When we think of lavender, we think of the pretty, light purple flowers that blow gently in the breeze, producing a lovely, heady scent. The lavender's scent has been used for many years in bouquets, sachets, and potpourri. Did you know that lavender has many other uses?
Lavender plants repel insects. Place them around the house, or grow them near the patio. Boil the flowers in some water, and keep the liquid mixture handy to relieve insect bites. The flowers of the lavender plant can be used either fresh or dried in the rinse water for your hair or clothes.
Lavender also can be used in bath products. Here's an easy recipe for a fragrant lavender soap:
(Not only is this soap cleansing, it's pretty! Consider giving it as a gift in clear jars, decorated with ribbon.)
Crush the flower petals until they are powdery. Melt the soap in the bowling water in a double boiler. Stir it frequently until it is smooth and melted. Remove from heat, and stir in the crushed flower petals. Pour into a bottle and keep covered.
I know there is English AND French Lavender. Can anyone tell me what the differences are other than the names. I absolutely LOVE the smell, the look etc.
I have planted Hidcote (English Lavender) which is a dwarf lavendar. Growing no larger than 14 inches x 24 inches. Very compact. And, umm, very fragrant!
I also have 2 good recipes for edible treats using culinary lavender. This is ordinary lavender grown without sprays etc.
1. Make your favourite sponge cake recipe and add 2tbs lavender buds at the end before baking.
2. Add 2tbs lavender buds to shortbread (shortcake) when making.
Delicious food from a historical cookbook!
Lavendar Shortbread Cookies
1 1/2 cups butter, softened
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup sifted confectioner's sugar
2 TB fresh lavender flowers, chopped fine (or 1 TB dried)
1 TB chopped fresh mint (or 1 tsp dried)
1 tsp lemon juice
2 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup cornstarch
1/4 tsp salt
Cream butter and add next 5 ingredients. Mix by hand, or with electric mixer on low, until light and fluffy. Add the last 3 ingredients and mix well. Divide dough in half, flatten, cover and chill until firm. (You can also roll into a log, chill, and then slice.) Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Roll out to 1/2- thickness on floured surface and cut into 1 1/2- circles; press designs on top, if desired. (You can also use cookie cutters.) Bake 18 to 20 minutes on parchment paper covered cookie sheets. Cool slightly and transfer to wire rack. Makes approximately 2 dozen, depending on size of cookie.
Optional: When cool, dust lightly with powdered sugar flavored with lavender flowers.
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