With its many species, lavender is one of the most attractive and fragrant of all the herbs. Although we generally associate lavender with its relaxing and aromatic qualities, the herb actually has an array of uses from cosmetic, crafts, culinary, and household to medicinal.
When combined with other herbs and flowers, the variety of fragrances is endless. Not only is lavender appealing for its aromatherapy, but just gazing upon the lavender fields is medicine for the soul. Whether it is grown in containers or in herb gardens, the beauty and visual interest is unsurpassed.
There are many species of lavender, but we have found that the "Provence" variety seems to be the lavender of choice for culinary purposes. The darker the flower or bud, the stronger the flavor. Provence has a lighter flower which produces a mild and subtle flavor and is preferred by most chefs who cook with lavender.
We recently had the pleasure of meeting Magdalena Bassett who is the author of "Cooking and Baking with Lavender." Her cookbook features recipes including cookies and cakes, to vegetables, fish and meats. She has been kind enough to allow us to share some of her recipes with you. We are certain that you will enjoy them all!
You can easily make your own lavender sugar. Use it in your kitchen or give as gifts in decorative jars
Grind the lavender buds in a grinder or a mortar. (Coffee grinders work well for this.) Mix with sugar. Store in airtight jars. It will be ready to use after 4 weeks.
Alternative methods: There are several ways to make lavender sugar. If you have fresh lavender flowers on a stalk, cut the stalk off and place the flower spike in a jar. Cover with sugar. Shake every few days. It will be ready to use after 4 weeks. Another way is to place whole buds in sugar, either fresh or dry, and sift them out before using in a recipe.
We have found this lemonade to be a very refreshing treat, especially during the warm spring and summer months. The surprising flavor is elusive and yet quite unforgettable.
Squeeze the juice from 2 lemons. Slice the third lemon thinly. Combine the boiling water with lavender, let steep 3 minutes, remove lavender and add the sugar and dissolve. All to the pitcher of ice water along with the sliced lemon. You may want to adjust the amount of lemon juice and sugar to taste. Serve chilled.
These cookies are legendary with Magdalena and her family!
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Do not grease the cookie sheets. Cream butter with sugars. Add eggs and vanilla and mix.
Combine the flour, baking soda, salt and cocoa, and add to the butter-egg mixture. Whip well about 1 minute. Add nuts and chocolate chips. Mix well, spoon plum-sized balls of dough onto the cookie sheets about 3 inches apart.
Bake 12-15 minutes until the cookies look puffy with cracks on top. Do not over bake. Cool 1 minute on the cookie sheet, then transfer to a cooling rack until firm. They keep well stored in airtight containers in a cool place.
This recipe is so moist! The lavender compliments the lemon extremely well. A perfect summertime bread with light lunches. You'll also want to try the lavender lemonade.
Mix all ingredients together and beat for 3-5 minutes, then bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.
This is a delicious dish and makes a wonderful presentation.
Cut the potatoes into wedges lengthwise. In a medium pot, bring salted water to boil, add potatoes and cook 10 minutes. Do not overcook. Drain potatoes. Drizzle potatoes with olive oil, sprinkle with herbs, salt and pepper and toss to coat evenly. Transfer to a cookie sheet. At this point the potatoes can wait until you’re almost ready to serve. Place under the broiler and broil 5-10 minutes until the edges start browning. Serve immediately.
Rub the meat evenly with the herbs and spices, cover and place in the refrigerator for 2-4 hours. Preheat the oven to 475 degrees. Place the pork chops on a roasting rack, and cover with foil. Bake 17 minutes, remove the cover, turn over and lower the oven temperature to 350 degrees. Bake 10 minutes longer or until the center of the chop is not pink. Melt the butter and drizzle over the chops. Place under the broiler and lightly brown the tops. Serve with roasted or mashed potatoes and a salad.
This is a favorite of everyone who visits the farm and our most popular cookie!
Cream sugar and butter. Add dry ingredients, then fold in corn flakes and pecans. Spoon onto cookie sheet and bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes.
Freeze some of the lemonade mixture into ice trays to make lemonade ice cubes ahead of time Prepare lemonade mixture (extra strength- 2 to 1 lemonade mix to water)- Any kind of lemonade will work fine
Bring 2 tbsp. culinary lavender to a boil in 1 ½ cups of water in a small saucepan
Boil for 10 minutes on medium and then remove from stove and let the mixture set for 10 minutes
Strain the lavender infused water into the lemonade mixture
Pour 1/3 of a glass with the lemonade mixture
Add 1 oz. of lavender margarita mix (sold in our store) One shot glass full
Fill the remaining glass with club soda and add the lemonade ice cubes
Optional: Garnish with lemon slice and mint
Young ladies in Victorian times used to while away the afternoon hours making lavenders "wands" or "bottles" by encasing fresh lavender heads in their own stalks, then weaving them with ribbons.
In addition to having a pleasing scent, lavender also has a moth-chasing property. Once they are thoroughly dry, the wands may be placed in a linen cupboard . . . but it's almost a shame to hide these lovelies away!
• 11 (or any odd number) stalks freshly picked lavender
• 1 yard (approx.) of narrow satin or rayon ribbon
1. Strip the lower leaves off the stalk and bunch the heads together with the base of the heads at the same point.
2. Using the ribbon, tie the stalks together at the base of the heads in a tight knot. Tie the knot so there is about a 2" tail of ribbon on one end, and the rest of the ribbon making a long tail. (This is the end you will weave with.)
3. Very carefully, one-by-one, bend the stalks down over the lavender heads, being careful not to snap them. The stalks should be evenly spaced around the heads, encasing them.
4. With the long end of the riboon, weave in and out of the stalks. The shorter tail of the ribbon will be covered by the weaving. Make sure that the rows of ribbon lie close to each other. When you reach the bottom of the heads, tie the ribbon off, leaving the end long.
5. Once the wand dries, you can wrap the stems in a spiral manner using the remainder of the ribbon. Or, cut off the ribbon and tie a bow over the top to secure the end of the waving. A little dot of glue, also, can help.
The mint chips, lavender and chocolate in these cookies create a new and very interesting flavor.
Cream butter and sugar. Add eggs and vanilla, mix. Combine the flour, baking soda, salt, cocoa and ground lavender. Add to the butter-egg mixture and beat well for one minute. Add pecans and chips.
Mix well, and spoon onto un-greased cookie sheet 3 inches apart. Bake at 350 degrees for 12-15 minutes until the cookies look puffy with cracks on top. They should fall and flatten as soon as you take them out of the oven. Do not over bake.