Wednesday, June 30, 2010
Tears of a Woman
:A little boy asks his mother: « Why do you cry ? » « Because I am a woman » she answers. « I don’t understand » he says. His mother hugs him and says : « and you never will»
:Later the little boy asked his father : « Why does mommy cry » ? « All women cry for no reason », is all that his father could answer him.
:When he became an adult he asked God : « God, why do women cry so easily? »
:And God Answered : « When I created woman, she needed to be special. I created her shoulders strong enough to bear the weight of the world… And soft enough to be comfortable ».
I gave her the strength to give life, The kind that accepts the rejection that often comes from children. »
I gave her the strength to allow her to go on when everybody else give up. The kind that takes care of her family, despite illness and fatigue. »
I gave her the sensitivity to love her children unconditionally, Even when they have hurt her deeply. »
I gave her the strength to endure her husband in his faults And to stay at his side without weakening»
And finally, I gave her tears to shed whenever she needs them to be shed. »
You see my son, the beauty of a woman is not in the clothes she wears, nor is it in her face or in the way she does her hair.
The beauty of a woman resides in her eyes. It is the door to her heart ; the door where Love resides.
And it is often through her tears that you see her heart go by.
Tuesday, June 29, 2010
Someone asked what would the tree say if it could speak.
Well, let me tell you the tree does speak we do not hear because we do not listen to its soft voice.
It tells me that it has stood for many generations and has witnessed many things some good and some bad, some happy and some sad.
It speaks of the people and how they are torn apart by childish things.
It speaks of families turning on each other and nations not respecting the ways of each.
It tells of those that say me and not we. It tells of us not caring for the gifts of the mother earth that our Creator has given us so that we may live on.
It tells me of the pollution of the earth and waters and of the pollution of our minds that effect the spirit even the very air that has been given for us to breath.
It tells me that it and it's brothers give their lives freely so we may live and how we take more than we need and how soon there will be none of it's brothers left.
It says HO! Look at us our roots are all connected we sustain each other, we stand tall together.
It asks why we as humans cannot do the same.
Yes the old tree is wise, it speaks the truth we must but only listen to it's words.
Our trees....guardians of time...
oxygenators...home to our brothers and sisters....
Source of peace, beauty and healing energy....
Their abundance,,,,or lack of
is a reflection of the abundance or lack of....
the higher consciousness in mankind.....
Never miss a hug with a healing tree
American Indians sometimes call ourselves People of the Land and we call our cousins of the plant kingdom Standing Ones or Standing People. Our beautiful cousins were given special status as providers and givers by the Creator. Some provide shelter and others give food to their animal, plant and insect relatives. Many give physical, emotional, and spiritual healing.
Standing Ones pray as they lift their arms upward in eternal praise and thanks to the Creator. The Standing People are forever connected to the Mother Earth receiving her life force and resources as they supply fruits, berries, sap, nuts, grains and vegetables for nourishment. They give wood for heat and lodging. Their bodies become home to many animals, birds and insects.
One of the greatest gifts of the Standing Ones to humans is teaching us valuable lessons of life. One only has to look at a tree or its smaller cousins to realize they are flexible against heavy winds and adapt quickly to changing conditions.
They teach us to remain calm and deeply rooted in our traditions during times of storms and upheaval. They teach us ways to survive against many adversaries and yet remain balanced in the Circle of Life.
Some Standing Ones, including trees, shrubs, vines and smaller plants provide powerful lessons and affect our lives as humans in many ways. The following are a few examples of the special personalities or gifts that can help us to walk the Good Red Road.
ASH is peace of mind through protection. It helps to overcome mental barriers and obstructions.
Ash promotes good health and the recovery from illness. Ash is flexibility and prosperity.
ASPEN is the tree of nursing. It keeps one safe from the known and the unknown. It guards mental well-being and resources.
Aspen is eloquence and elegance; loyalty and harmony.
BASSWOOD is the tree of false identity and masks.
Basswood enables one to remove the mask of life, and return to reality.
BIRCH is growth in understanding of the inner Self, others, the world and
All Our Relations.
The awareness that Birch brings removes restrictions and allows one to proceed. Birch is protection.
BLACK SPRUCE allows one to explore lofty ideas,
connect with the Earth, and find his/her unique ways of reaching Spirit.
BORAGE encourages trust in the healing process and the natural order of life.
CHERRY is the tree of healing, rejuvenation, cleaning, and clearing.
Cherry is the tree of the heart.
COMFREY is regeneration and healing on all levels--physical, mental, spiritual, and emotional.
MAPLE is the tree of offering, giving of one's self so that others may benefit. Maple is circulation, prosperity, and sweetness.
MINT stimulates and intensifies ones sensual nature. It purifies thought, soothes the nerves. It is the enhancement of energy, and an increase in creativity.
MUGWORT is helpful in dreaming. It balances female energies and encourages female strength. It offers protection from exterior forces when used as smudge.
MULLEIN enables one to explore the smooth and healing aspects of his/her nature.
NETTLE purifies, strengthens, heals, and keeps the flow of emotions in check..
OAK is strength and longevity. Oak increases confidence and magnifies opportunities. Oak provides security and protection. Vitality and productivity are the Medicine of Oak.
PINE is the tree of longevity, nourishment, fertility, and abundance. It allows one to become socially aware of all that is around. Pine is masculine sexuality.
REDWOOD is the Grandmother Spirit of the forests. It is unending Truth, ultimate wisdom and knowledge.
ROSE is the flower of beauty.
It also teaches of joy and sorrow, a rose between two thorns. Rose teaches to open up and let go of the emotions.
ROWAN brings protections from harm.
SAGE removes negativity and offers protection, healing, and balance.
SWEETGRASS calls in good spirits and serves as a Guardian. It expands ones abilities.
SYCAMORE teaches how to reach your goals.
THISTLE aids in understanding and working with the different levels of reality.
VIOLET awakens the heart to the fullness of its feelings and helps in understanding the depths of life.
WALNUT involves the use of intelligence and helps one to focus.
WILLOW is love and the give-and-take that is needed for a healthy relationship. It is truth and justice. Willow captures dreams and enhances journeys. The smooth flow of emotions.
YARROW deals with the healing powers within, and inner strength.
TALK TO THE STANDING ONES
It is our experience that Standing Ones can communicate with their cousins of the animal and insect kingdoms, including the 'five fingered' race or humans. This may sound crazy because communication in human terms requires a brain, intellect, and language. Nonetheless, you can learn to 'talk' with them. Eventually, with enough practice and patience, you too can learn how to give and receive messages with the Standing Ones.
Grandpa would often sit under the shade of a giant oak on warm afternoons and tell stories to anyone who would listen. When beginning a story, he would often look up at the oak tree and say, "Wonder what Old One would say if it could talk?"
We asked Grandpa one time if he could tell what the tree said. He replied, "It is said all our people talked with the Standing Ones in times gone by, but humans began to think they were better than the trees and animals. They placed themselves above nature and claimed dominion over all the earth. That is when humans stopped listening and the green things stopped talking."
Often, Grandpa sat for a long time with his wrinkled, weather-beaten hands resting on or patting the old oak. He nodded his head and occasionally mumbled or softly sang to the tree. All us kids thought Grandpa was going senile until one day he shocked us with a 'message' from the tree.
"Old Oak says there is a large crystal stone buried within its western shadow," said Grandpa.
We did not know weather to believe him or not until lighting struck the old tree many years after Grandpa passed away.
As the tree fell down the hill it pulled giant roots from the ground revealing a massive crystal.
Almost every tribe across Turtle Island has stories about the discovery of a miracle plant cure that was gifted to the people with the help of the Standing Ones. Somehow information about where to look, what to look for and how to prepare a particular plant for medicine was communicated in a time of great need by the trees and plants. Folklore or fact?
Scientific studies show that plants respond positively to soothing music and gentle words. And, there are documented cases of plants that soon died after their owners passed away.
How do you communicate with the Standing People? Easy. Select a tree or other plant with 'character' and introduce yourself. Sing a little song and say a prayer 'with' your new friend. Every day go to the tree or plant and tell it something about yourself, your life, your dreams. Do not forget to listen.
Be patient. It will take time for the Standing People to wake up and begin listening. Once they are certain of your intentions and they will begin to 'tune-in' to your vibrations. After a feeling of mutual respect has been established, they will start to grow channels within their body allowing for a flow of energy to increase.
One day, after you have give enough time and interest to this pursuit, your plant friend will send you a signal or message that it is ready to begin communication in earnest with you.
The tremendous depth of learning, beauty and peace that may be acquired from the lessons of the Standing Ones will be yours.
It's a quiet moment, a moment that brings to mind the quiet of sunset at the beach. I see the ebb and flow of ocean waves that capture the slices of golds and pinks of the sky, and carry them across the endless expanse of the great waters only to fling them upon rock and sand.
Oh, Great Spirit, How wondrous is your presence, your power, and your endless ways of creating all that lives to ever greater heights.
Just walk the beach. Enjoy the refreshing salty mist rising from the foamy waters borne by the gentle winds. Feel the coolness of wet sand beneath your feet. See the fading light play itself out in the distant forest and hills until there is merely a small faint glow. Quickly, the evening sky emerges bearing endless array of diamond stars.
Oh yes, we've seen the same before, but never are two the same. Each bares its own particular color and design.
It is a place where the physical elements of all living are set aside, and the soul (the true essence of all that lives,) comes forth to join the great dance in celebration, to honor Great Spirit.
Peace to all my Sisters and Brothers. May each of you rest quietly, and awaken wholly new in love and joy, until the sun moves into Western skies to bring us once more into this glorious moment with Great Spirit... DancingFire Brenda
Monday, June 28, 2010
by Andrea Weitzner
Back to The Wisdom Garden
Loving a human being is accepting the opportunity of truly getting to know them, and enjoying the adventure of exploring and discovering what lies beyond their masks and defenses. It is contemplating with tenderness their deepest feelings, fears and insecurities, their dreams and joys, sorrows and aspirations. It is being able to understand that behind their shields and masks, a sensitive and lonely heart is hidden, starving for a friendly hand and a sincere smile where they can feel at home. It is acknowledging with respectful compassion, that the disharmony and chaos in which they sometimes live are the product of their ignorance and unconsciousness, and realizing that if they occasionally cause pain and sorrow, it is because they have not yet learned to cultivate happiness, and sometimes they feel so empty and such lack of sense that they can’t even trust themselves. It is discovering and honoring their true identity beyond all superficial appearances, and to honestly appreciate their infinite greatness as a unique expression of Life itself.
Loving a human being is giving them the opportunity of being listened to with deep attention, interest and respect; accepting their experience not trying to modify it but to understand it. It is offering them a space where they can discover themselves without the fear of feeling questioned, a space where they can feel comfortable sharing their feelings without being forced to reveal the things they consider private. It is acknowledging and displaying the fact that they have the inalienable right to choose their own path, even if it is different from your own. It is allowing them to discover their inner truth by themselves, in their own way. It is appreciating them without conditions, neither judging nor evaluating disapproving of them, and without asking them to adjust themselves to fit your ideals nor expecting them to act and behave according to your standards. It is appreciating them for what they are and not for what you would like them to be. It is trusting their ability to learn from their mistakes and to pick themselves back up when they fall, stronger and more mature. It is communicating your faith in them as a human being.
Loving a human being is daring to show yourself defenseless, revealing your inner truth — naked, honest and transparent. It is uncovering your own feelings and vulnerabilities. It is allowing them to get to know the person you really are, without making up an image designed to cause a favorable impression. It is exposing your desires and needs, without expecting them to be responsible for fulfilling them. It is expressing your thoughts and ideas without intending to convince them that they are correct. It is enjoying the privilege of being yourself without asking for approval, thus discovering new and different aspects of your personality. It is being truthful and, without fear or shame, being able to say: "This is who I am, at this point of my life, and I gladly and freely share it with you... if you wish to receive it."
Loving a human being is wanting to commit yourself voluntarily, and being able to actively respond to their need for personal development. It is believing in them when they doubt themselves, spreading your vitality and enthusiasm when they are about to give up, supporting them in moments of weakness, encouraging them when they feel insecure, holding their hand firmly and guiding them when they feel lost, caressing them with tenderness when they feel a burden — without letting yourself get carried away by their sorrows. It is being able to share each other in the present, enjoying the simple pleasure of being together without any ties or obligations.
Loving a human being is being humble enough to receive their tenderness and affection without pretending not to need anything. It is joyfully accepting what they offer you, without demanding what they can’t or don’t want to give you. It is feeling gratitude towards Life for the wonder of their existence, and feeling their presence as a true blessing in your path. It is enjoying the experience of being together, knowing that each day is an uncertain adventure and tomorrow is an endless question. It is living each instant as if it were the last one you will share with each other, and making each encounter as deep and intense as the first one — turning the 'ordinary' into a new and miraculous creation.
Loving a human being is to spontaneously express your love through your glance glances, your gestures and smiles, your firm and delicate caress, your vigorous embrace, your kisses, with simple and honest words. It is letting them know how much you appreciate them for who they are, how much you appreciate their inner treasures, including the qualities that are yet unknown to them. It is seeing their latent potential, helping the sleeping seed to blossom within them. It is letting them know that their personal growth is truly important to you, and that they can count on you. It is allowing them to discover their creative talents, encouraging them to live up to their full potential. It is revealing unto them their own inner treasures, and collaborating in mutual agreement to make this life a richer and more meaningful experience.
Loving a human being is also being able to establish your own limits and to firmly sustain them. It is respecting yourself, not allowing the other to transgress what you consider your personal rights. It is having so much confidence in yourself and the other that, without fear of damaging the relationship, you can feel free to express your anger without offending them, declaring whatever bothers or intimidates you without intending to hurt their feelings. It is acknowledging and respecting their limitations, seeing them with appreciation but without idealization. It is sharing and enjoying the agreements and accepting the disagreements. And if there ever came a day in which your paths diverged unavoidably, loving another is being able to part in peace and harmony, in such a way that both can remember each other with gratitude for the treasures you once shared.
Loving a human being is moving beyond their individuality; it is perceiving and appreciating them as a sample of humanity as a whole, as an expression of Mankind, as a evident manifestation of that transcendental and intangible essence called "human being", of which you are a part. It is acknowledging through them, the indescribable miracle of human nature, which is your own nature, with all its magnificence and limitations. It is appreciating the radiant and shining facets of humanity as well as its dark sides. Loving a human being, in essence, is loving human nature for what it really is. Therefore, loving a human being is loving yourself, feeling proud to be a note in the symphony of this world.
Saturday, June 19, 2010
I am not sure who wrote this piece. I found it some years ago while surfing the internet,it resonated with me and I immediately realized that I had been singing the same song since I could remember. I share it here as I think it is important.
If the genie of Fate were to touch me with this particular magic, I trust that I would not have the arrogance to pretend that any solution I might offer could repair the wreckage of millennia. When the first human jammed the first dibble stick into the first patch of earth, forces were set in motion that can now be discerned in the stink of city air, the shine of corrupted rivers, the degradation of land, the silent deaths of species. That is a history beyond my capacity to change. Often as not, it is a history beyond my capacity to understand. Nevertheless, the process of change has to begin somewhere, and if the power were given me, then this is what I would do:
I would mandate that each newborn child be exposed to the wonder of the living earth from the first moments of its life- that among its first sights, sounds, smells, and touching should be the cries and odors and warmth of animals, the rustle of leaves, the majesty of trees, the feel of wind, the embrace of heat and the grip of cold, the spice of salt air, the sound of owls calling in the night.
I would have wings in the air all about the child. I would have the child brought to sit before flowers.
As the child grows, long before it is taught the practical matters of life, I would have it learn first the names of the wild creatures and other things with which its life has been joined: grasses and insects, birds and squirrels, clouds and rain, stones and stars. I would have the child taught that each of these deserves a reverence no less profound than that which should be given to the child itself.
At the earliest age possible, I would have the child brought before teachers, just as I have taught my own, who would explain how the community of life is a structure of interdependence, one life giving nurture to another , each supporting the whole- and that to abuse the privilege of residing here by threatening the future of any individual species in this fragile network is to place at risk all others.
From these same teachers, I would have the child learn that while death is both natural and inevitable and that the death of one individual often sustains the existence of another, death without purpose, death that is careless, death that is not sanctified by the solemn gratitude of the taker of life is a violation of all that could be called holy.
I would have the child learn, deep in the marrow of its being, that it has the power either to enhance or to degrade some portion of the world into which it has come, and that the exercise of that power has consequences that will outlive the child itself. In the mirror of every action, the child should be told, is the face of the future.
Not until these things have become so embedded in the child’s mind and heart that life would be incomprehensible without them- not until then would I introduce the child to the world of practical matters, of institutional learning, of the getting and spending of money, of the promise and perils of citizenship.
For the first time in human history, in short, I would have us produce an entire generation of young people whose understanding of their place in the long narrative of humanity’s sojourn on this planet is secure, and whose responsibility to the world around them is something they assume without question.
For only through such a generation could we truly hope to change the course of history and redeem our speciesThe millennium is here. Let us take stock of who we are and where we are going. Is it acceptable to weep not only for human suffering but also for the rampant misery of other animals with whom we share the planet? Can we shed tears for Sissy, the severely beaten elephant at the El Paso Zoo, the kicked and abused elephants and chimpanzee, Trudy, at the Chippenfield Circus in England? Can we also weep for the millions of animals in laboratory prisons, the billions of animals tortured and slaughtered for food and clothing? Can we sincerely mourn the destruction of the natural world, the vanishing forests, wetlands, savannas and bodies of water? Hope these twelve mantras will make a difference for future generations:
One: Compassion and empathy for animals beget compassion and empathy for humans. Cruelty towards animals begets cruelty toward humans.
Two: All life has value and should be respected. Every animal owns her or his own life spark. Animals are not owned as property. All living creatures deserve these basic rights: the right to life, freedom from torture, and liberty to express their individual natures. Many law schools offer courses in animal law. If we agree, we would interact with animals in rather different ways. We shall need compelling reasons for denying these rights and ask forgiveness for any animal we harm.
Three: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Imagine what it would be like to be caged, trapped, restrained, isolated, mutilated, shocked, starved, socially deprived, hung upside down awaiting death or watching others slaughtered. Biological data clearly show that many animals suffer physically and psychologically and feel pain.
Four: Dominion does not mean domination. We hold dominion over animals only because of our powerful and ubiquitous intellect. Not because we are morally superior. Not because we have a "right" to exploit those who cannot defend themselves. Let us use our brain to move towards compassion away from cruelty, to feel empathy rather than cold indifference, to feel animals' pain in our hearts.
Five: Human beings are a part of the animal kingdom not apart from it. The separation of "us" from "them" creates a false picture and is responsible for much suffering. It is part of the in-group/out-group mentality that leads to human oppression of the weak by the strong as in ethnic, religious, political and social conflicts. Let us open our hearts to two-way relationships with other animals, each giving and receiving. This brings pure and uncomplicated joy.
Six: Imagine a world without animals. No birdsong, no droning of nectar searching bees, no coyotes howling, no thundering of hooves on the plains. Rachel Carson chilled our hearts with thoughts of the silent spring. Now we face the prospect of silent summers, falls and winters.
Seven: Tread lightly. Only interfere when it will be in the best interests of the animals. Imagine a world where we truly respect and admire animals, feel heart-felt empathy, compassion and understanding. Imagine how we should be freed of guilt, conscious or unconscious.
Eight: Make ethical choices in what we buy, do and watch. In a consumer-driven society our individual choices, used collectively for the good of animals and nature, can change the world faster than laws.
Nine: Have the courage of conviction. Never say never. Act now. Be proactive, prevent animal abuse before it starts. Dare to speak out to save the world's precious and fragile resources. Live as much as possible in harmony with nature, respecting the intrinsic value of all life and the wondrous composition of earth, water and air.
Ten: Every individual matters and has a role to play. Our actions make a difference. Public pressure has been responsible for much social change, including more humane treatment of animals. "Whistle blowers" have courageously revealed intolerable conditions in laboratories, circuses, slaughterhouses and so on, often at the expense of their jobs:
Henry Spira organized peaceful demonstrations that led to the abolishment of the Draize test in which rabbits were harmed to learn about the effects of eyeshadow. His efforts also led to the formation of centers devoted to the development of non-animal alternatives, sponsored by the cosmetic companies themselves.
Public pressure greatly reduced veal consumption and led to Sears, Roebuck, and Company ending their sponsorship of Ringling Brothers Barnum & Bailey Circus. Helen Steel and Dave Morris took on McDonald's in the longest trial in British history (the McLibel case) and showed that they exploit children with their advertising and are "culpably responsible" for cruelty to animals.
Eleven: Be a passionate visionary, a courageous crusader. Combat cruelty and catalyze compassion. Do not fear to express love. Do not fear to be too generous or too kind. Above all, understand that there are many reasons to remain optimistic even when things seem grim. Let us harness the indomitable human spirit. Together we can make this a better world for all living organisms. We must, for our children, and theirs. We must stroll with our kin, not walk away from them.
Gather together your loved ones, garden , grow your own meat , find another alternative to your power sources, your water sources. Get ready for what will come, when it comes .
A millennial mantra: When animals lose, we all lose. Every single loss diminishes us as well as the magnificent world in which we live together. In times of fear, most people step back and wait to see what others are going to do and what's going to happen. Some people, though, see the situation as an opportunity to step forward and take a stand.
Friday, June 18, 2010
Thursday, June 17, 2010
It Is raining here this morning but I am no less happier because of it . The veggie garden,flowers and fruit trees we planted really need it .We have been working hard trying to get the weeding done and had to plant a few veggies for a second time as they did not germinate the first time
I will be taking a walk down back on the path today to do some foraging.The season of bountiful blessings, of flowers and berries, of buzzing bees and butterflies invites us to join in the dance of life, manifest in the cosmic rhythms of nature. Each foraging foray is a journey of discovery, and a sharing in all the great and small miracles of life that happen all around us, if we only open our eyes and ears, our hearts and souls to contemplate this miraculous power called life. I love pondering these mysteries while communing with plant spirits as I munch my way through fields and forest, that's when I feel closest to my creator.
For me, heaven is a Wild Strawberry patch (Fragaria vesca). Time and space just seems to melt into insignificance when I let myself be seduced by the allure of these sumptious little 'scrummy yums'. It is an art to catch them at just the right moment, when all white patches have turned a glowing red yet before they are gobbled up by other, equally keen competitors or, heaven forbid, they have started their rapid process of decay. Wild strawberries are a food for instant gratification, to be enjoyed in the here and now. Gathering them for later is not impossible, but barely worth it. By the time one has picked enough and taken them home they will have started to go mushy. Though they might still taste good (never as good as straight from the bushel), they no longer look appealing. Plus, given the temptation to put all those little 'bonnes bouches' straight down the gob instead of into the pail, it could take a very long time to gather enough for later. Strawberries are not just delicious, in former times they were highly regarded as aphrodisiacs an association which is not hard to understand. Artists throughout the centuries have used the Strawberries as a symbol of sexual allure. Strawberries are also healthy. The fruits contain the highest amount of Vitamin C of any berry. They are a good cleansing food, acting mildly diuretic and diaphoretic. The dried leaves are used as a popular breakfast tea, often mixed with Raspberry (Rubus idaeus) and Blackberry (Rubus fruticosus) leaves. However, some unfortunate people are sensitive to Strawberries and get allergic reactions, so individual tolerance levels should be carefully monitored unless you are absolutely sure that you are not allergic.
I also delight in the season's blessing of flowers many of which are edible and not only add a wonderful subtle taste to numerous sweet or savory dishes but also add a bold and cheerful splash of colour that is sure to get attention. Borage flowers (Borago officinalis), Nasturtiums, Calendula (Calendula officinalis) and Rose petals (Rosea canina) are favourites. One wonderful specialty of the season are filled Squash (Cucurbita pepo) flowers. Being big, bright, fairly tough and edible they lend themselves perfectly for this unusual dish. The filling is only limited by your imagination, but a stuffing type filling, neither too runny nor too heavy work especially well. Mix grains such as Bulgar wheat or rice with onions, garlic and mushrooms and sprinkle with a fairly soft, quickly melting cheese and some Parmesan cheese and grill until the cheese is melted. Or mix breadcrumbs and cornflakes with butter to make a crust and grill until golden brown. The list of edible flowers is long...very long.
One very important thing that you need to remember is that not every flower is edible.
In fact, sampling some flowers can make you very, very sick.
You also should NEVER use pesticides or other chemicals on any part of any plant that produces blossoms you plan to eat.
Never harvest flowers growing by the roadside.
Identify the flower exactly and eat only edible flowers, and edible parts of those flowers.
Always remember to use flowers sparingly in your recipes due to the digestive complications that can occur with a large consumption rate. Most herb flowers have a taste that's similar to the leaf, but spicier. The concept of using fresh edible flowers in cooking is not new.
Remove the stamens and styles from the flowers before eating. The pollen can detract from the flavor of the flower. In addition, the pollen may cause an allergic reaction in some individuals. Remove the sepals of all flowers except violas, Johnny-jump-ups, and pansies.
Only the petals of some flowers such as rose, calendula, tulip, chrysanthemum, yucca, and lavender are edible. When using just the petals, separate them from the rest of the flower just prior to use to keep wilting to a minimum. Others, including Johnny-jump-up, violet, runner bean, honeysuckle, and clover can be eaten in their entirety.
Roses, dianthus, English daisies, marigolds and chrysanthemums have a bitter white portion at the base of the petal where it was attached to the flower. Bread or cut off the bitter part off the petal before using.
Cleaning Edible Flowers:
Shake each flower to dislodge insects hidden in the petal folds.
After having removed the stamen, wash the flowers under a fine jet of water or in a strainer placed in a large bowl of water.
Drain and allow to dry on absorbent paper. The flowers will retain their odor and color providing they dry quickly and that they are not exposed to direct sunlight.
Preserving Edible Flowers:
To preserve flowers, put them on moist paper and place together in a hermetically-sealed container or in plastic wrapping. This way, certain species can be preserved in the refrigerator for some 10 days.
If the flowers are limp, they can be revitalized by floating them on icy water for a few moments; don't leave too long or else they will lose some of their flavor.
You can also store the whole flower in a glass of water in the refrigerator overnight.
Crystallized/Candy Edible Flowers:
Candied flowers and petals can be used in a variety of imaginative ways - to decorate cakes large and small - all kinds of sweet things, such as ice cream, sherbet, crèmes and fruit salads, cocktails.
1 egg white or powdered egg whites
Superfine granulated sugar (either purchased or made in a blender or food processor - just blend regular sugar until extra-fine)
Violets, pansies, Johnny-jump-ups, rose petals, lilac, borage, pea, pinks, scented geraniums, etc.
Wire rack covered with wax paper
Carefully clean and completely dry the flowers or petals.
Beat the egg white in the small bowl until slightly foamy, if necessary add a few drops of water to make the white easy to spread.
Paint each flower individually with beaten egg white using the small paintbrush. When thoroughly coated with egg white, sprinkle with superfine sugar.
Place the coated flowers or petals on wax paper on a wire rack. Let dry at room temperature (this could take 12 to 36 hours). To test for dryness, check the base of the bloom and the heart of the flower to make sure they have no moisture. Flowers are completely dry when stiff and brittle to the touch. NOTE: To hasten drying, you may place the candied flowers in an oven with a pilot light overnight, or in an oven set at 150 degrees to 200 degrees F with the door ajar for a few hours.
Store the flowers in layers, separated by tissue paper, in an airtight container at room temperature until ready to use.
Garnishing Cheeses with Edible Flowers
The cheese can be prepared 24 hours in advance of serving. Use flat chunks of cheese, with edible rinds, in a variety of shapes. (Cheddar, Jack, Brie, or Camembert, in round, wedge, or square shapes)
Edible flowers or herbs
2 cups dry white wine
1 envelope unflavored gelatin
Lay the flowers and herbs flat on top of the cheese in the presentation that you want to display.
Then remove the flowers and herbs, lay them aside in the pattern you want to display them.
In the medium size saucepan over medium heat, combine the white wine and gelatin. Stir until gelatin is completely dissolved and the mixture is clear. Remove from heat and put the saucepan in a larger container filled with ice. Keep stirring as it thickens, NOTE: Stir slowly so you don't create bubbles. (If it gets too thick, you can reheat and repeat.)
Place the cheese in a dish to catch the drippings from your glaze.
Spoon the glaze over the cheese and spread evenly. After a few minutes it will become tacky to the touch, then you can "paste" on your flowers in the design pattern you planned.
Refrigerate about 15 minutes; then remove from refrigerator and spoon more glaze over the flowers.
NOTE: Make as many layers of glaze as necessary to cover your decorations - can be three layers for a thick design. If the glaze thickens up too much, just reheat and replace in ice.
Serve with crackers.
Making Flower Petal Tea:
2 cups fresh fragrant rose petals (about 15 large roses)*
3 cups distilled water
Honey or granulated sugar to taste
*All roses that you intend to consume must be free of pesticides. Do not eat flowers from florists, nurseries, or garden centers. In many cases these flowers have been treated with pesticides not labeled for food crops. The tastiest roses are usually the most fragrant.
Clip and discard bitter white bases from the rose petals; rinse petals thoroughly and Pat dry
In a small saucepan over medium-high heat, place the prepared rose petals. Cover with water and bring just to a simmer; let simmer for approximately 5 minutes, or until the petals become discolored (darkened).
Remove from heat and strain the hot rose petal liquid into teacups. Add honey or sugar to taste.
Makes 4 servings.
Making Blossom Ice Cubes:
Gently rinse your pesticide-free flower blossoms.
Boil water for 2 minutes for all the air trapped in the water to escape. Remove from heat and let the water cool until room temperature. NOTE: This will ensure that the ice cubes are crystal clear.
Place each blossom at the base of each individual compartment within an ice tray. Fill each compartment half full with the cooled boiled water and freeze.
After the water is frozen solid, fill each ice cube compartment the rest of the way to the top with the remaining boiled water. Freeze until ready to use.
Making Flower-Infused Syrup:
1 cup water (or rosewater)
3 cups granulated sugar
1/2 to 1 cup edible flower petals (whole or crushed)
In a saucepan over medium heat, add the water or rosewater, sugar, and edible flower petals; bring to a boil and let boil for approximately 10 minutes or until thickened into syrup. Remove from heat.
Strain through cheesecloth into a clean glass jar.
Keeps up to 2 weeks in the refrigerator.
Can be added to sparkling water or champagne for a delicious beverage. Or, it may be poured over fruit, pound cake or pancakes.
Makes about 2 to 3 cups syrup.
How To Make Flower Butter:
1/2 to 1 cup chopped fresh or dried petals
1 pound sweet unsalted butter, room temperature
Finely chop flower petals and mix into softened butter. Allow the mixture to stand at room temperature overnight to allow the flavors to fuse.
Chill for a couple of weeks or freeze for several months.
You can look online for a list of edible flowers or just ask me and I will post the list if you are interested. I pray you all a beautiful day...Dancing