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Exploring Edible Flowers, and our Memorial Day weekend food fest

Our friend Crystal spent the holiday weekend with us, and loves natural "whole" food as much as we do. On Friday, Darrell made his fabulous Stir-Fried Rice with chunks of ham from one of the Berkshires, carrots, peas, and substituted chives and chive blossoms for the normal white onion. 

While obtaining the chive blossoms for the stir fry, we were observing and investigating other herbs. The thyme is blooming as well, and we discovered what look like flower bud stalks on the sage. Crystal is an inveterate Internet researcher, so when we got back into the house, she looked up sage blossoms and discovered a delightful site all about "edible flowers", which include chive blossoms, sage blossoms, thyme blossoms, dandelions and many others, including one of my favorite wild flowers, the beautiful little johnny-jump-up. Here's an interesting site to investigate should you be interested in flowers as part of cooking. You may be surprised about what's listed there!

On Saturday, we finally got our act together and went out and got a new grill to replace the one that was wrecked as a result of last summer's tornado (that's right - only as a "result of", not "during" - it survived the tons of elm wood that thundered down on the roofs and deck somehow, only to be taken out by the roofers shoving shingles off the upper story during repair - splat!). Anyway, we got a grill that will burn lump charcoal and do direct grilling or indirect cooking/smoking, and we felt the need to inaugurate it. We grilled some NY strip steaks, red potatoes and asparagus from the garden. Quite yummy!

Sunday found us cooking lamb chops, more asparagus (close to the end of the season, I'm afraid!), and frozen corn from the garden last year. Sunday also we prep'd for Memorial Day feasting - deviled eggs from our hens, eggs cooked for making potato salad on Monday, plus Darrell did a cooked custard base and made homemade French Vanilla ice cream and an angel food cake. (Hey, if you make that ice cream, you use a dozen egg yolks . . . you gotta do something with the egg whites, right?)

Monday, the potato salad went together with redskin potatoes, carrots, celery, white onion, a little more of those great chive blossoms, dill, homemade mayo, yellow mustard, and some seasonings. I had thawed out one of our chickens, and about 5 p.m. that went on the cooker/smoker shelf in the new grill. We're still learning about "best practices" with this new grill, so some adaptations and adjustments had to be made to the original plan, but we had thought it would take about 2 hours, and it took only a little more. Fabulous flavor! The ice cream and cake were dessert - we all felt stuffed to the gills.


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