It’s time to take a neighborhood stroll and see what’s popping. Hop outside, Hipcooks, and take a breath. (I know I need to.) Maybe a stroll (no power walking here). Stop and smell the flowers. When you do, you’ll probably find some lavender blooming. When springtime’s lavender flowers begin to open, the enticing fragrance of lavender beckons me (and the bees!) Run your hand over the top of the blossoms. Inhale. Pinch off a few stalks (the plant won’t mind.) Bring them to your kitchens. I’ve got some lovely jobs for you. Don’t worry, they’re easy! The first job (besides putting a few stalks in a vase to scent your kitchen), is to make Lavender Sugar. It’s beautiful, special, and costs nothing.
Time will do the work for you
Grab a cup of sugar from the cupboard, toss it into a bowl (I use a mortar and pestle, but it’s not required.) Add a small handful of lavender blossoms. Using your hands (or a muddler, or pestle,) gently crunch the lavender with the sugar. What you’re doing here is allowing the fragrant essential oils of the lavender to release, and massaging them into the sugar. The flowers will wilt and turn from purple to a not-so-pretty drab color. It’s okay! You’ll strain them out later. Leave this on your countertop for a few hours (or up to a day or two), and you’ll be rewarded with a lovely lavender sugar.
Using a sieve, strain out any bits of lavender. Store the lavender sugar in a container — once it is strained it will keep a good long time.
This process also works using dried lavender flowers. Often you can find bunches of dried lavender at Farmer’s markets and spice shops.
Make it pretty again
Depending on the use of strained and ready-to-use lavender sugar, I might decide to make it pretty again by mixing in some fresh lavender flowers.
For instance, if I’m using lavender sugar in place of regular sugar in a recipe such as a lemon tart, cake, or shortbread cookie, I’ll use plain lavender sugar. If I’m using lavender sugar for the rim of a cocktail (like our Lavender Martini), or to dust squares of Quince Paste, you can bet I’ll mix in fresh lavender flowers to make it really pop!
Other uses for lavender
I’ve already given you some ideas, here are a few more. Which recipes would you like me to post on the blog? Please comment below!
Put inside “cute as a bunny” Lavender sachets — or just throw some lavender flowers in your bath
Lavender, honey, goat cheese ice cream
Lavender shortbread cookies
Mother’s Day Meyer lemon and lavender tart
Lavender honey lemonade