2013-04-18 / Columns

Ramblings

On my recent trip to the Twin Cities for Easter I attended the Macy’s flower show. It is one of my favorite events that I usually attend every year.

If you have an opportunity to attend it one Spring, expect a fairly long wait to enter the auditorium (my wait was an hour) for the Show displays while the walk through the gorgeous blossoms took about 45 minutes

This year the theme was India, The flowers were displayed against India architecture including the famous Taj Mahal. I really enjoyed it as I could relate to it because one of our sons made several trips to India and shared several pictures with us.

There were many beautiful varieties of flowers including herbs often used in cooking. One of the herbs was Agave now showing up on store shelves and popular with the Health-Conscious set. It is sweeter than honey and has become very popular for making a liquid sugar—a combination of fructose and glucose sugars. It has a low glycemic index, so it does not have much effect on blood sugar levels.


The juice of the Agave has become a popular sweetener. The juice of the Agave has become a popular sweetener. This syrup is obtained by extracting and purifying the sap of the blue agave plant. The syrup from this plant blends quickly and is popular in both hot and cold drinks. It can have side effects, especially if you have allergies. It grows in most tropical climates. In Mexico it is used to make Tequila, which can also have positive or negative side effects depending on consumption.

Some flowers can be used in cooking and baking. They can be used to decorate cakes and pastries. Other flowers such as squash blossoms are often deep fried and stuffed with Ricotta or other cheese.

The rose, a flower which is often used in India and other Asian cuisines to make Rose water, is used to flavor many dishes, as well as making perfume. It used to be used as an alternative to vanilla. It can be used in whipped cream, lemonade, cookies and cupcakes, or dishes such as shrimp and Basmati rice. It can be purchased in health food stores.

Dandelions, which are prolific in most areas, have leaves which can be used in salads. The blossoms are quite attractive for a few minutes. If you want to use dandelion blossoms to decorate a birthday cake, for example, you may not want to decorate the night before, as you might have disastrous results when blowing out the candles.

The next time you entertain, consider wowing your guests with cake or dessert decorated with edible flower blossoms, such as Pansies, Roses, Violets or Nasturtiums, enjoying not only their stark beauty but their surprising and delightful flavors as well.

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