Hello my friends!
It is officially the first day of October, and the beginnings of Autumn, so… Lets talk about Sunflowers!
Sunflowers are one of the most funny of all flowers in my opinion. Maybe that’s because of the mental image of Jump Start Preschool happy-face-sunflowers I’ve held onto since, well, preschool. Those of you who sat around a computer monitor for most of your six-year-old mornings, or those who still have the pleasure of having little siblings around who do this, would know what I mean. And for all of you who are gasping at my incredible amount of wasted time during that part of my young life, I will politely smile and say, I still spent a great deal of time outside, rain or shine. And when I was outside, I would still look up into a gigantic sunflower head, squint my long-lashed eyes, and look real hard for the smiley face. Oh the good old days of big imaginations!
Most of our gardening years, our family has never not had a row of sunflowers gracing the top of our garden fence. Mom and I especially insist upon having them! After all what is a garden without sunflowers! (And hey! Did you know that sunflowers actually turn their heads (when they’re not huge and overgrown) in the direction of the sun, and follow its daily trek across the sky? They do indeed!) Well, this year was an exception. For some reason or other, there was not one single sunflower on the whole premises of our property! How could that be? We had no volunteer seeds, and we didn’t plant any either. Oh it was so sad not seeing them wave their heavy heads in the wind, burdened with thousands of delicious seeds, with half-a-dozen chirpy goldfinches on each to boot! Next year.
Where then, did this head come from? My good friend Nellie, obliged when I asked her if she would save our family a big seeded head or two; and on one of my bouqueting days, I brought this hardy specimen home.
I was so excited to sample a handful of the seeds, that I got right to work rubbing them off the flower head. I ended up with a modest pint sized jar of delectable, striped nuggets of goodness – after I followed this recipe here. In the recipe you will quickly discover that the ratios are way to much for the small amount one gets from harvesting one sunflower head. So basically what I did was us 1/4 cup of canning salt, filled a medium sized bowl with water, dumped in the seeds and submerged them in the water, and lastly I sprinkled the salt over all. You are supposed to allow the seeds to sit for 48 hours; the longer the better, so as to let the hulls absorb as much salt as possible. Then, drain them, and put them on an unprepared baking sheet and set them in the cold oven. Next, turn your oven on to 250 degrees, and let the seeds bake in there for a few hours. Pull them out, and enjoy!
Do you have any silly memories of sunflowers like I have, or some odd childhood experience with them? Do you have any to harvest seeds from, or Fall produce for that matter? Hmm… Pumpkin Pie.
On that note, I will wish all of you a blessed week!
The eldest sister & singer