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Cooking With Flowers

Review of the book cooking with flowers with sample recipes of these fragrant edible ingredients

It is rare that we use these ingredients but Miche Bacher, author of Cooking with Flowers: Sweet and Savory Recipes with Rose Petals, Lilacs, Lavender, and Others have introduced us to her fragrant world and educated us to their safe use in the kitchen. Now we have snacks, drinks and meals bursting with colour and flavour as well as being nutritious treats.

We enjoyed reading about the history of their use in medicine and cosmetics and how, over the years, it evolved into being a key addition in cooking.

Chef and herbalist Miche, who readers may recognise as the founder of confectionery Mali B sweets, then expertly teaches the reader how to safely gather ingredients from those grown organically or by foraging, the best time to pick and how to prepare and store them.

The Drummer Boy

The Drummer Boy is my latest novel about the ghost of a Gordon Highlander Drummer Boy from the Battle of Waterloo who haunts a modern day army nurse.

Chapters take place in modern day Aberdeen, at the Noose & Monkey bar and restaurant as well as His Majesty’s Theatre and Garthdee. Other scenes take place at Tidworth and during the Napoleonic War.

Read the first three chapters for free on most devices.

Flower Recipes

Within a few pages she dives straight into her wonderful edible flower recipes which are categorised by type. So for the elderflowers we read their background, culinary use, blooming season and preparation. Examples include almond elderflower pound cake.

Each page is accompanied by several stunningly sharp photos by Miana Jun which not only includes the finished treat, but handy guiding pictures of each step of the baking.

Other meals include calendula ravioli, dandelion wine, daylily curry and sunflower bread, all of which will soon have your kitchen filled with aromatic treats.

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We love the way that each page is personalised before the instructions for cooking with flowers. As an example the geranium angel cake introduction reads:

"I grew up in a kosher home, and Shabbat dinner was a ritual my whole family looked forward to. A busy week under our belts, we would all sit at the table sparkling with my mother's finest dishes, light the candles, sip the wine, and let the weekend begin. My mother's angel food cake hanging upside down on a wine bottle was a harbinger of the meal to come. I remember marvelling at it perched there, defying gravity until we were ready to run a knife around its edges, carefully put it on a plate, and pounce. Fragrant geranium leaves or petals pressed into the cake bump up the flavour, and you can vary the species for different flavours: rose, lime or lemon, or chocolate mint."

This helpful and friendly theme continues with tips such as "for a pretty touch, spread the edges of the sandwiches with a thin layer of butter, and then dip the buttered edges in roughly chopped petals" for her pansy tea sandwiches.

An unusual topic but one, once read, with have you experimenting at the oven to the delight of those holding out their cutlery in eager expectation. Do buy as a gift for that special someone - they'll love it.

It was first published in 2013 by Quirk books.

If you need a gift idea for the cook in your life then visit the Christmas page for ideas:

Christmas Cookbooks

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