Bush Camp

Brining Camellias

  IP - Camellia 1

IP - camellia 2

I got seduced by a photo of camellias in brine on @littleshiningforest's Instagram feed. They looked so fabulous sitting in their bowl of camellia goodness that I just had to give it a try. Luckily camellias are blossoming all around my neighbourhood at the moment.

Armed with a few tips from @littleshiningforest I gave it a shot. Luckily I was in an experimental, mood as there were many details to tease out.

I wasn't sure if I should put fresh flowers in the brine or dry them out first. I thought the moisture in fresh flowers might be a bad thing so I tried drying first. When I left the flowers on the table to dry, they lost their colour and started turning brown. Obviously fresh flowers are what's needed.

I've no idea how to make a brine (recent olive curing attempts notwithstanding). I couldn't remember if I had to heat it first or could just chuck in the salt. I added salt to water and it didn't all absorb so I figured I should heat it up. More of the salt dissolved during heating but not all. Result - warm your salt and water first. Then let it cool.

I packed a clean glass jar with all the camellias I had and then added the brine. And nothing much happened except the salt that didn't dissolve sank to the bottom of the jar. I think that the brine needed to be hot when I added the camellias. Maybe even cooing the camellias in the salt and water would have helped.

I'll keep this jar in the pantry along with my leftover oxalis dye solution and see if anything happens.

I'm chalking this one up to experience and if I can find some more camellias will give it another shot.