Flowers at the Farmers' Market

Finally spring is here, and various flowers and summer fruit are now available at my local Farmers' Market.

I used to buy elderflower cordial, until Adrian Murdoch (of the late, great Bread and Circuses) pointed out how easy it is to make one's own - elderflowers, sugar, bit of lemon, and lots of water thrown into a big pot, boil then simmer, leave to stand overnight. The main problem is to pick out all the little insects which cling to the flowers first ... Homemade tastes much better, and you can sweeten it to your own taste rather than being stuck with the saccharine manufactured formulae.

I also like to add flowers to salads for a little color. Roussillon, a great restaurant near me, does a 'flower menu' this time of year to coincide with the Chelsea Flower Show. These mauve flowers are from chives, so they have a little kick to them - most flowers tend to taste of nothing much - as well as being decorative. Asparagus is also in season, so I made an asparagus soup (throw asparagus in pot with a little chicken sock, salt, a few herds, cook until soft, run through blended, serve). Vegetable soup on its own is too healthy, so I added a dollop of creme fraiche - and decorated with one of the chive flowers.

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