Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Loving Lavender

When I was a little girl, my maternal grandmother sent me a lavender dress. Beautifully hand smocked with a big bow to tie in the back, it was my favorite gift of all time. I wore it to church and to parties. In one of the few pictures we have of me as a child (I was the third child - we have tons of pictures of the eldest, not so many of the subsequent progeny), I'm wearing that dress with white socks and black patent leather MaryJanes.

I loved it so much that one Sunday after church, I didn't take it off. Instead, I went blackberry picking in the woods behind our quarters and, having nothing to carry the berries home in, used the skirt of my lavender dress. You can imagine my mother's dismay - the stains never did come out. I still remember fondly that lavender dress and I still love the color of lavender.

Last year, I bought a small bottle of lavender buds to make a cold, refreshing tea; the bottle is still here but I hadn't found any good use for the lavender when it's not iced tea season. On impulse, I sniffed it to remind myself of the flavor and for some reason carrots came to mind.

I had some fresh, young carrots in the fridge so it was the work of a moment to add them, scraped and sliced, into the menu.

Melted a little butter in a wide pan with perhaps a tablespoon of water. When it was bubbling, added a sprinkle of the lavender buds, then the carrots and gently butter-steamed them, tossing frequently, for about three minutes.

I'm always amazed at how much a tiny difference like this can make to an otherwise mundane meal. The lavender added an herbal note and a tiny bite to the sweet carrots and a fillip to our taste buds. Don't be surprised if you find me madly sprinkling it onto all kinds of meats and veggies this summer. I'm loving lavender these days.

Oh, and, by the way, ¡H*A*P*P*Y C*I*N*C*O D*E M*A*Y*O!

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Blogger cookiecrumb said...

It sounds perfect. What an inspired inspiration!

Wednesday, May 05, 2010  
Blogger Greg said...

Good stuff! Now that you mention it we did the same picture thing with our four kids.My bad!

Wednesday, May 05, 2010  
Blogger dancingmorganmouse said...

Lamb, roast lamb rubbed with a paste of crushed lavender, rosemary, salt and olive oil.
Or, shortbread, with a little crushed lavender in the mix, not too much mind or it tastes a like turpentine!

Wednesday, May 05, 2010  
Blogger namastenancy said...

Oh yummy! I like lavender on roast lamb as well. Now I'm hungry and all I have in the house is chicken and salad fixings!

Wednesday, May 05, 2010  
Blogger Zoomie said...

Cookiecrumb, I say "go with your nose" - works almost every time.

Greg, I think all parents are like this - it just gets complicated as each successive child adds fun and chaos to the mix.

Morgan, you're right about the turpentine if one overdoes! But, I'm going to try your lamb idea soon.

Nancy, take consolation in knowing that your dinner is healthier.

Thursday, May 06, 2010  

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