Drying Flowers

Heloise (we all know who she is) suggests the following easy way to dry flowers. The ingredients are simply borax, white cornmeal, and salt.

Combine the borax and white cornmeal in equal amounts, adding three tablespoons of salt for each quart of the mixture. Next, put about a 1-inch-deep, even layer in die bottom of a box. Put the cut flowers on top and gently cover each flower with more of the blend. Be sure to sprinkle some in between the petals of open blooms.

Once the flowers are covered well, put the lid on the box and store it in a warm, dry, out-of-the way place.

It usually takes about 14 days or so for the flowers to dry thoroughly, but drying times will vary with the density of the petals. When you think the flowers are dry, feel the petals to see if they are stiff and papery. Take special care in checking thick blossoms because they may look dry on the outside but may not be dry in the center.

Once dry, remove than and gently brush with a clean, soft makeup brush to remove the rest of the drying mixture.

Microwave cookbooks also suggest that drying flowers in the microwave leaves the flowers with a fresher appearance and color than flowers dried by traditional methods. They are also less perishable. For directions, consult individual cookbooks.

December, 1997