Tuesday, April 28, 2020

Spring Flowers, with Cheese, Please



A Buttermilk Creek Mystery
Book #1
Brynn MacAlister

By Mollie Cox Bryan

One of the things Granny Rose always taught us that one person's weeds might be another person's flowers or food. Take Dandelions, for example. Some people put a lot of effort into hating them and trying to get rid of them. Other folks watch for the early, tender shoots and make salad and tincture  with them.
One of my favorite things about spring is the flowers popping out everywhere--Dandelion or not--and my other all-time favorite thing is cheese. Spring is when I experiment with them both, crafting some beautiful and delicious cheese.
Now, there are a few ways to add flowers to your cheese.

The most complicated is glazing. Here's what you do to glaze a flower into your cheese.

You need cheese with a flat surface and if it has a rind, it should be edible--Ile de France Brie, or Camembert wheels or wedges, for example.

Ingredients:

2 cups dry white wine (or regular-strength chicken broth)

(Note: Wine will give a clearer, more sparkling aspic glaze than chicken broth.)

1 envelope unflavored gelatin powder (Knox, for example)

Chilled, flat-surfaced cheese (any rind must be edible), Ile de France Brie, or Camembert, wheels or wedges are perfect.

Edible decorations (See the suggestions below.)


Method:

In a 2 to 3 quart-pan, combine wine and gelatin; allow to stand for 5 minutes. Place over medium heat and stir until gelatin is completely dissolved and mixture is clear.

Place pan in a larger container filled with ice cubes and water, stir liquid occasional until it begins to thicken and looks syrupy. It it becomes too firm, reheat to soften, then chill again until syrupy.

Place cold cheese on a wire rack in a shallow rimmed pan. Decide upon a pattern/decoration.

Spoon a coat of aspic over top and sides of cheese; when slightly tacky ( 1 to 3 minutes), decorate as desired with the flowers, leaves/herbs. Refrigerate entire pan (with rack and cheese) uncovered for 15 minutes.

Spoon more aspic over top and sides of cheese to cover all. If desired add one or two more coats of glaze, refrigerating after each layer is added.

When cheese is completely covered with glaze, invert a bowl over cheese without touching surface until ready to serve. Can be prepared up to 36 hours in advance of serving.

NOTE: Choose edible, organic, pesticide-free blossoms, herbs, or greenery ~

Flower suggestions~ Pansies, violas, rose petals, primrose, geranium, carnation, calendula, nasturtium, violets, strawberry blossoms.

Greenery suggestions ~ Chives, dill, sage, thyme, tarragon, rosemary, watercress, cilantro, parsley.

After rinsing and blotting dry, store leaves and flowers in plastic bags in refrigerator until ready to garnish the cheese.

This method makes for a gorgeous impressive floral cheese. Of course, I'm all about simplicity and often use my soft cheese to make cheese spread, floral, herbal, or otherwise.  Sometime I make an actual log of it. Here's how I do it.

Ingredients

2 - 8 oz. packages of cream cheese (Or another soft farm cheese, like Buttermilk Creek's Farmstead cheese.
Juice of 1-2 lemons
½ cup chopped herbs, ( I like a combination of chives, basil, thyme & oregano)
½ c . finely chopped flat leaf parsley
Edible flowers rinsed and air dried, (ex: pansy, viola, lavender, dandelion, tuberous begonias, sweet woodruff, chive flowers, any flowering herbs)
Instructions
Allow the cream cheese to soften.
Place in a food processor with lemon juice and herbs.
Blend well.
Spoon onto a piece of plastic wrap and roll into a log.
Place in refrigerator for 10 minutes.
Remove and carefully roll in the chopped parsley to cover.
Carefully place on serving dish and garnish with edible flowers.
Serve with crackers or veggies.

Now I know I've written to you about cheese plates. Spring seems the perfect time to add edible flowers to your plate.

The most important thing of course, is to have fun with your beautiful, scrumptious creations.

Have you ever eaten a flower? Respond and be entered to win a copy of CHRISTMAS COWBELLS.
Happy Spring Fling! 


Mollie Cox Bryan  is the author of the Buttermilk Creek Mysteries, Cora Crafts Mysteries and the Cumberland Creek Mysteries. Her books have been selected as finalists for an Agatha Award and a Daphne du Maurier Award and as a Top 10 Beach Reads by Woman's World. She has also been short-listed for the Virginia Library People's Choice Award. She lives in Waynesboro, Va.





24 comments:

  1. I love the recipe. I think I shall try it. Thanks
    debby236 at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  2. No, I've never eaten flowers. I am curious of how they would taste though. When you live in a very small town, you options are limited. Maybe I can grow some this year since we are staying at home and give it a try. They would definitely be organic that way.

    Thank you for the opportunity to win a copy of "CHRISTMAS COWBELLS"! It's been on my TBR list since I first heard about it and would love the chance to read it. Shared everywhere and fingers crossed to be the very fortunate one selected.

    Have a great day! Stay safe and healthy. <3
    2clowns at arkansas dot net

    ReplyDelete
  3. Yes, I ate a flower once. It was a fancy restaurant, and it came served with dessert. It wasn't my favorite, but it was okay. mbradeen [at] yahoo [dot] com

    ReplyDelete
  4. I haven't eaten a flower but I would be interested in trying one. Thanks for this lovely feature and giveaway. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  5. I've never eaten a flower but thank you for the recipe and the giveaway. ckmbeg (at) gmail (dot) com

    ReplyDelete
  6. I have eaten lavender as candy from
    France.
    Kitten143 (at) Verizon (dot) net

    ReplyDelete
  7. I haven't but my mom talks about all the dandelion recipes my great-grandpa had. I might get up the nerve to try one someday. We have plenty of dandelions!
    kozo8989(at)hotmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  8. Yes, I’ve eaten sugared pansies. They were a good! Thanks for the chance to win!
    faithdcreech at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  9. No, I have never eaten a flower. Thanks for the chance.
    diannekc8(at)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  10. I've never eaten a flower. I am curious what they'd taste like.
    turtle6422 at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  11. I’ve never eaten a flower. Legallyblonde1961@yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
  12. Yes. The first was nasturtiums in a salad at an organic farm where we were helping pick cherries.
    Then when my daughter was taking culinary arts classes in high school I got a package of edible flowers for her to use in a food project.
    libbydodd at comcast dot net

    ReplyDelete
  13. No, not yet. It would be a colorful addition to a salad or dessert
    jwisley(at)aol(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  14. Yes I have eaten flowers in salads. catwoman-1 at comcast dot net

    ReplyDelete
  15. Never have but would try maybe sometime! tWarner419!aol.com

    ReplyDelete
  16. No I’ve eaten a flower. I’d try if I could be sure no pesticides...lol

    LaFonRC(at)aol(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  17. I think I may have eaten zucchini flowers once. Not bad. Thanks for the chance.
    ematov (at) comcast (dot) net

    ReplyDelete
  18. I have eaten nasturtiums. Not sure I'd repeat the experience.

    marypres(AT)gmail(DOT)com

    ReplyDelete
  19. I was at a dinner dance and the dessert they served had flowers on it. It was a lovely dessert presentation although the flowers did not have much flavor. bobandcelia(at)sbcglobal(dot)net

    ReplyDelete
  20. I've eaten fried zucchini flowers, and violets in jam. Both were just lovely! Thanks for the chance! teabird17 **at ** yahoo ** dot ** com

    ReplyDelete
  21. I have never eaten a flower. Thanks for the chance.
    Jess
    maceoindo(at)yahoo(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  22. No, I've never eaten a flower to my knowledge.

    jdzchaotickittie (at) yahoo (dot) com

    ReplyDelete
  23. Yes, I have eaten lavender in bakery - a scone - and chocolate, when I was on a Door County trip to Wisconsin, at a lavender farm cafe on Washington Island. I also had flowers in drinks and salads. I would love to read one of these mysteries. Jsister98@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete