Friday, June 30, 2006

Frugal Fridays - Free Food

If you have been reading this blog, you know that we have been experimenting with wild foods (ie weeds.) If not check these previous posts for more info. Eating Weeds Poke Pickles Of course the blackberries and our wild salad at the end of this post .

Last night we tried some new things. My parents ate with us and I think everything was a hit. The starring weeds (wild foods!) were flowers.

Day Lily

Queen Anne's Lace (wild carrot)

I made a salad (using store bought veggies) and topped it off with
some cut Queen Anne's Lace and Daylily petals.
It added some flavor, but mostly it just made it look very pretty.
The lily has kind of a sweet lettuce flavor and the Queen Anne's lace a mild carrot (surprise!) flavor.

Common Milkweed

If you look at a daylily stem, there will be blossoms, buds and spent flowers. They are all edible. We made fritters out of the blossoms and sauteed the buds. The fritters were good, (what isn't good when it is battered and fried?) but there wasn't much taste of the flower. The buds were excellent! They reminded me of asparagus, but with a different texture. The spent flowers I left out to dry. These can be used in soups.

Apparently, daylily is widely used in Asian cooking. I am still looking for some good recipes. One (not Asian) that I would like to do is to stuff the flowers with chicken salad. Wouldn't that be an impressive dish to make for a party or carry in?!

I never realized how pretty milkweed flowers are and the smell wow! They smell wonderful! These we parboiled (have to for the sap) and also made fritters. I liked these fritters better, probably because the flowers are more substantial and you can actually taste some of it. We will be eating the milkweed greens later today.

Everyone seemed to love our new foods. The lily buds were a hit with the adults, the kids of course favored the fritters. It was a very inexpensive meal and really was not time consuming to gather or prepare.

A note of caution: Do not try any wild foods you have not postively identified. There are poisonous plants with flowers that look similiar to Queen Anne's Lace. Common Milkweed also has a poisonous look alike and it has to be prepared properly. The book we like best for identification is Identifying and Harvesting Edible and Medicinal Plants by "Wildman" Steve Brill.


  1. Stealing my posts huh? I will try to fix your pictures.

  2. Your post! Hmph! Considering I harvested and cooked the food while all you did was enjoy the fruit (uh.. . the flowers) of my labor, I think I have dibs on the subject! :)

    You can post about how wonderful your wife is and how delicious the food was! :)

    Love you!

  3. Hey I changed your post tell me if it is ok.

  4. Thank you for this post! These are weeds we have here, too, and I even know what they are. And I love the idea of decorating the meal with edible flowers. Now my daylilies, well, I want to see the flowers in bloom. But will try drying the spent blooms. Is there a use for the stalks? Also, is it wild carrot that produces Queen Anne's lace blossoms? I've been seeing something that looks an awful lot like carrot, and now I am seeing the QAL blossoms.
    Aunt Nancy

  5. You may eat every part of the day lily, but the stalks a rather hard.You may eat the the flower buds: Saute them like Asperagus,they taste really good.

    When idenifying wild carrot(QAL) You must be sure to get it right. There is a poisnous look alike called poison hemlock. It looks similar, but diffrent. Poison Hemlock has a hairless purple mottled stem where QAL is not. and make sure it smells like carrot. Poison Hemlock can kill you or palalize you.

    I 'm sure you know this already but I just wanted to make it clear for everyone reading.

  6. Nope, I didn't. I think I've known Queen Anne's Lace since I was a kid, but a person wouldn't want to be wrong in this case! Thanks.
    Aunt Nancy

  7. Day Lilies actually taste pretty good!