flowers

Calendula flowerheads on cardboard.

Yellow

Tim’s just headed off for a conference in India, so first thing this morning I went to my community garden plot to pull up some weeds and give some water to the surprisingly hardy vegetables and flowers I’ve managed to grow.

My harvest included rainbow chard, lettuce, beetroot, a couple of carrots, four snowpeas, some zucchini and their flowers, a few nasturtiums and borage and lots of calendula.

While I was there a fellow gardener mentioned that she had made her own calendula handcream with petals infused in butterschmalz (Austrian ghee). Once I got home I looked up some more information about processing calendula and laid out the flower heads on cardboard and took them up to the communal attic space to dry out.

Calendula flowerheads on cardboard.

drying calendula (ringelblumen) to eventually be used to make an infused oil

Then I had to do something with the rest of the produce – most of it can wait for tomorrow to be cooked, but the zucchini flowers had to be used straight away. At the time it seemed that deep frying them was the best way to go. However, I have never properly deepfried anything – but I do have a multicooker-rice and yoghurt making machine that also functions as a deep fryer.

Deep frying four zucchini flowers seemed like a waste of time, energy, batter and oil. so in addition to making batter and a feta and zucchini butter filling for the zucchini flowers, I found a green pepper, some sweet potato and decided to fry up some of the nasturtiums and calendula blossoms too.

tempura fried vegetables and flowers

filled Hafengarten zucchini blossoms, sweet potato, calendula flowers (not shown – green pepper and nasturtiums)

It turns out that the actual deep frying wasn’t so scary – but there is a lot to clean up. The biggest problem was that experimental cooking when you are at home alone also eventuates in solo eating. Making tempura is not so difficult, but the next time I will make sure someone else is around to help me eat it all.