Lately I’ve been obsessing over flowers.
After picking up a copy of Monica Nelson’s book Edible Flowers, Bougainvillea agua frescas, candied violets, and fresh pasta with edible petals pressed into the dough are all I can think about.
Or rather, they are all I want to think about. Call it a distraction piece, call it what you want, kitchen projects have been— and probably always will be— my escape. For the last while, this escape has taken a naturalist turn and I am all the more grateful for the enchantment it has opened my eyes to.
After talking about some of my recent foraging outings with a co-worker, specifically mentioning how magnolia petals turn deep pink hues when put in an acid like lemonade or kombucha, she got excited and asked me if I had ever heard of blue butterfly pea flowers, which turn from deep blue to purple when mixed with an acid, often lemonade. A week later, she brought in a bag of dried petals and gifted them to me. I couldn’t have been more excited for this “magic trick for kids.”
Though I had heard of them vaguely before, I had never had my own butterfly pea flowers to experiment with at home, and didn’t know much about them at all. After consulting Edible Flowers, I learned so much more. Not only is this flower the stuff of witchy magic potions, but FUN FACT, its latin name is Clitoria ternatea, which is, as a matter of fact, referring to exactly what is sounds like it is referring to. Like a Georgia O’keeffe painting, the stuff of iconography.