Crystallizing Pansies

The first flowers I bought for my balcony garden were Pansies; purple, maroon, yellow and orange in color.

The Pansy is an adorable flower. I can’t deny that my initial affection for them is based on their musical role in the movie “Alice and Wonderland”. Their petals have such humanistic facial features, you can’t help but love them and use them to add color to your life.

First, I planted my pansies in a planter box that was far to small for their wild ways. Turns out they can grow to be 9 inches tall and their flowers can get to be 2 inches in diameter! So I decided they needed a new, larger pot to call home. After transplanting them, the buds all died off and I got saddened that my new favorite flowers were dead…that’s when I discovered the meaning of “dormancy”. Within a couple of weeks the pansies revived themselves stronger and more vibrant than before.

When the heavy winds and harsh storms that came through Santa Cruz, CA this winter I got pretty nervous for these petite, delicate flowers; thinking the color of my garden would get swept away and lost forever. Yet I’m happy to say they’ve withstood the rough weather conditions thus far. Their hardiness has intrigued me throughout winter, and now I’m afraid I’m going to loose them this spring or summer do to their lack of heat tolerance. So before they actually do die off I wanted to do some more experimentation with their petals beyond using them for edible bouquets, and dried flower greeting cards.

So I decided to crystallized my pansies, and use them as a garnish to my favorite food… ice cream. I know, it’s a guilty pleasure as a gardener, but whatcha’ gonna do? So here’s how I did it.

First, you pick your Pansies.
the pansies we chose

Then, you say goodbye to your Pansy.
Pansy goodbye

Next, you rinse with water, dry, and paint your flower with whipped egg whites.
painting pansies

Generously coat with sugar, and let stand in a warm space for a couple hours.
crystallizing pansies

When they feel stiff and crystallized, then you can eat and enjoy them!
Eat anyway you like!

Have you ever eaten flowers? What kind? And how did you prepare it?

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