Back Wednesday | Independent Ledger – Maysville Online
The sweet scent of lavender is refused by a few. The cool, calming aroma has been altered, imitated, and often paired with just about any household scent we can imagine. But as we all know, or should know by now, it doesn’t look like the real thing in any way. Although its flowers have the strongest fragrance, the leaves and flowers can be used in my favorite way, served and eaten.
Several years ago I bought a variety of decorations for a bride after her wedding. These sales of lightly used items have always been one of my favorite ways to hunt for treasure. Large welcome signs, beautiful bowls or dishes, tablecloths, utensils, you never know exactly what surprises the boxes may contain.
This particularly glorious bride was kind enough to include in my bounty several large boxes of lavender flowers. She had given each guest a nice little transparent bag filled with lavender. Guests also received lavender to throw in place of rice at the end of the celebration. It was a great event. However, after the bride realized that she had grossly overestimated how much she would use, she offered me the previous flower heads. I never have and probably never will be in possession of so much lavender in my life. I immediately started to think about anything and everything lavender.
After adding the scented flower to ice cream, sugar cookies, ice cubes, syrups, butters, steaks, seafood; and yes, even sprinkled inside my pillowcase or added to the tub, I missed some purple perennial. And believe it or not, I wish I had more. Much more. Sometimes I even used the leaves instead of the rosemary. This delicious accent gave the dishes an unexpected flavor but also helped me when I was in a hurry.
Today. I’ve included a few of my favorite lavender recipes and they aren’t just limited to food. Simple syrup, tea, and ice cubes are a delicious way to elevate even the simplest get-together. But you don’t need a guest to spoil you. An afternoon cup of lavender lemon verbena tea with lavender-filled ice cubes will give you that touch of treat you deserve.
Good luck and enjoy it!
Enjoy with baked apples, apricots, peaches, blueberry yogurt and ice cream. I even enjoy a splash in my iced water or iced tea.
Makes 8 ounces
2 teaspoons of dried lavender flowers
10 ounces of fine sugar
zest of 2 lemons
Place the lavender, sugar, and lemon zest in a saucepan with 10 full ounces of water. Cook over medium heat and stir continuously until the sugar dissolves. It should take about four minutes. Remove from fire.
Let the liquid sit for about 30 minutes, stirring once after ten minutes and a second time after twenty minutes.
Place the saucepan over medium heat and without stirring bring to a boil. Reduce heat to high and simmer for about five minutes, or until thickened. Remove from fire.
After the syrup has cooled, about five minutes, carefully filter into a bottle or jar of your choice. Use cheesecloth, fine sieve, or preferred filtration method to remove cooked pieces of lavender. This step can be skipped if you don’t mind the rooms. They are edible and won’t hurt anything. It’s up to the cook.
Let cool completely, seal and refrigerate. Use within four to six weeks.
Lavender & Lemon Verbena Tea
This delicious tea complements a traditional lemony favorite and turns it into something really special. Can be made iced or hot.
5 oz lemon verbena leaves, lightly torn
3 tablespoons of lavender flowers
1.3 liters of water
Sugar or honey, optional and the amount depends on the cook
Tare the verbena leaves and place them in a bowl. Add the lavender and stir until well combined. Place in a large teapot.
Pour water into a saucepan placed on the stove over high heat. Bring to a boil then pour into a teapot or pitcher. Infuse for at least five minutes.
Pour through a colander into cups. If you prefer iced tea, strain it over ice. Can be served individually or in a large teapot or pitcher.
Ice cubes Flowers
Pick edible flowers like lavender and freeze them individually in ice cube trays. This allows them to be ready to use in drinks as an edible visual or ready to flavor syrups, custards and various dishes.
Chopped or finely chopped herbs freeze well. Put them in an ice cube tray, fill them with water and freeze them until they are solid. Place in plastic wrap and label. Can be stored for about six months.
Delicious on grilled fish, steaks or herbs.
4 tablespoons finely chopped parsley, dill and lavender.
Mix with ½ cup of softened butter. Shape into a roll or place in a silicone mold. Wrap or roll in seran. Refrigerate for 30 minutes. Cut into slices or remove from the mold. Can be used immediately, frozen for later or refrigerated.