All About Thyme
  A Weekly Calendar of Times & Seasonings

  Celebrating the Mysteries, Magic, and Myths of Herbs
Susan Wittig Albert  
Special Feature, June 3, 2019  

Sweet, Sweet Flowers

Flowers are the sweetest things God ever made.

—Henry Beecher (1858)

So many flowers are in bloom in the garden right now that we're dazzled. It's time to preserve some for summertime sweet treats, so plan on getting together and spending a few pleasant hours making those flowers even sweeter. Candied blossoms add elegance to cakes, petit fours, cheesecakes, candies, and other dainties. This is a family-friendly project (perfect for National Candy Month), so gather the kids and get started! Read about how to do it.

  • Gather flowers and herb leaves. Good choices: Borage flowers, violas (pansies, violets, Johnny-jump-ups), redbud and lilac florets, rose petals, plum and apple blossoms, mint leaves, lemon balm leaves. Nip off the stems, wash them, and dry them on a towel. Transfer to paper towels to ensure that they are thoroughly dry.

  • Gather ingredients and equipment. You will need 2 room-temperature egg whites, water, a cup or more of superfine sugar in a flat bowl or saucer, a clean tweezers, and a waxed paper-lined cookie sheet or tray.

  • Candy the flowers. Beat the egg whites until they just froth. Holding a flower or leaf with the tweezers, dip it into the egg white. Hold it over the sugar, and gently sprinkle sugar over the whole flower, turning it as you work to coat all the surfaces. Place the candied blossom on the wax paper. Repeat until you've candied all your flowers and leaves. Put the cookie sheet in a warm, dry place to dry. If the humidity is high, this may take up to 36 hours. Alternatives: put them in an oven with the pilot light lit overnight; or set the oven at 150° and dry them with the door open for several hours; or use a dehydrator. Store your candied blossoms in airtight containers (tins or plastic), separating the layers with waxed paper.

Using flowers in the kitchen is fun, so be creative and experiment. If you think that dill and chives go well together, then try combining their flowers in an unusual vinegar or a savory butter. Sample each bloom to see how it tastes and which foods it goes well with. If you don't like it, don't eat it again; if you do, plant a lot in your garden! —Susan Belsinger, Flowers in the Kitchen

Read more about edible blossoms:

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Who's Susan Albert?

Susan Wittig Albert is the author of two recent memoirs: An Extraordinary Year of Ordinary Days and Together, Alone: A Memoir of Marriage and Place. Her fiction, which has appeared on the New York Times bestseller list, includes A Wilder Rose (a novel about Rose Wilder Lane's collaboration with Laura Ingalls Wilder in the writing of the Little House books); the China Bayles mysteries; the Darling Dahlias mysteries; the Cottage Tales of Beatrix Potter; and a series of Victorian-Edwardian mysteries written with her husband, Bill Albert, under the pseudonym of Robin Paige. She is founder and past president of the Story Circle Network, a member of the Texas Institute of Letters, and Honorary President (2012-2014) of the Herb Society of America. More

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Who's China Bayles?

She's the beloved fictional herbalist in Susan Wittig Albert's popular mystery series, set in Pecan Springs TX. For more about her books, visit

For more about herbs and the passing seasons, read China Bayles' Book of Days.

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