Book Review of "Eat Your Roses" (and 49 Other Delicious Edible Flowers) by Denise Schreiber
Who Knew Roses, Pansies And Lavender Were Edible?
I Guess I Didn't Realize Chefs Really Use Flowers To Cook With!
Normally, I look out into our flower garden, what little one we have been able to grow here in the desert climate of Las Vegas, and I simply enjoy the way the flowers look and smell. I never really thought that it might be possible to actually bring certain flowers inside the house and use them as cooking ingredients! Whenever I do bring flowers inside, I always put them in a vase and enjoy looking at them and I love the way they smell. Who knew you could actually EAT them!
I was fascinated to read a book recently about edible flowers, called "Eat Your Roses:... Pansies, Lavender, and 49 Other Delicious Edible Flowers". Written by Denise Schreiber, who has been both a professed flower lover and a cook for many years. I found it to be a fascinating read. The nice thing is, the recipes and dishes made with the flowers look so great I might have to try a few of them!
The book opens by explaining all types of different flowers and what flowers and plants are NOT edible, along with those that can actually be dangerous or even poisonous if they're eaten. This is very helpful, and I was glad to see that she did include these cautions. Also included are full color photographs, which are helpful so you know which plants you never should eat, or let anyone else eat.
With that out of the way, she then goes on to describe in detail the plants that are OK to eat, along with color pictures. One especially nice feature of this book is that it is in a spiral notebook form, allowing the reader to flip pages. This is really useful if you're using the book as a cookbook!
The book is really a mixture, something like a cross between an outstanding informational botanical guide to flowers and a cookbook. The plants are given their common name, that's how they are arranged in the book. She also goes into how each flower smells and tastes and the various ways it can be used as a cooking ingredient.
Many of the flowers can be grown in the garden. That's not to say that they are always easy to grow, especially if you have somewhat of a brown thumb like I have. I'm thinking my husband could probably grow most of them, he is the one with the green thumb in our house! But, for people who are able to grow flowers, most of them can be grown in a common garden.
For people who do not have the time or space to grow their own flowers, a handy resources page is included letting you know where you can find the flowers you would need for these recipes. With so many tips and directions that are provided in detail, I don't think one could really go wrong with this book!
I personally think this book would make a fantastic gift for those who love to garden and for anyone who loves to cook. Especially for "Foodie" types who love to use surprising and interesting ingredients in their cooking. I really think this book would make a wonderfully entertaining and thoughtful Mother's Day gift for a Mom or Grandma who loves to garden and/or cook. The entertainment value alone is great, even if one doesn't actually try the recipes.
From Dandelion Wine To Rose Petal Ice Cream...
Going Beyond Things Like Dandelion Wine ...
I guess before reading this book, the only edible thing I thought a person could even make with flowers is dandelion wine. Now I've never personally made dandelion wine, although that might have been a good thing to do with all those dandelion's our boys gave to me as gifts when they were growing up, thinking that they were "flowers for Mom"... awwww. It really was a very sweet thought at the time. They were pretty young when they did that.
I have seen recipes for dandelion wine, though. Since they use things like lime juice, lemon juice, orange juice and ginger in the process of making the wine, I'm guessing that dandelion wine, when it is finished, would taste pretty citrus-y (if that's even a word ~ I didn't get a spellchecker red line when I typed it, so it must be a word!).
Denise Schreiber provides all the instruction you'll need in this fascinating book for gathering up the flowers and for cleaning and preparing them for use. Cleaning the flowers is important, I would think, just to be sure you didn't accidentally bring any bugs into the house when you brought the flowers indoors!
Denise really does seem to be knowledgeable in the writing of this book, and presents the information in a clear and helpful way. It's also presented in a way that is sure to make cooking with flowers a fun challenge for anyone who would like to try that! I found the book to be fascinating and beautifully illustrated.
The second part of the book is devoted to sharing recipes for using flowers in cooking. How about rose petal ice cream? YUM! The Oriental Broccoli Salad recipe also sounded interesting and good. Being a person who loves cream cheese in just about any recipe it appears in, I was fascinated by the edible flower cream cheese spread. I wonder how that would be on a bagel? Food for thought! (Pun intended).
I remember thinking when I read this book that it would also make a fantastic hostess gift, Christmas or Birthday gift, or a Mother's Day Gift for all the gardeners and cooks in your life! It would also be a neat thing to show to kids and have them help in the kitchen when you're whipping up one of these interesting flower recipes. I think kids especially would get a kick out of these interesting and yummy looking recipes!
So, if you have ever cooked with flowers or are thinking of cooking with them, Eat Your Roses:... Pansies, Lavender, and 49 Other Delicious Edible Flowers is a valuable guide for choosing and using flowers to cook with and to eat. Denise Schreiber has done a wonderful job in presenting an interesting and very useful book.
If you do cook with flowers, leave a comment below and let us know how your recipes turned out!