Alfresco Spring Dinner + Cooking With Flowers
June 1, 2015
Summer EntertainingOutdoor PartyDinner Party
What I would have given to be a part of a dinner like this one beautiful styled by Rebecca Gallop of A Daily Something at La Montagne At Bluemont. Not only is it dreamy from start to finish and infused with the talents of Petals & HedgesHuckle & Goose and Sweet Root Village, but it was also an amazing culinary workshop by Erin Simpson Lozier that undoubtedly left its attendees inspired and then some. This gallery? It's delicious in every sense of the word
The idea of cooking with flowers has always infatuated me; growing up, we'd sneak marigold and impatiens petals from my mom's flower beds. Several years ago, I picked up a vintage book entitled "The Art of Cooking with Flowers" which provided pages of flowery illustrations, poetry, and recipes centered around this idea of cooking with flowers. The book is divided by flower, and has been a source of constant inspiration over the years. Yet somehow I managed to do nothing more than merely throw some lavender flowers into my homemade herbs de provence sea salt.
Then, I met Erin Simpson Lozier, a central-Virgina blogger and recipe developer, and the idea of collaborating on a flower workshop was born! We worked hand-in-hand with the ladies behind Huckle & Goose, which is a seasonal meal planning service. Christine & Anca, the founders of Huckle & Goose, are good friends of mine and they developed a scrumptious spring dinner menu infused with flowers.
Our dinner included Garlic-Brined & Roasted Heritage Pork Loin, Charred Asparagus with Chopped Parmesan Pesto, Butter-Braised Baby Potatoes with Chive Blossoms, Rustic Rhubarb Cornmeal Cake with a Rose Geranium Mascarpone Cream, and Chamomile and Lavender Blossom Bourbon Bee Tea. We've included the dessert recipes below, and the rest of the recipes can be found on their website!
For the workshop, our instructor Erin started with teaching how to bring floral flavors and colors to the plate through tasting and discussion, followed by hands-on creation of sweet and savory floral-infused items to bring a taste of spring to your kitchen. Students worked together to make floral spring rolls, strawberry rose jam, and lavender infused cider vinegar.
The setting was perfect...a charming Virginia farmhouse welcomed us with open arms. We felt as if we were partaking in history as we prepared supper in the naturally sunlit kitchen and plated dinner under the dark, exposed beams in the dining room. We feasted under the shade of a towering, centuries-old maple tree. This gathering was truly a group effort. My friend Morgan from Petals & Hedges made overflowing floral arrangements for our table tops. She was inspired by springs gardens and soft colors and chose to use simples foliages and vines all foraged from her personal garden beds. Another friend, Melinda from Knead & Know, brought warm baguettes for our cocktail hour, which were served alongside herbed oil for dipping, and a simple plate of cheese and fresh fruit. And these stunning photos are the work of the talented duo behind Sweet Root Village, Rachel & Lauren!