By the time spring comes around to our mountain world, colorful birds provide the sound backdrop each morning and wildflowers and their garden-tame cousins bloom in profusion and spread heady perfumes.
The birds and the flowers would be plenty to delight my winter-weary soul with omnipresent beauty. But to sweeten the deal, the proliferation of wild food awakens my forager self. Most of us no longer know about, or have access to, wild foods even though they represent our food heritage and have nourished and healed our ancestors long before agriculture was invented.
This spring, I have become fascinated with edible wildflowers. I made jewel-colored jellies from purple violets, red bud blooms, and dandelion flowers (a topic for a future post).
Currently, the Black Locust trees (Robinia Pseudoacacia) are in full bloom.
They are blooming with such abandon as if this was the last time they will ever produce flowers. The trees are lit up by the creamy white blossoms that catch the sunlight and radiate more light back into the world. All kinds of insects are drawn to the pollen in these sweet-scented blooms. The old timers say that honey from locust blossoms is particularly sweet and fragrant.
I went out with a rake to hold down some low-hanging branches so I could harvest the blossom clusters. After rinsing them really well (there are always insects attached to them), I made a light-colored fragrant tea with some of the blossoms, sweetened with honey. What I didn’t drink as a tea, I put in the refrigerator to use later as a cool, refreshing lemonade.
In the past, I’ve added locust blossoms to pancakes but this time I wanted to experiment with something different: I added two handfuls of the blossoms to a rhubarb cake recipe. With freshly picked rhubarb from the garden, the cake came out beautifully light and moist. It was a true culinary delight. The fact that some of its ingredients came from the wild and my own garden was the icing on the cake.
The cake disappeared so fast that I didn’t even get a chance to take a picture of it!
More info on black locust by a fellow blogger.
Weekly Photo Challenge: Heritage
Ailsa’s Travel Theme: Cream