Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Lavender time!!!!!!

Since it's time to pick and dry your lavender, here are a few things to do with it!

For a soothing winter bath, put 2 tablespoons of lavender buds (Lavandula angustifolia)
and 2 tablespoons of finely ground oatmeal into a small muslin bag or a piece of cloth.
Secure tightly with a string or rubber band. Tie the bundle
with the string or a piece of ribbon so that it under the spigot of your bathtub.
Once the bath is full, try rubbing the bundle gently over your skin.
Both the lavender and the oatmeal will work to soothe dry skin and calm frazzled nerves as well.

Take equal parts of lavender, violet, and rosemary.
Empower them and Then boil them in a pot with about a quart of water over medium heat.
When the water is richly colored and the herbs are scenting your kitchen, drain
The water off into a jar. A plain coffee filter works great for this.
Place the jar in sunlight for an entire day to absorb the radiant energies of the sun.
You can do this on a Wednesday to add the healing powers of mercury to the spell*
Occasionally look at the jar and add your own energies to it.
Just before sundown fetch the jar and hold it firmly between your hands Just below your naval. Feel your desire to be well filling the jar and with your minds eye see it glowing brightly as the sun. Chant these words until you have filled the jar with as much energy as it will hold.

By the herb and by the sun
Wellness and I are now as one
Strengthening energies now are merged.
Baneful energies now be purged

Anoint spots where illness lurks or on your belly if you are unsure where the source of discomfort lies. Or pour contents into bath water.

Lavender Recipes

Here are a few Lavender recipes to try regardless if you are a beginner or a Lavender aficionado! Tasty and easy to make. Please use organically grown, non-sprayed "Sweet" Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) for best results. "Hidcote" Lavender will give you the best colour for any infusions eg. syrups, jelly or vinegars.

My favourite Lavender-Lemon Verbena Cake

Makes 2 dozen muffins/cupcakes or one bundt cake or a lovely 2 layer cake special enough for a birthday cake with fresh fruit!

Basic Batter:

2½ cups cake flour
3½ tsp baking powder
1 cup sugar
1/2 tsp salt
2 TBSP fresh, finely chopped Lemon Verbena leaves
2 TBSP fresh Lavender flowers
2/3 cup butter
3/4 cup milk
1/2 cup apple juice
3 eggs
1 tsp lemon extract OR 1 TBSP real lemon juice
zest of one lemon

Cream butter & sugar & herbs
Blend dry ingredients & add to sugar & butter
Whip juice, milk, eggs & extract
Add to dry ingredients
Mix well until batter really smooth
Preheat oven to 350F
…Choose your pans & prep with butter & dusting of flour or use cupcake papers…
Bake 25 minutes for muffins, approx 30 minutes for layer cake, 35 minutes for tube cake. Test cake center.

For special occasions: mix a batch of cooled Lemon curd & a cup of stiffly whipped whipping cream together and use as the filling & icing. Add fresh fruit as wished...berries best!

Lynda’s Lavender-Lemon Curd

1/2 cup of real butter
1¼ cup white sugar
2 lemons, rind & juice up to 1/2 cup
4 well beaten eggs
pinch of salt
1 TBSP dried lavender flowers or 3 TBSP fresh
Use a double boiler; bring water underneath to a boil then lower to simmer.
Place butter & sugar first in the top pot to melt together, and then add the rest of the ingredients.
Whisk gently until smooth and thickened.
Pour through a sieve over a heat proof bowl then spoon into two clean jam jars and cool. Keep refrigerated…about a week if you are lucky!

Granny’s fluffy scones

2 cups flour
1/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup butter
2 tsp cream of tartar + 1 tsp soda
(OR 3 tsp baking powder)
pinch of salt
2 eggs, slightly beaten*
(No eggs…use 2 TBSP plain good yogurt)
1/4 cup milk
1/2 cup currants optional

Blend butter into dry ingredients.
Mix eggs & milk with a fork.
Make a "well" in the dry ingredients & mix lightly.
Turn out onto floured board.
Handle gently, barely knead.
Roll until 1/2 inch thick. Cut into shapes; a simple drinking glass will do, flour the rim, and twist as you cut to release scone.
Bake @ 400 F (200C) for 10 minutes. Serve warm!

Lavender Three Layer Sweet Torte

Makes one 9 inch cake for 8-12 Torte

1/3 cup melted butter plus 2 TBSP cut into pieces for topping*
3/4 cup brown sugar plus 2 TBSP for topping**
1/2 cup milk
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1-2 TBSP Lavender flowers, 3 TBSP if using fresh
1 1/3 cups white flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt


4 apples cut into wedge style medium thick slices
1 cup black berries/or dried sweet cranberries or 6 pieces crystallized ginger minced
1/4 cup walnuts optional
1/4 tsp cinnamon


Preheat oven to 375F
Only just melt the 1/3 cup butter in a medium sauce pan; cool slightly then whisk in the sugar, milk, eggs, vanilla extract and Lavender flowers.

In a blender; briefly pulse the flour, baking powder & salt together then, pour in butter mix and process until smooth.
Butter a 9-inch spring form pan, then coat inside with white sugar instead of flour.
Pour batter evenly into pan.
Arrange apple slices in a pattern, sprinkle with berries & place nuts in gaps. Press slightly into batter. Sprinkle the top with cinnamon, brown sugar** & extra butter bits*.

Bake 55 minutes, checking center.

Meanwhile…an easy way to make homemade custard is to use Bird’s Eye custard powder: 3 TBSP powder, 3 TBSP sugar & 2 1/2 cups of milk. Whisk together while cold then cook over medium heat, stirring constantly to not scorch the bottom.

Cool cake slightly in ring before pouring custard on the whole cake & chill in ring to set custard on top for an all-in-one dessert OR remove sides when cake is cooled, serve sliced cake on individual plates with warm custard poured on top….mmmmmm.
Be playful with the fruit/nut/spiced toppings!

Lavender Limoncello Cookies
…a taste of golden, lemony Summer!

½ cup butter
1 cup white sugar
2 Tbsp. dried Lavender flowers
2 Lemons, zest & juice
1 egg
2 Tbsp. Limoncello liqueur
2 tsp. baking powder
2 cups + white flour

Set oven @ 350° F.
Blend butter, sugar & Lavender.
Add in lemon zest & juice then the egg & Limoncello.
Blend in the 2 cups flour & the baking powder next.
Dough should be soft but not oily.
Add more flour by the TBSP if needed.
Roll into 2 logs in wax paper. Chill 20 minutes.
Slice into ½ inch thick rounds, makes approx 30-36.
Bake 10-15 minutes max, “bottoms” pale gold.

Lavender Harvest Fudge
2 cups (12 oz.) good chocolate chips (for special occasions use Belgian chocolate!)
1 tin (300 ml) sweetened condensed milk
1 Tbsp. dried Lavender flowers (3 Tbsp. fresh)
- measure, then grind finely, use a clean coffee grinder
Melt everything together in a double boiler. Add 3 tbsp. butter. Stir until smooth and melted.

Pour into a pan lined with wax paper (approximately 9" x 9"). Cover with Saran Wrap. Chill overnight.

Cut into 1" squares.

Recipe can be doubled, use 9" x 12" pan. Stripe it using white chocolate for top layer and dark for the bottom.

**Optional: Sprinkle fresh Lavender on top layer to decorate!

Lavender Herbal Jelly

1 1/2 cups fresh lavender flowers
3 1/4 cups water
1 box powdered 'certo'
4 cups white sugar
1 Tbsp. white wine vinegar
To begin, sterilze 5 x 1c jelly jars, rings and seals, and find a medium to large sized pot.
Bring the water to a boil in a pot, place in the lavender, and cover with a lid.
Lower heat to simmer for 5 min, then remove from heat. Don't peek! Steep for at least 20 mins or preferably overnight.
Strain and mesure 3 cups of the lavender brew and place in deep jelly making pot.
Whisk in pectin crystals and vinegar, bring to a boil, and whisk in sugar.
Keep pot boiling until it is at a rolling boil that can't be stirred down (about 1 min.)
Remove from heat, and let sit for 5 min. Skim the top if necessary.
Quickly bottle and seal before it jellifies. Let the jelly age 1 month for best results.


mrsb said...

Oooh, as I just went to a pick-your-own lavender farm, I have oodles of lavender drying.

The farm I went to had a similar cookie recipe, but it didn't include limoncello! I will definitely be trying some of these!

Thanks for sharing!

Sharon said...

I just love Lavender Flower. I have been doing a lot of crafting recently and now will have to do some cooking and try out some recipes!

Anonymous said...

thanks for sharing :)
I love lavender flower too.