Recipe for Maple Blossoms

Maple Blossom, april82013I did something really off character yesterday and went for a walk in the middle of the day, despite looming deadlines and a long Honey-Do list. Spring is my 'go' season when I adjust to the circadian rhythm of a 6:30am wake up call and spend my days juggling garden work with computer time. Fortunately, that short walk was a great reminder to grab a harvest bag and spend more time outdoors. There are LOTS of foods found easily in the great outdoors, and spring is the time to embrace the season and get moving along trails and roadsides. Yesterday, I spotted dense mats of Miners lettuce, young nettles and vibrant Salmonberry flowers. Maple trees are also in the beginning stages of bloom wherein the branches are bare, but tipped in a dense cluster of closed flowers - the perfect time for pickling.

Here, also, is a recipe for Pickled Maple Blossoms, another wild food project for spring. Fair warning is necessary for these recipes, as the buds and blooms are only perfect a very short amount of time, so make a plan to get out in the coming days.

Pickled Maple Blossoms

Makes about 2 cups start to finish: 20 minutes

2 cups maple blossoms 1 1/2 cups white vinegar 3 tablespoons sugar 2 whole star anise (optional) 1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns 1 teaspoon coriander seeds Pinch of salt

Place maple blossoms in a glass pint jar, and pack them down. In a medium saucepan, heat the vinegar, sugar, star anise, black peppercorns, coriander seeds, and salt over medium heat until simmering. When the liquid is near boiling, pour it over the blossoms and let the mixture sit on the counter until cool, stirring gently on occasion. When cool, store pickled maple blossoms in the refrigerator until ready to serve, up to several weeks.

washed jars | store in fridge