but it’s always good to label up your vinegars incase you don’t recognise the flowers)
Step 1: Pick your rosemary flowers from your plant, I wasn’t very particular about how I picked them, if you get a few leaves in by accident it will only add more flavour.
Step 2: Give your herbs a quick rinse in cold water and pat them dry with kitchen roll.
Step 3: Drop your flowers into the top of your vinegar bottle, close the top and give it a real good shake.
Step 4: Label it up and make it look real pretty!
And that’s it, easy peasey! Store in a cool dark place, I put mine in the fridge as it has fresh produce in and our weather is getting rather warm. Give it a good shake every now and than just to get those flavours going and use to your hearts content! Of course the longer you leave it the stronger the flavours will get, mine has been brewing for 3 days so I’m going to take it for a spin on a salad tonight! What a rocking bank holiday weekend!
Enjoy the weather guys! Leave some love and tell me all about your herby kitchen experiments!