The smell of moist earth and lilacs hung in the air like wisps of the past and hints of the future. – Margaret Millar
This year, summer begins with the solstice on June 20th. Although, technically, the season of spring is as long as the other three seasons, here in Montréal, it never seems that way. Winter always drags on way past the first day of spring like an unwanted house guest that keeps extending his stay and Victoria day (or Fête de la Reine as it is called in Québec) weekend unofficially marks the start of summer well in advance of the summer solstice. In between are the fleeting days of spring when the lightly coloured buds on tree branches that were just shyly making their debut burst into an opulent mass of green and everyone forgets the stubborn hold the wintry days had on us just several weeks ago. There is something quite bittersweet about these evanescent days, like a romance that has to end before it can take off, the one that you think of now and then and can’t help but smile and wonder what if? During this short spring, gardens throughout the city come to life with tulips and daffodils, crab apples and lilacs in full bloom. Of all of these, lilacs are my favourite.Aren’t they just so lovely? Did you know that lilac flowers are edible? But don’t let the sweet scent fool you; they actually taste quite bitter. I use them sparingly, more for visual effect than flavour. I’ve used some here atop honey infused labneh along with some blueberries and blackberries. Mmm…. yummy for the tummy and for the eyes!
Using Lilac for Culinary Purposes
Be sure to use pesticide free flowers.
Remove the green stems and leaves.
Wash and dry the blossoms and buds before using.
Store washed flowers in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.