Eating From Your Yard Tip: Lavender, by Jill Kuhel

I had used lavender to induce sleep, relieve headaches and for it’s anti~bacterial properties, but the first time I remember eating lavender was a lavender chocolate truffle. When I asked about how it was made she referred to lavender flower, but English is tricky and I was born blonde so I heard lavender flour. Ha! When I asked where you get lavender flour she looked at me like I had lost my mind, which I clearly had. The secret to cooking with lavender I have since learned is to put the lavender flower into a coffee grinder to make a fine powder. Then it is a lovely addition to brownies, scones, short bread, sugar cookies, pound cake or frosting. Less is more when it comes to cooking with lavender, so add it sparingly. I recently saw lavender added to softened butter spread on a scone~that will clearly be served in heaven. There is of course lavender syrup to add to desserts and drinks. I made a killer elderberry jelly with lavender steeped in with the elderberries. Lavender lemonade is a popular drink, but I prefer lavender infused water. Just add a bundle of lavender flowers to a pitcher of water and let it sit in refrigerator for a day or two. You can also infuse vodka or gin by adding the lavender flowers to the alcohol of your choice, then letting it sit for 4-6 weeks in a cool dark place. Iced lavender infused water or alcohol are perfect drinks at a summer outdoor concert. This winter I became a fan of warm chamomile lavender tea from traditional medicinal. There are recipes that use lavender with eggs and meats perhaps they are fabulous, but they seem like just adding lavender to add lavender. There are plenty of other uses for lavender in soaps, lotions, bug spray, and salves. How do you eat lavender?

Jill Kuhel

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