This was a new store for me and I walked away with three books; a return trip concluded with three more. It looks like it is time to make room on the shelves!
One of the six is entitled Flower Cookery -- The Art of Cooking with Flowers.
|No ISBN; the Library of Congress Number is 67-24072|
What makes this book intriguing is that it is a collection of literary references involving flower use in cooking and medicine. Some entries are tips,
"Rosemary is good for many things: it will make the hair grow, it is a nerve tonic and stomachic,
will cure vertigo, strengthens sight and memory, and is a cordial for the heart."
some are quotations,
"There's Rosemary, that's for remembrance,
I pray you love, remember" -- Shakespeare, Hamlet
and some are recipes (page 154),
Rosemary Tea Sherbert
Prepare two cups of rosemary tea; mix a half cup of sugar and a half cup of water, let it come to a boil, add a tablespoon of lemon juice and a half cup of orange juice, mix with the tea and freeze. Serve in sherbet glasses.
|I remember rosemary...|
Since I had no idea how, exactly, to make rosemary tea, I guessed. Mostly I kept in mind that any frozen dish must have the flavors be more intense before it is frozen, since the cold dulls the taste. So I took about 1/2 cup (not packed) of fresh rosemary leaves stripped from the stems, and steeped them for 20 minutes in two cups of boiling water.
While the tea was steeping I cooked the sugar and water, stirring to mix before the heat was applied, and bringing it to a full, roiling boil. Then I turned off the heat and added the orange and lemon juices.
The scent off the rosemary tea was lovely and made me want to inhale deeply. I strained the tea into a bowl and stirred in the juice mixture.
The bowl made the mixture wide and shallow; I thought this will make it easier to stir as it freezes. The timer was set for thirty minutes for a stir and a check after the bowl went into the freezer.
I tasted the cooled mixture after the first 30 minutes; the flavor was an expected rosemary-citrus that was certainly pleasant but the rosemary was too strong for me. This was a good sign since it was still liquid.
After about 2 hours, ice crystals were forming and it was good to stir the mixture every 30 minutes. Once there was no more liquid, it looked like soft snow and I gave it a taste test.
The rosemary flavor was dominant, almost to the point of being too strong. I love the taste of rosemary, so this wasn't an issue for me, however I suspect it would not be right to serve to guests who did not share my enthusiasm. The underlying flavors of citrus and sweet were alluring and I would guess it would be an excellent item to serve if the rosemary was more of a hint. It could be a dessert or, better yet, an appetizer or a palate-cleanser between courses.
I would call this a success but with limitations. The pairing of rosemary with the citrus is just right.
It was a little embarrassing to peruse the book some more and find their recipe for Rosemary Tea (page 150): "Pour one pint of boiling water on a heaping tablespoonful of young tips." I want to try this recipe again using this to see if my suspicions are true.