redbud edible uses

Redbud Blossom Tea Sandwiches

The beautiful Eastern Redbud, or Cercis canadensis, blooms in our region as one of the first flowering shrubs of spring.  It always blooms just before the Dogwood tree and is often referred to as the “Judas Tree”.  Some say the nickname was given because Judas was quick to lead the arrest of Jesus, thus the Redbud, or Judas Tree, blooms quickly before the Dogwood does.  Others say it is because Judas hung himself from a Redbud tree out of dismay at betraying his friend.  Later God dwarfed both trees, the Redbud and the Dogwood, so that their branches Read More

Honeysuckle Infused Sweet Tea

Uses for Honeysuckle

Honeysuckle, summertime heat and southern sweet have always gone hand in hand, but when you start combining them in a glass with ice, well now that’s just crazy talk!  The subtle honeysuckle flavor is just what sweet tea needs to dress it up for a special event. Read More

Violet Flower Jelly

Violet Flower Jelly

The arrival of spring and all its wonderful blossoms, birds and warm breezes is by far my favorite time of the year.  A while back I shared a recipe for Honeysuckle Jelly that is always a big hit everywhere we take it.  The cool thing about this recipe is once you’ve learned how to make the infusion for the jelly, you can substitute virtually ANY edible flower to produce amazing and unique jellies.  The variation I have below is for Violet Jelly, Read More

Elderflower Skillet Bread

Elderflower Skillet Bread

This super easy stovetop bread is an adaptation of what we used to call “Hoe Cake” and incorporates the beautiful and nutritious Elderberry bush flowers that are along creeks and roadside ditches this time of year.  You can substitute any edible flower in this recipe but my favorite is the Elderflower.  Serve it while hot with a little butter and honey as your supper table bread, or add a little sugar to the recipe to turn it into a light cake served with refreshments at afternoon gatherings.  YUM! Read More

honeysuckle jelly

Honeysuckle Jelly – The Taste Of Childhood Summers

Honeysuckle Jelly a

Oh. My. Goodness.  Whether you’ve canned before or not, this is a “must do” this summer.  The scent of Honeysuckle spurs magical childhood memories of summers here in the South where honeysuckles are found at every turn.  Whether you’re outside doing chores or sitting back relaxing, Honeysuckle fragrance has a wonderful way of gently permeating the air and just plain making a person happy.  After many ripped flowers, my 5 year old has finally mastered the extraction technique and formed a real appreciation for Honeysuckle “honey” straight from the flower.  I’m guessing that no matter your age, you probably loved and indulged in the “honey” too.  Hopefully you still do.  With a mind to try and trap some of this delight in a jar, I did a ton of searching for a Honeysuckle Jelly recipe that made sense to me and this is the one I settled on, with a few tweaks.  On the next batch I believe I’ll work on the amount of sugar used, but here is the first version that I still highly recommend.   Spread it on a biscuit or serve it as a unique summer party hors d’oeuvre with a dab of cream cheese on a fancy cracker like you would with Hot Pepper Jelly.  It tastes and smells just like honeysuckle flowers and is bound to get the party conversation started!  Read More

Lamb’s Quarters Chip Dip

Lamb's Quarters Chip Dip with Homemade Crackers

While we’re talking about Lamb’s Quarters and the abundance they’re currently giving, here’s an adapted recipe that we tried out last night.  It was originally a much requested Spinach Dip recipe from a co-worker and friend of mine.  (Thanks Kelly!)  Everyone was always happy when she brought it to whatever party we were having.   Lamb’s Quarters makes a GREAT foraged food substitute! Read More

Lamb’s Quarters – Foraging for Spring Greens

 

Lamb's Quarters foraging

It’s pretty much guaranteed that if you have a garden or flower bed,  you’ve seen Chenopodium album, also known as Lamb’ s Quarters It’s usually considered a weed, but it’s also very tasty, as nutritious as spinach and FREE!  It’s my opinion that it gets labeled as a weed because of its ability to adapt to its environment rather than any tendency toward being aggressive or invasive.

Look for Lamb’s Quarters sprouting up where you’ve previously planted flowers or vegetables and in any other place where the ground has been disturbed.  They have a lovely mild taste and can be prepared just like  Read More

Delicious Daylilies

This time of year is filled with spring buds, sprouting tree leaves and the reemergence of bountiful wild edibles.   One of my favorites that isn’t necessarily “wild” is Daylily greens.  I tend to include them in the wild edibles category simply because once they’re planted, they take care of themselves and produce, produce, produce.  Daylily is an easy one to put into the favorites category because it provides an edible part during just about every season.  You can eat the Read More

The Many Uses of Dandelion – Taraxacum officinale

dandelion herbal medicine, wild edible

The uses and benefits of Dandelion are truly mindboggling.  AND it grows everywhere. For FREE!  The leaves are very nutritious, being high in vitamins B-1,2,5,6 & 12.  Like other leafy greens, they also contain vitamins C, E & D, beta-carotene, iron, calcium, potassium, magnesium, zinc, biotin, and phosphorus.  The root also carries many medicinal properties as a Read More