Lavender. If its loveliness isn’t enough to justify its existence, just wait for a gentle breeze and inhale: the aromatic herb’s knockout fragrance will doubtless seal the deal.
I have a friend who’s been a longtime lavender booster, and about four years ago I joined the fan club. And, as we’ve been discussing using herbs in the kitchen, let me say — modestly of course — that my lavender cookies have become legend.
Lavender can be used in many other baked goods, too. And, I also use powdered sugar flavored with lavender for the icing on my cookies. The same flavored sugar in a buttercream frosting recipe is perfect for cupcakes. (Adding a drop of red and a drop of blue food color creates a fabulous lavender hue.)
The aromatic is used to enhance the flavor of meats and stews in French cuisine, but I’ve never tried it for myself. Perhaps that’s something to experiment with this summer…
Or in the winter, after drying the remainder of the herb from this season’s garden.
Dried lavender also makes for a nice sachet to tuck in the drawer among the bed linens. In addition to the pleasantness of the aroma, it is said to have the healing effect of helping you relax and de-stress. And who doesn’t need that? In fact, bath and bed stores sell lavender-scented linen spray to spritz over freshly changed sheets and pillowcases.
I purchased a lavender plant the other day to put out on my balcony garden this summer. (In the meantime, it’s residing in the bedroom to provide a little instant aromatherapy.) I didn’t try to start it from seed because I attempted that once before and have to admit to utter and complete failure. The seeds never sprouted, even after I refrigerated them for two weeks and scored the pods.
I suppose I’ll try it again one day. After the pain of that pitiable first experience fades fully from mind (smile).
[If you have a formula for a tried-and-true homemade version of the lavender linen spray, please leave a comment and share it with us. Ditto for any other creative uses for lavender.]
[To check the archives for posts you may have missed, CLICK HERE.]