Tuesday, June 16, 2009
Monday Morning Blog
In Virginia, June is the month our lavender blooms spilling its fragrance everywhere especially in our rich Piedmont.
But lavender is much more than just beautiful to look at. It has medicinal properties and culinary applications.
Lavender lifts the spirits, helps eliminate stress, and aids in overcoming illness by boosting the immune system plus it adds a touch of elegance to our cooking.
We don't fully understand the complex, synergistic healing mechanisms of medicinal plants but one day we'll discover the way plant oils interact with the human body.
In the mean time, we can simply enjoy lavender in the garden, in the kitchen and to help us stay well.
Here's some easy ways to bring lavender into the kitchen:
Mix some dried lavender flowers into sugar (For each cup of sugar, use about 1 teaspoon of flower buds or to taste) Put into an air tight container and put it on your pantry shelf to steep. After a couple of weeks, you'll have gorgeous lavender sugar.
Experiment with your lavender sugar in any recipe that calls for regular sugar that might me extra delicious with a touch of lavender (think custard, vanilla cream pie, white grape jelly, apple pie, Sally Lunn bread, lemonade to name only a few). Or save your lavender sugar for your tea or coffee.
Crush 1 tablespoon of dried lavender leaves and add it to your salt shaker to add a bit of lavender with every shake. Delicious on grilled meats, winter squash and chilled watermelon.
Add a couple of pinches of dried lavender to your pepper mill. As you grind your pepper, you'll grind a bit of elegance. Great on salad.
Uncork a bottle of medium sweet or sweet white wine. Poke 2 (4 inch long) sprigs of washed and dried culinary lavender into the bottle. Replace the cork and refrigerate at least overnight to let the flavors develop. Serve chilled.
Add a sprig or two of washed and dried culinary lavender to your favorite jar of honey. Use about 2 (3 inch) sprigs for an 8 oz jar. Use in your tea and on your toast.