Grow Your Own Girly Evening

Mimi ON Sep 28, 2010 AT 4:19 pm

Hot pink dippers

Hot pink dippers

By Issy Eyre

I’ve been to some pretty terrible girly evenings: nail varnish spillages, a cart of chocolate and crisps and minor burns from curling tongs. It doesn’t need to be like this, though, and if you’re planning a stylish, pretty girly evening, you can wow your guests with some gorgeous home-made dishes straight from your garden or balcony. Here’s my guide to the stylish, homespun girly night.

1. Hot pink dippers.
You’ll struggle to find it in a supermarket, but chard is an enormous spinach-like vegetable with brightly coloured stems which you can eat as celery. And some of them are shocking, highlighter pink. Separate them from the leaves, cut into five-inch lengths, and dip in some houmous or guacamole. You can also cook the leaves very quickly with some sauteed garlic, butter and a dash of salt. It’s also dead easy to grow.

Dandelion pancakes

Dandelion pancakes

2. Dandelion pancakes.
Really, a girly evening isn’t a girly evening without a nice bunch of flowers. And as dandelions are in plentiful supply (make sure you pick them somwhere away from roads and dog walkers), you’ll quickly find enough to make these gorgeous flowery pancakes. Dandelion flowers are edible, but give them a jolly good wash before following this recipe:

1 egg
1 cup milk
1 cup flour
1 cup sugar
15 dandelion flowerheads, washed
A knob of butter

1. Mix the egg, milk, flour and half the cup of sugar together in a bowl.
2. Remove the stalks from the flowerheads, and dip in the remaining sugar.
3. Melt the butter in a frying pan.
4. Using a tablespoon, pour small blobs of batter mixture into the pan. As soon as the batter has formed a small circle, press one dandelion head into the centre.
5. Brown the pancake on one side, the turn over for a minute or so.

Chocolate Mint Tea

Chocolate Mint Tea

3. Chocolate mint tea
This is an easy-peasy tea using the chocolate peppermint plant .
It tastes of After-Eights, and is also very good for your digestion if you’ve eaten a little bit too much. You can grow this mint plant on your windowsill.

Pick a handful of leaves from the mint plant, and place in a tea strainer in a mug of hot water to brew.

Popcorn

Popcorn

4.Popcorn
You can grow popcorn in your back garden. It’s pretty easy, and when the lipstick-coloured cobs are ready to pick, you can dry them before making fabulous homegrown popcorn. Pull the seeds from the cob, heat a little oil in a heavy-bottomed pan, throw the seeds in, and cover.
Next thing you know, popcorn will be whizzing around inside the pan and, hey presto! You have warm, tasty popcorn for a fabulous girly night.

Kitsch cake

Kitsch cake

5. Kitsch cake
If you’ve made a yummy sponge cake for your guests, jazz it up with some edible flower petals. I love pink rose petals the best: they are so sugary and soft and look beautiful atop a kitsch iced cake.

Issy Eyre runs Fennel & Fern (www.fennelandfern.co.uk), a stylish gardening blog. For more ideas and advice about how to grow the plants in this post, skip over there now.

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