Monday, 15 August 2011

More Lavender for your senses


As you enjoy the pictures (below), you can also listen to a song that will sound very familiar, performed by English folk singer Jackie Oates at Gloucester Cathedral.  

  • Isn't her voice enchanting? It shows what you can do with a simple melody. I wonder if Jane Austen used to wander around as a child in the Surrey lavender fields and hum this melody to herself?
  • Now that both vision and hearing have been stimulated, let's move on to the olfactory buds that are clamoring for attention.  
  • Here's a recipe for Lavender Shortbread Biscuits (Cookies) that someone recommended to me. I've loved shortbread biscuits since I learned how to make them at school. My favorite part of making shortbread was the magical moment when the dough finally turned into breadcrumbs. It gave me a sense of remarkable achievement. I thought of myself as an artist, a creator, transforming clay into something else. Never mind that the "breadcrumbs" themselves weren't much to look at!
  • I like the fact that the recipe calls for both mint and lavender. I love both, which makes the recipe especially appealing. 
  • Let me know if you try them before I do.

LAVENDER SHORTBREAD BISCUITS (COOKIES)
from Maryeileen
  • 350g butter, softened
  • 125g caster sugar
  • 4 tablespoons sifted icing sugar
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh lavender
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint leaves
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
  • 325g plain flour
  • 65g cornflour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
In a medium bowl, cream together the butter, caster sugar and icing sugar until light and fluffy. Mix in the lavender, mint and lemon zest. Combine the flour, cornflour and salt; mix into the butter and sugar mixture until well blended. Divide dough into two balls, wrap in clingfilm and flatten to about 2.5cm thick. Refrigerate until firm, about 1hour.
2.
Preheat the oven to 170 C / Gas mark 3. On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough out to 6mm in thickness. Cut into shapes with scone or biscuit cutters. Biscuit stamps will work well on these too. Place on baking trays.
3.
Bake for 18 to 20 minutes in the preheated oven, just until biscuits begin to brown at the edges. Cool for a few minutes on the baking trays then transfer to wire racks to cool completely.


Click on the image below to go to the website of Mayfield farms and read the fascinating story of how the field was revived. 
Are you fond of lavender, as Jane Austen's friend Martha Lloyd was? What do you use it for?

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