Alaska Wild Rose and Blue Bells

I can’t say that I watch a ridiculous amount of TV, but of the TV that I watch for my sole enjoyment, a ridiculous amount of it is food related. Add to that near daily walks past a beautifully wooded block on our street I certainly cannot help but notice all the wonderful eatables we have growing this time of year. “I’ve GOT to make a dish with those, and before they go out of bloom!”

Alaska Wild Rose and Blue Bells

Nathan helped me pick the flowers for this special dish.

I bounced around quite a few ideas, literally pondering it sleeplessly during the night, but when I ended buying scallops for another menu it was very easy to image smoking a few with spruce tips.

Camerons Stovetop SmokerSpruce Tips for SmokingI have a wonderful stove-top smoker. It was only $40 here in AK, and works on gas, electric, and glass top ranges. It holds a decent amount, be it meat, vegetables, or whatever, cleans easy and stores great. What do I use it most for? Seafood. Andrew can’t stand the taste of anything from the water. The smell of anything ocean will send him running to the bedroom with a 2 hour pout to follow. (Google Walter the Puppet, “Meh!”)

Smoked Scallops

Lastly, I played around with the idea of salting the honey and decided just to run with it.

Solstice Flowers with Smoked ScallopsI’m not going to lie, it could use some adjusting, but as a whole the idea was beautiful and really not bad. Shooting for an Alaskan theme, the pink petals are wild rose, and the purple are blue bells. The honey actually came from a friend’s hive right here in Anchorage, and the white sea salt is from Kasiloff. Pretty much the only non-Alaskan element was the addition of black salt from Hawaii.

Smoked Scallop Solstice MealIf I make this dish again, I will leave out the black salt as it was too gritty, and lessen the honey, but certainly add more flowers. They are safe to eat (obviously) and in this trial version I didn’t feel their flavors got enough of the stage. The smoked scallops were great and went off without a hitch, and I am glad that I chose only the very small spruce tip needles for plating as they are much less bitter than their adult counterparts, but they too did not make their presence known well enough in the final dish.

Now, of-course half way through the dish above, I had remembered an earlier idea to simply have the flowers with honey and cheese. French inspired…

Cheese with Honey, Wild Rose Petals, and Blue Bells

It’s perfect for a picnic, bride or baby shower, or tea party. This is beautiful, flavorful, and utterly romantic!

You can also just serve them on a soft cheese like feta, or even good ‘ole cream cheese.

Cracker with Feta Cheese, Wild Rose Petals, and Bluebells

As for our Summer Solstice Day as a whole, it was just another work day, but it sure was fun to pick flowers with Nathan. He likes to help in the kitchen. My last thought for this post is to share his attempt at helping me get a photo of the flower petals. I was trying desperately not to crush them while carrying a bag of groceries and trying to get in the house…
“Hey Nathan, can you bring the phone and help me take a photo?”

I finally just gave up and had him hold some so I could take the photo with my other hand. 🙂


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