Our first speaker today was Ginger Kaiser, owner of Willows Floral in Golden, Colorado. Ginger wanted to talk about a different aspect of flowers today and told about those flowers out there that are edible. The history of edible flowers dates back thousands of years. Floral elements have been used in many types of cooking, Roman times through early America have used flowers as food and flower cookery was especially popular during the Victorian times. Just about every culture dating back to 140 BCE has used flowers in their meals, Oriental cooking uses daylily buds, Hispanic and Italian cultures use squash blossom and the Asian Indian cultures use rose petals in a variety of recipes. There are a few things you need to know when cooking with flowers – the edible flower is very fragile and does not do well being refrigerated therefore must be consumed as soon as possible, the blossoms should be harvested the day of use. Once you harvest the flowers place the stalks quickly in water, in a cool location. Then gently wash the petals prior to cooking removing all dirt and check for insects. Flowers can be used to liven up many dishes by creatively complimenting the food. It is very important to choose your flowers according to their individual flavor and how that will correspond with your other ingredients. Ginger went on to explain the flavors of the most common edible flowers:
• Calendulas or Pot Marigolds – only the petals are consumable, this bright yellow to orange adds a golden hue to
salad or dip. It’s spicy pepper flavor can add a kick to many Italian and Mexican dishes. This flower can also be
used as a substitute for saffron!
• Daylillies – the bulbs of this flower are wonderful little vegetable. The petals can be mixed into a salad providing a dance of color along with fresh flavor. Another option is to take the petal prior to the flower opening and fry them up in a little olive oil.
• Dandelions – only the petals can be consumed and are the sweetest when young. These petals have a sweet honey like flavor.
• Hibiscus – has a cranberry like flavor with a citrus overtone. This slightly acidic petal can be sparingly in salads or as a garnish.
• Pansies – has a mild minty flavor and work well for candying. They also make wonderful cake decorations.
• Roses – all roses are edible however the darker the flower the more flavorful. The coolest idea for rose petals is freezing them in ice cubes to use in a punch bowl to create a flair at your next party.
• Sunflower – is best eaten in the bud stage and has the flavor is most like an artichoke
and can be steamed in the same manner. Once the flower opens the petals have a bitter sweet flavor and can be used on salads.
When looking to buy your edible flowers do not buy them at the florist or floral department of the grocery store – as these plants will have pesticides! The best place to find them are at farmers markets, Whole Foods and on Amazon (I know that’s a shocker!), these flowers are generally grown specifically for eating. One last thing that Ginger wanted to warn us about is – if you have allergies or asthma eating flowers may not be the best idea as some will still have the histamines that can affect your breathing.
If you are looking for a local florist that will work with you to create the perfect floral arrangement give Ginger Kaiser and Willows Floral a call!
Ginger Kaiser * Willows Floral * 303.989.6446 * flower_queen@comcast.net

The second speaker today was Lori Bush-Engel of Modern Woodmen of America in Golden, Colorado. Her talk today was about the passion she feels about the work that she does.
Why I Do What I Do –
I’m passionate about helping my members determine their financial goals. We work together to create a plan based on their unique needs.  I can help you plan for life using a variety of tools, including…life insurance, annuities, mutual funds and variable annuities.
I enjoy working with all families, singles, those approaching retirement and business owners.
I am very proud of earning Rookie of the Year in 2010 and Agent of the Year in 2011, earning Modern Woodmen trips, earning my FIC and CFFM designations, and especially earning my clients’ trust to help them when planning for life.
Before Modern Woodmen, I was in the mortgage industry and worked as operations manager for several entrepreneurs.
I chose Modern Woodmen because – I believe in being benevolent, from one person to a whole organization. We give to each other as members and give back as an organization.
The best part of my career is that whether I’m helping my clients with their retirement planning and/or protecting their families and businesses with life insurance, I feel good knowing they can rest their head on their pillow at night knowing they have their planning for life in place.
A favorite moment in my career was when –
I experienced my first death claim, which involved a young family where the wife/mother was killed. Because I helped them put their life insurance in place for the parents and kids, I was able to deliver a check to the family so they could move back to their hometown and re-establish their new norm.
If you are looking for a financial services person who truly cares for each and every one of her clients – give Lori Bush-Engel a call.
Lori Bush-Engel * Modern Woodmen of America * 303.862.9616 * lori.bush-engel@mwrep.org