With the coming of spring. I begin to remember the delicate aroma and texture and taste of wisteria. Yes, taste. You can eat those lovely purple blossoms. They are terrific in pancakes. They taste like they smell.
For a weekend breakfast - a weekend, so you have time to linger over it - try this a whole wheat buttermilk pancakes flavored with wisteria blossoms and covered with sweet butter and honey.
This is one of the joys I brought back after three years of self-imposed exile on Cumberland Island. wildest and lovebest of the "Golden Isles of Guale." That is the luscious string of barrier islands that stretch along the Georgia coast from South Carolina to Florida. A companion helped me learn to take foods from nature once Euell Gibbons visited and intensified the process, and to open my mind to unusual culinary possibilities.
On a recent visit to the island I saw the wisteria vines hanging heavy they come earlier there. Now I find the promise of blossoms on the vine in my District backyard.
To enjoy this treat at its best, first you will have robbed the bees of some honey at the appropriate time. Late the previous summer, or early fall, to be precise.
Of course you can get your honey from a tamer source, but make sure it's raw honey. Maple syrup is also delicate enough to complement the wisteria blossoms.
Use fresh wisteria blossoms, pulling them into a handful of individual blossoms. I have never measured the flowers just stir them into the batter until the mix looks right.
This recipe makes plump pancakes - not flat like crepes, so th batter should be relatively thin. Grease the cooking pan with unsalted butter and just enough oil to keep the butter from burning.
The mix is a follows: 2/4 cup whole wheat flour 2/4 cup unbleached white flour (1 cup raw wheat germ, substituted for an equal amount of flour - optional) 1/2 teaspoon baking soda 1 teaspoon baking powder 1 tablespoon brown sugar 1 beaten egg 1cup buttermilk (perhaps a bit more will be needed) 2 tablespoons cooking oil
Combine the dry ingredients and mix well. Combine the wet ingredients and mix well. Next, combine dry and wet ingredients and stir until ust blended. Stir in wisteria blossoms.
Cook and enjoy the taste of spring.