Thursday, July 14, 2011

July Is Day-Lily Month

Daylilies, Hemerocallis fulva, rank high on the list of delicious, wild treats available to foragers in July.

A day-lily blossom, as the plant’s common name suggests, last only one day. But not to worry – tomorrow, the plant will produce a blush of new flowers to take the place of yesterday’s spent ones. Both fresh and day-old flowers have uses, as do the unopened flower buds.

Pick and dry the old blossoms for use as a flavoring and thickener for soups and stews. These keep well and add a gourmet touch to any dish. Use the fresh flowers the same as squash or pumpkin blossoms, as a deep-fried treat.

It’s the buds that draw me, though. Cook when yet small and firm and boil until tender, for five minutes or more. These have a texture, at least to my way of thinking, similar to green beans. A slight peppery taste precludes the need for black pepper.

The day-lily season lasts about two weeks, quite long when compared to some of springtime’s ethereal treats. For me, blooming daylilies are a hallmark of summer, the high point of the season. Others, when contemplating the month of July, may think of swimming, picnics and barbeques, hiking or boating. Ask me what comes to mind regarding July and I’ll say, “daylilies.”

1 comment:

  1. Tom, first of all let me say that as a native plant landscape designer I really appreciate your blog.

    I feel compelled to write to urge you to take off Young's seafood off your very short recommended restaurants in midcoast in "off the beaten path". we ate there this afternoon based on your reco and it was terrible. the food was overpriced, the cole slaw and clam chowder had an off flavor as to render it inedible. my sons hot dog was boiled, thin and pink for $3.95. Our lobster roll was fine, but for $15 it was no more than lobster meat on a cold hamburger bun, no flavoring and it kept falling out of the bun - i had to pick up the pieces put it back together after every bite. Only the steamed clams were beyond deserving complaint. The view was nice but the atmosphere otherwise was more industrial than of interesting Maine character. It bummed us out for much of the afternoon.

    nonetheless, i liked your book, and very much appreciate your native plant info.

    thanks, David