A Feast of Flowers

A Feast of Flowers
(Above) Edible flowers are more than just garnishes on this stand, which features rose-petal tea sandwiches on the middle tier and chicken salad-filled tulips on the top.

Edible flowers lend themselves well to tea sandwiches. Using an herbal spread on bread rounds and then decorating with flowers creates a canapé almost too beautiful to eat. However, one can also use the flowers as part of the sandwich filling. Simply mix a little rose water with softened cream cheese, and spread the mixture onto two slices of white bread. Top the cream cheese on one of the slices with rose petals, and cover with the other bread slice, cream cheese side down. Using a bread knife in a gentle sawing motion, trim and discard crusts, and cut the sandwich into small portions. When the tea sandwiches are displayed on their sides, the flowers look like pretty ribbons.

Breads are another wonderful way to utilize edible flowers. Bake a loaf of your favorite tea bread, arrange fresh flowers on top, and cover with a favorite glaze. Blooms can also be chopped and added to the tea bread batter.

For a colorful butter, roll a log or ball of butter in edible flowers. This is especially nice with flavorful flowers, such as thyme petals or chive blossoms. 

Embellish a punch bowl with a floral ice ring made in a Bundt pan. Fill the pan partway with water and add the edible flowers. Freeze. Add more water, and refreeze. When it is time for the party, loosen the ice ring by running warm water over the back of the pan. Flowers can also be frozen in individual ice cube trays, as pictured on page 51. These methods are excellent ways to save summertime flowers for a mid-winter party. 

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