Tag: Pelargonium

Pelargonium graveolens

There are many different species of the rose-scented Pelargonium. With the Pelargonium graveolens being my personal favorite, it is the one I most frequently use. Just a mere stroll past a Pelargonium graveolens, and crushing a leaf under your nose can inspire a host of tea-time recipe ideas including iced teas, jellies, scones, cupcakes, ice-cream and much more. Used in the correct way, this delicate fragrance can be carried out into your food. If you simmer the leaves gently in some milk, you will be left with a kind of fragrant milk. NOTE: Be careful not to bring the milk to a boil as this will leave a leafy taste.

Spearmint chocolate cake with rose Pelargonium chocolate-truffle icing

Serves 8

FOR THE CAKE

What you will need:

½ cup of cocoa powder

1¾ cups of flour

1½ cups of sugar

½ cup of oil

1 cup of spearmint tea (simmer spearmint in water for 5 minutes)

2 tbs spearmint, chopped

3 tsp baking powder

1 tsp vanilla essence

3 eggs, separated

Method:

Sift the flour and cocoa into a bowl and add the rest of the ingredients, except for the egg whites. In a separate bowl, whisk the egg whites until they are stiff and then carefully fold them into the cake mixture. Pour into a greased cake tin and bake in a preheated oven at 180 degrees Celsius for approximately 40 minutes. Test to see if the cake is ready by gently pricking the cake with a butter knife, and if the knife comes out clean; your cake is ready to come out of the oven.

FOR THE ICING

What you will need:

175 ml of cream

1 slab of milk chocolate, crushed into tiny pieces

A handful of rose-scented Pelargonium leaves and flowers

50 g butter

1 tsp vanilla essence

Method:

Simmer the leaves, butter and cream over a low heat for 10 minutes. Pour the mixture through a strainer into a metal bowl over the crushed chocolate. Add the vanilla essence and beat with a whisk until smooth. Leave the icing to cool. Once it has hardened slightly, ice the cake and decorate it with the Pelargonium flowers.

Pelargonium cake

What is the difference between Geraniums and Pelargoniums? They both come from the same family or Genus called Geraniaceae. An easy way to tell these two species apart is observing them when they are in flower – Geraniums have five petals all of equal size and Pelargoniums have two petals of equal size at the top, and three of a different size below.

How to grow Pelargonium graveolens

Pelargonium graveolens, or more commonly known as ‘rose-scented Pelargonium’, is an easy-to-grow shrub, and grows to a height of one metre. Pelargonium grows naturally from George, through the Eastern Cape, and northern regions, right up to Zimbabwe. It grows best in moist, semi-shaded positions. Pelargoniums flower right through from August to January. The flowers are easily distinguished by their distinct white, pink or mauve-coloured flowers. Pelargonium leaves can be used to make a tea to treat stomach ailments. The tea or crushed leaves are also good for treating symptoms of insomnia.

Copywrite Roushanna Gray and Gael Gray 2016

WEBSITE: www.veldandsea.com

EMAIL: roushanna@hotmail.com

FACEBOK: Veld and Sea

INSTAGRAM: @goodhopegardens

Advertisements

Edible flowers

Its an overcast, rainy day outside.

Image

There are low clouds sweeping across the Fynbos Walk. At night we are still lighting fires, sleeping with extra blankets and wearing layers in the day.

But the garden is convinced that Spring is here!

Here are some of the edible flowers in bloom in our gardens:

CornflowersMulti-coloured Cornflowers

CornflowerCornflower

NasturtiumNasturtium

CorianderCoriander

PoppyPoppy

Radish Radish

BorageBorage

PelargoniumPelargonium

Perenial basilPerennial Basil

CalendulaCalendula

ThymeThyme

TulbaghiaWild garlic

PeaPea

RocketRocket

Rainbow salad recipes are on my mind. Do any of you have a great flower recipe you wouldn’t mind sharing?

Happy Spring!

Foraging and harvesting in the gardens

This post is dedicated to Tai, Thandi, Jack and Rubi

School holidays are viewed with mixed joy and dread. There is the joy of no dark, cold, early morning lunchbox hunts and school runs but with it brings the dread of how to keep such keen little minds entertained the whole day! We kicked off our holiday with a Fynbos Flavour walk and garden tour at the nursery, picking and discovering new smells and tastes and textures. And, of course – getting dirty and eating lots of delicious food. The kids loved every second!

The Fynbos and veg forage and harvest begins….

Picking PelargoniumPicking Pelargonium leaves. The different scented leaves of the Pelargoniums are heavenly in iced teas and baking.

Mentha longifoliaMinty fresh! Indigenous Mentha longifolia.

Wild JasmineSmelling the sweetly perfumed scent of a wild Jasmine flower.

Carissa bushLooking for ripe Num Num or Carissa berries. The white milk that you see when you pick these berries are non toxic. The fruit is delicious and attracts birds and butterflies but this clever bush protects its berries with big spiky thorns.

Sour figSour figs or Carpobrotus edulis. This an amazing all-rounder. It provides snacks, medicine and is a super easy water-wise plant to grow! The tortoises love eating these succulent fleshy leaves.

ChrysanthemoidesSearching for some ripe Tick Berries. The Crysanthemoides monilifera is much loved by the birds and they have usually eaten all the ripe berries before we can find any! “monilifera” means “bearing a necklace” in Latin, referring to its cluster of berries. The berries are green until they ripen, turning into plump juicy black berries that look just like fat ticks.

Portulacaria afraTasting some spekboom leaves. The Portulacaria afra is a fascinating plant. The sharp tart flavoured leaves are edible and are a great addition added raw to salads or fried with a bit of butter and seasoning. It has many medicinal properties including the traditional use of increasing milk production in breastfeeding moms. Elephants love this juicy plant and its a great carbon absorber. It also soaks up the suns harmful rays, creating a happy healthy enviroment for animals and insects to live under.

Kai appleLucky us – there was a Dovyalis caffra with an abundance of its tasty fruit spilling over just waiting to be foraged. Dovyalis means Spear in Greek, and there are long sharp thorns protecting the fruit in these trees. Six nimble fingered hands soon got the hang of extracting the fruit though!

Kai applesThe old kai apples on the ground were declared perfect for magic potions.

Salad greensWe collected some salad greens from the veggie gardens. Coriander, different types of lettuce, spinach, baby beetroot tops, celery, fennel fronds, and edible flowers.

RadishesFat juicy radishes!

Tulbaghia violaceaWe dug for some wild garlic roots. This was quite an established patch, so we had to dig hard and carefully separate some of these roots to be scrubbed well and baked in the oven. As soon as the long leaves are bruised it gives of a strong garlic aroma. Throughout summer, these plants have beautiful violet flowers that can be added to salads and especially delicious in potato salad.

Purple carrotsWe found some crazy purple carrots! These have an amazing nutty taste, nothing like the tasteless orange carrots you find in the supermarkets. Best eaten raw, seconds after picking them and washing them off.

HarvestFood glorious food!

Rinsing the foodRinsing off the leaves and flowers.

Lavender and PelargoniumThe secret ingredients for the scones!

Making the sconesRolling and shaping and adding the petals and leaves to the scones.

Golden sugar-free flower sconesThis golden one is mine!

Fresh rainbow saladFresh rainbow salad – who could resist?

Carissa and Kai apple jam on flower sconesAnyone for a bite of Kai apple and Num num jam on warm buttered flower scones?

A foraged feast!After a morning of hard work, we sat down to a well deserved freshly foraged meal. Delicious!

Lunch time!All our foraged and harvested Fynbos Flavour walks are different, depending on whats growing in the gardens at the time of your visit.

Who knows what next seasons menu will bring…

Hope you will be at the table!