In the kitchen with daylilies


One of many wonderful things about this job is the number of beautiful books that land on my desk. Which is why, from my perspective, it doesn't appear that the gardening crowd is going for ebooks in a big way, probably because - like cookbooks - garden books are best experienced in a visual way.

So it was very nice on this Thursday morning to see a book in my office mailbox that combines both of those very visual arts - Cooking with Flowers by Miche Bacher. The subtitle is Sweet and Savory Recipes with Rose Petals, Lilacs, Lavender, and Other Edible Flowers (Quirk Books, release date April 2). The author, from Greenport, N.Y., was featured in the New York Times on Sept. 2 for her sweet shop alled Mali B Sweets, where fresh-local-seasonal is just as important as it would be at a restaurant. Never thought of cakes and cookies being seasonal.

In Bacher's book you'll learn that 1 cup calendula petals equals petals from about 40 to 60 flowers, and that calendula cornbread requires about 1/2 cup. Or that hibiscus fried rice uses 1 teaspoon of hibiscus powder, made from ground dried hibiscus blossoms. Or that 1 cup daylily petals equals petals from about 6 flowers.

Some day, may we all have the time and energy, kitchen and garden, to try these recipes. Meanwhile, since I have a few days off next week - consider it flower show rehab - I'll be getting visual with this lovely book.