Well, Dear Readers, it’s official! The lilacs are coming! The shrub blooms survived a tumultuous and unpredictable winter and spring. The two seasons were bizarre both filled with snow, late-season frosts and morning freezes. Okay, my hearty little beauties made it to bloom, now what?
The obvious response to this is lots! For starters, pick them and let them perfume and beautify your home. I am on WFMZ TV next week cooking for the 4 o’clock News Hour’s Easy Eats segments (I hope you will watch) so obviously I’m going to bring a big beautiful bouquet to adorn the kitchen set. I’m also going to share these blooms with friends. Since they’re edible, yes you read that correctly, lilac blooms are edible, I will be using the blooms to make a variety of fun and spring-themed treats.
Firstly, I will let them dance around in a food processor with sugar and then spread the mixture out onto a parchment-lined sheet and allow it to dry before I use it in baking projects. Secondly, I am planning to make homemade lilac extract. Making homemade extract is one of my most favorite things to do when I have access to lots of pesticide-free blooms. When we lived in Arizona, my favorite thing to do each spring was to make orange flower water extract. It takes commitment to make homemade extract because it takes timeto complete the process and once you begin making homemade extract, you have to continue it or your end result will not be delicious.
As you can see, Dear Readers, my blooms have not opened fully and the blooms need to be at their peak to make extract at home. For now, I will purchase vodka and make sure I have a clean, glass container with a tight lid ready for when the blossoms are ready. I will post a future blog with the steps and the process as soon as my blooms are ready. I can’t wait to share the steps and my end result with all you Dear Readers!
Avid home cook and passionate instructor