Saturday, July 09, 2005

"La Monarde"

There are numerous perks that come with Michelle's position in the pastry kitchen at Les Chèvres, but one of the best is that it allows her access to the very finest in wholesale produce from time to time. That case of fresh peas we polished off last month was evidence of this. There's also talk of scoring a couple of flats of the very best Quebec strawberries over the next few days. But then there was the bouquet of "La Monarde," a.k.a. Monarda Didyma, Bee Balm, Bergamot, and Oswego Tea, that Michelle brought home earlier this week. A small grower who specializes in edible flowers came in to the restaurant a few days ago and sold them some of this year's harvest. Michelle, who happens to be a huge fan of edible flowers, saw them, nearly swooned, and then asked this gentleman if she could get a "bouquet" from him to take home. Said grower was apparently put off by this question, thinking that Michelle had mistaken his flowers for those one might actually present as a bouquet, or him for a lowly florist. The kitchen staff found this little incident rather funny, of course, and hours later Michelle got her bouquet of Bee Balm to take home with her.

If you haven't had Bee Balm, not only are they beautiful, but they're truly delicious, with a lovely peppery kick to them. We might just have to try growing some ourselves...


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