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A favorite cheap treat

I just tossed out the last of some cut flowers that I picked up at the supermarket more than two weeks ago for $2.99 (might have been $1.99). That’s what I call value. Even my brown thumb can’t kill these “superflowers.”

Alstromeria (aka alstroemeria, alstremeria, Lily of the Incas, Peruvian Lily, and often mispelled astromeria) are my favorite “treat myself” flower. I first started buying them years ago when they were sold by the stem for pennies each. That single stem — a long, strong stalk — had multiple blossoms on it, perfect in a skinny vase by itself. (With its many graceful leaves, there’s no need to buy additional green filler.) Or more often, I’d pull it apart to fill several bud vases at home and at the office, since each cluster of blossoms rises on a nice little stem of its own.

Just lop off the stem at an angle, pull off any leaves that will be under water, and plunk it into anything that holds water. Voila. So pretty for so long for so little.

I miss being able to buy alstromeria by the stem and “mix and match” the colors (so many to choose from) to suit my mood. Still, it’s a great (nonfattening!) treat that anyone can afford. Who doesn’t feel better with fresh flowers around?

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