A recipe or two!
One of the reasons lavenders have been and still are so popular is their versatility. They have a myriad of uses in the garden. Unlike most other plants they also have a huge range of uses in the kitchen, bathroom bedroom and living room. They can be eaten, sniffed, worn, admired and generally used to brighten up a dull day. So to help you utilise this magnificent plant we have included a few select recipes for using lavenders. Basically the true English ones should be used for cooking, the intermedia for potpourri and essences, L allardii and L. heterophylla for drying. However don’t limit yourself to these.
SCENTED LAVENDER WATER
1. Place a handful of lavender flowers with a litre of vodka in a sealed glass jar.
2. Stand for a few weeks in a warm position in the sun.
3. Strain of the flower heads through a muslin cloth.
4. Repeat the procedure, adding more flowers to the vodka, then straining them off for a few weeks. Use as a perfume splashed on the face or as a rub for sore muscles. It can of course be drunk (if L. angustifolia flowers are used) but only in moderation.
ANCIENT ROMAN SALAD
1. Cut up romaine lettuce and endive.
2. Mix in mallow and L.angustifolia flowers
3. Dress with cheese and pine nut vinagrette
4. Mix in raisins and dates.
5. Eat with some Lavender wine.
ROMANIAN LAVENDER BREAD
1.Soak coarse grain bread in vinegar with sprigs of L. angustifolia and mint
2.Chop up olives and coarse grain bread
3. Mix bread in with salad greens
4. Eat whilst drinking good, rich, red, Australian wine
LAVENDER BATH BAGS
1. Collect several handfuls of slightly dried flowers from L.intermedia
2. Make a pouch from good clean calico.
3. Place lavender in pouch and close
4. Put pouch in the bath and fill with hot water.
SCENTED CLOTHES HANGERS
1. Obtain a plain wooden clothes hanger
2. Measure from centre of the hanger to one end.
3. Cut piece of fabric 5cm wider and 4cm longer than this length.
4. Make a tube open at one end
5. Slip tube over one end.
6. 3 Repeat for othe side of hanger.
7. Pack each tube with a mixture of L.intermedia ‘Seal’ and L. 'Avonview’
8. Sow up ends of tubes.
9. Decorate with lace or ribbon.
1. Collect flowers of Lavandula angustifolia ‘Avice Hill’ (or other sweet form)
2. Place in 300ml bottle of armagnac
3. Soak for 48 hours
5. Place 50 ml in bottom of champagne flute and top up with good dry sparkling wine.
6. Drink carefully as it is very easy to drink (I know).
LAVENDER ICE CREAM
This is a really nice treat.
1. Take equal quantities of water and sugar
2. Mix together over low heat.
3. Cook for ten minutes or until mixture starts to thicken then add one to three tablespoons (depending on how strong you want the flavour) of partially dried lavender flowers.
4. Remove from heat and let stand for three hours.
5. Mix in with a good quality ice cream and then add the lavender or you can make your own ice cream and add the lavender syrup into the egg and cream mixture. Home made ice cream is great but takes some work
1. 250g good quality butter
2. 500ml flour
3. 120ml castor sugar
4. 40ml dried lavender flowers
Beat butter and sugar to smooth creamy paste. Sift in flour and mix well. Add inlavender flowers and mix until evenly dispersed. Chill dough for one hour
Roll out dough to about 7mm. Cut into preferred shapes. Bake in a preheated (160C) oven for about 20 minutes or until a golden brown. Serve with fresh made lemon tea.
I hope this gives you some ideas. There are plenty more recipes in either Lavender Sweet Lavender by Judyth McLeod or The Essential Lavender by Virginia McNaughton or on the internet. Cape Lavender in WA also has some fantastic Lavender wines. Well worth trying.