Even by Kansas standards, our recent weather has been unusually variable. It has been gorgeous and sunny the past few days with high temperatures in the mid-80’s. (In case you don’t remember, we had snow last week.) The warm weather has stimulated plants to put on a lot of growth and it is really starting to look like Spring; and yet cold weather is supposed to roll back in tomorrow with the chance of snow Thursday and Friday. That would be snow in May – not very good for the garden, even if it doesn’t stick around. So, I decided that I’d better enjoy the flowers while they last and get some photos of them today. I’m so glad that I did. Photographing flowers makes one stop and really look at them. What a nice thing!
Every year Gaia Salon has a fundraiser for the Audobon Society of Kansas: one can pay to have someone’s yard “flocked” with pink flamingos for a day. This is what we cheerfully woke up to this morning. If you want to see the flamingos, today is the day. They will be in someone else’s yard tomorrow.
We just got done hosting the tea party for Tama Matsuoka Wong and her book Foraged Flavor. I caught a few quick photos just when guests were starting to arrive; but then needed to trade my camera for hostess duties. Unfortunately, once I got to talking and pouring tea, I forgot to get a picture of Tama. It was a lovely afternoon party, though, and it was a pleasure to hear Tama chat about her book.
Below: Roasted Red Pepper Humus & Cucumber Tea Sandwiches garnished with golden oregano from the garden.
Milk Oolong Tea
Iced Earl Grey Tea
Curried Egg Salad Tea Sandwiches
Roasted Red Bell Pepper & Cucumber Tea Sandwiches
Scottish Shortbread with Dried Cherries
Scottish Shortbread with Candied Ginger
Lemon Poppy Seed Wafers garnished with Violets
Espresso Bars with Cream Cheese Frosting
Gingerbread Teapot Cookies
Bittersweet Chocolate Truffles
Cheddar Cheese, Monterey Jack Cheese, Almond Crackers
What a difference a day or two makes. After the beautiful Spring day we had for the garden wedding on Sunday, this morning we are back to winter. With snow falling and skies getting darker by the minute, it feels more like January than late April. Brrr …
I don’t often get a chance to take many photos at weddings that we host because I have so many other things to do on the wedding day. I did manage to get a few yesterday, though, of the happy bride and groom and one of their little guests. It was fun to photograph people, something I don’t usually do.
Here is wishing the bride and groom continued happiness!
Thankfully, today was a beautiful Spring day for a garden wedding – a surprising fact given the unseasonably cold weather we have been experiencing as of late. Here are a few photos that I quickly took while we were getting ready for the joyous event.
Sand Cherries (Prunus x cistena) are one of my favorite ornamental shrubs. While pruning ours this week, I decided to save some of the cuttings to use in use in a floral arrangement. Notice how the bright burgundy leaves go so nicely with these hot pink roses. (Note: watch for ants and other undesirables whenever bringing cuttings inside.)
The Sandy Cherry on the southern side of our house is just starting to leaf out, so its prunings were perfect for my arrangement. The shrubs on the north side are about a week or so behind. I’ll try to get some more photos when the shrubs are in bloom. In the meantime, Happy Spring!
On April 24th, from 2:30 to 4:30, we’ll be hosting a book signing with Tama Matsuoka Wong for her book Foraged Flavor: Finding Fabulous Ingredients in Your Backyard or Farmer’s Market, written together with Eddy Leroux. Together the two have identified wild plants that are not only edible, but also flavorful. This cookbook brings together botanical illustrations, tips for identification and collection, and recipes such as Chickweed Crostini, Bee Balm Spring Rolls with Lettuce and Dipping Sauce, and Lambsquarters Rigatoni Casserole.
For a while, I have had an interest in growing edible flowers and herbs and a few vegetables, but have not previously paid much attention to whether other plants (and weeds) in my garden are edible. Reading Foraged Flavor has opened my eyes to the possibilities of cooking with other plants such as creeping jenny and juniper.
Tea and treats will be served at the signing … with any luck, featuring some ingredients gathered from the garden.
Ms. Wong is the official forager for Daniel, Daniel Boulud’s 3 Michelin star restaurant in NYC.