The cover of this book is what first attracted me to it. I think that’s really important when you’re at a bookstore, or even browsing online, that the cover captivates your attention. The concept behind Harvest by Stefani Bittner and Althea Harampolis is to create “unexpected projects” with 47 garden plants. You read that right, GARDEN PLANTS. The book is divided into three parts: Early, Mid, and Late (when each of the plants bloom during the year); each part has nearly a dozen different projects.
My favorites from the Early section are:
1. Blooming Butter (basically flowers + butter + lemon juice/zest + a shallot) aka AMAZING on a good piece of toast.
2. Edible Flower-Pressed Cheese (even though I can’t have much dairy, this one is so PRETTY, and it makes for a quick gift or hors d’oeuvres…like Pinterest or Anthropologie pretty).
3. Elderberry-Infused Honey (the scent from the elderberry flower is intoxicating (in a good way) and adding it to honey, with some salt crystals, again on a nice piece of toast, or with a banana…ugh, yum).
My favorites from the Mid section:
1. Lavender & Mint Tea (I’ve actually had this before…my boyfriend is really into tea, so he’ll mix all kinds of herbs and plants with looseleaf tea…it’s a really calming combination because the lavender tones down the strong (sometimes overwhelming) qualities of the mind tea. It’s one of my favorites to have before bed while watching Netflix).
2. Lemongrass Salt Scrub (I’m always on the hunt for a good scrub that doesn’t smell like straight sugar or something artificial. This is a really inexpensive way to make your own scrub, and the scent is oh my gosh so fresh (and so clean). I could definitely see making this and then buying some mason jars and bottling it as a gift for a girlfriend/mom/probably even my dad, it’s that good (and the scent is pretty unisex, so even the manliest of men could use it).
3. Rosewater Facial Toner (I did a post not too long ago about rose water. To me, that product was a bit strong, but this one you can dilute as much as you want, and the ingredients are super simple (roses, distilled water, and ice). Again, you could probably bottle this, although I’m not sure how long the roses will last? I once kept a box of rose petals from an anniversary dinner…and then got moldy! Not saying that’ll happen with this toner, but I wouldn’t keep the petals in there for more than a week or two.
My favorites from the Late section:
1. Pineapple Guava Simple Syrup (I love, love, love making my own simple syrup. It’s a great alternative to straight out pouring sugar into a drink and it spices up a regular cocktail so quick! This one is a little on the green side (at least in the book), but you could totally make this to have at a party or other special occasion.
2. Sage Garland (One of my friends actually did a variety of these at her wedding…a super simple centerpiece for a long table with some other fronds and what not to mix it up. Sage smells so good (have you tried making sage butter…drool), and it’s much less expensive than an ornate flower arrangement.
3. Pomegranate Margarita (First, pomegranates, YUM; second, margarita, YUM TIMES TWO. No need to say more).
Basically this book brought out the crafty side in me and I’m excited to share some of these recipes and more not mentioned here on my blog in the weeks to come (so stay tuned). I’m so happy that I got a chance to review this book, because it was definitely different than most of the DIY books out there. As far as ingredients, some might be more difficult to find depending on where you live, but I think with a little googling, one could definitely come up with substitutions (e.g. use lemons instead of oranges in one of the citrus recipes). I’d also say this could be a great date idea book if you’re looking for different things to do for (or with) your significant other (and potentially with kids too, but probably not the cocktail projects).
Score Card: Cover Art: 5/5 | Content: 5/5 | East of Read: 5/5
I was provided a complimentary copy of this title by the publisher in exchange for my honest opinion after reading it.