Lilacs blooms are a sure sign that summer is on its way. Their intoxicating perfume fills the air on brisk morning dog walks and evening neighborhood jogs. The magic of lilacs is rooted in a beautiful story of love. Pan, the Greek god of the forests was hopefully in love with a beautiful nymph named Syringa. One day Syringa magically turned herself into a lilac shrub, which Pan turned the hollow reed of into the first ‘pan pipe’ that filled the forest with sweet music and even sweeter smells. “Syringa” is the genus name of native lilacs with its origin in love and magic. Let’s savor that magic of spring with lilacs – perfuming our homes and gracing our kitchens.
Enjoy Cut Lilacs Longer
In Spring, bringing lilacs into the home is such a delight as they fill the whole room with their beautiful perfume. I like to keep a small vase in the bathroom to add softness to the room, but extending the vase life of lilacs can be tricky. Here are some tips:
- Cut lilacs in the morning to ensure they are full of moisture from the cool evening.
- Cut the stem at a 45 degree angle to give it more area to soak up water.
- Gently smash the end of the lilac stem so they can more easily draw up water.
Cooking with Lilacs
In honor of National Baking Day, we’d like to share a few ways to incorporate the magic of lilacs into some Spring treats so you can share its delight in some delicious ways.
Cooking with flowers brings sweet scents, bright colors, and unique tastes into the kitchen. Especially in Spring, when the market isn’t booming with local veggies, cooking with flowers can offer such a treat of something fresh. Here is a wonderful recipe for lilac scones from Kitchen Vignettes that allows you to transform the intoxicating fragrance of lilacs into an unforgettable Spring treat.
Lilac Scone Recipe
Borrowed from Kitchen Vignettes
3 cups all-purpose, unbleached flour or gluten free!
1/3 cup granulated sugar, plus more for sprinkling on top
2 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
12 Tbs. salted butter, well chilled
1 cup full-fat buttermilk, well shaken
1 cup of lilac blossoms
Preheat the oven to 425°. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Over bowl, cut butter into small bits, dropping them into the flour mixture as you go. Work butter and flour together with fingers, until butter is about pea-sized at its largest. Add your lilac blossoms, removed from the stems. Give buttermilk a good shake, then pour into the flour-butter mixture, and fold together until you can pull the dough into a rough ball (mix as little as possible). Dust surface with clean flour and roll out to a half inch of thickness. Cut into triangles and place on a greased baking sheet. Sprinkle generously with coarse sugar and a few more blossoms if you wish, and bake until golden at the edges, around 12-16 minutes. Eat when warm out of the oven. Enjoy!
Share the Magic of Lilacs this Spring
As your yards and homes fill with lilacs this season, remember Pan and Syringa and the magical, hardy lilac that inspires love and welcomes the abundance of summertime.