Monday, September 30, 2013

Making Lavender Sugar

Have you ever heard of lavender sugar? If not, you're missing out on something special. Lavender sugar is not only delicious but is also as fragrant as the lavender plant itself, and yes, it is edible.  Gourmet sugars like this sell for a high price and can be found in specialty shops, but you can make it yourself for a fraction of the cost.  And just because Fall is here, doesn't mean you have missed out on making it.  You can make your own gourmet sugar any time from Spring until Fall.  Just be sure to harvest the lavender before frost.

Here is the very similar "recipe."
1 T. fresh lavender to 1 cup sugar
or 1 t. dried lavender to 1 cup sugar

Here's how I did mine:

Fill a jar half way with sugar.

Add lavender - leaves and flowers - to the jar. If you have fertilized your plants, be sure to wash them first and completely dry it  on a papertowel before you begin.  Moisture is your worst enemy and means certain failure in an otherwise can't fail project!

If you choose to have a stronger lavender flavor throughout, you can chop it in a food processor first, so the smaller pieces will remain in the sugar when you use it.

Fill the jar the rest of the way, with the remaining sugar and seal tightly.  I like to keep some flowers exposed for a pretty effect.   Leave it for a day or two, so the lavender scent can permeate the sugar.  That's it!

Place in a cute jar or container for a perfect hostess gift. I like to include my favorite recipe along with it or add some gourmet teas in a small basket.  Use this sugar in your tea or bake it into cookies and cakes.  It's great for muffins and scones also. And while you're baking, you'll wonder why you are so relaxed.  Inhale deeply, and enjoy.

You might also like to visit my other blogs: An Herbal Bedfellow, & Grabbin' A Bite,

Monday, September 16, 2013

The Language of Flowers, a book review

I rarely review a book, but The Language of Flowers  by Vanessa Diffenbaugh is special and it ties in with my blog very well.

I've always had an interest in the Victorian practice of sending secret messages to lovers through flowers,  This practice is also known as floriography..  Each flower has a meaning, which when passed on can declare true love or break a heart.  For instance rosemary means remembrance, heliotrope - devotion, Lily of the Valley - sweetness, and arborvitae - everlasting friendship. The problem comes with the fact that many of these flowers and trees have more than one meaning, causing confusion and sometimes misunderstanding.

Victoria Jones, the main character, discovers she has a rare ability for creating just the right floweal arrangements for each person's interests or problems. Her view of the world through looking at grasses, leaves, and even thorny plants is intriguing.

But there is much, much, more to this story than floral references.  You will find mystery,  love,  a close look at the foster care system, and the many dilemmas a young woman has to face when dealing with the world on her own, where flowers can be her savior and also her downfall.
If you are a fiction reader, as I am, I highly recommend The Language of Flowers.  I'm sure you're going to love it, and it could be the beginning of a new interest or hobby for you as you weave your way through this beautiful story.

You might also like to visit my other blogs: An Herbal Bedfellow, & Grabbin' A Bite,