Zucchini Flowers are All the Buzz at My House

Cooking, gardening

Of course I had heard of people eating zucchini flowers. I had just never tried them myself. Since we have an abundance of zucchini in the garden right now, I thought we could spare a few of the flowers. So I searched for a recipe and went out to the garden to collect the flowers.

I collected four large zucchini flowers, placed them in my bowl and headed back inside. I decided not to wash them right away in hopes they would stay fresher until I was ready to use them. It would not be long anyway. So I set about making the rest of the dinner. We were having chicken with sundried tomatoes and olives baked in foil packets (to lock in the moisture), orzo, blanched and sauted fresh green beans with garlic (from green beans picked earlier in the day), and of course the zucchini flowers which would be lightly breaded and fried.

It was finally time for me to prepare the zucchini flowers. I washed and removed the stamen from one and set it on a towel, then another. As I was washing the third flower, I heard a buzzing sound. What! Oh no! A bee was inside the flower. I hurried the bowl outside to get rid of the bee before it escaped inside our house. When outside I pried the flower open a bit with a knife hoping the bee would exit without attacking me. Success! As I started to head back inside I again heard buzzing. What! Oh yes, another bee was inside the flower! I again coaxed this bee out of the flower. Was this it? No more buzzing. It was safe to go back inside and finish making dinner.

So, I think I will add a little note to the recipe for fried zucchini flowers. It will say, “Check for bees before taking zucchini flowers inside house”. How could the author of this recipe leave off such an important piece of information? Maybe this has only happened to me?

Regardless of the excitement in the kitchen, the meal turned out fine. The zucchini flowers did receive quite the buzz around the table. My family enjoyed them and we had a story to share as well. The recipe can be found at: https://www.bonappetit.com/recipe/fried-zucchini-blossoms. Just remember to check for bees! As always, Happy Gardening/ Happy Cooking!

Dinner is Served

Lavender

gardening

Ah the sight of lavender fields! Brings one to think of lazy days touring Provence, France. The fresh scent of lavender can put one at ease. Wouldn’t this be lovely in your own back yard? That is exactly what I thought.

Shopping with my daughter, I came across bunches of dried lavender. “Wouldn’t this be nice,” I thought. Then I looked at the price tag. Maybe not today. After pondering the expense of buying dried lavender, I decided it would be more cost efficient to plant and dry my own lavender and that is what I did.

Lavender is extremely easy to grow here in California. It does not need a lot of water and is not picky about the soil except that it should be well draining.

The lavender can be cut and hung upside down to dry and then used around the house. Once cut, it does not take long for the lavender to bloom again. It is best to harvest lavender early in the morning or late in the afternoon when the bees, which love the lavender, are not busy at work.

I decided to dry lavender to be put in a ceramic wall pocket. I may also try making some dried lavender satchels to put in my drawers. It looks as though I will have enough lavender for myself and to share with others as well and my plants are only a year and not fully grown. Au Revoir!