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Lavender

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The husband and I bought our first house in the Fall of last year. We were super excited to start a garden. I was super excited to plant some lavender in the herb area of the garden. So................ What do I do with it? Ha! It grew nice and big and bushy. Any ideas? I just love the smell of it! Aside from the obvious- scent your rice or your lamb with it, what else can I do? Will tea work? Do I have to dry the leaves first for that? Does anyone know an easy way to make soap or any other household-y type things? What else can I use it for?
Thanks!

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  1. I don't know of anyone using leaves; one usually uses the flowers. There is another thread on lavender just above this one.

    1. Here's the link to the other thread on lavender cookery. It kind of got lost down the page!

      http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/552628

      1. Mark Bittman has an article about cooking with lavender in this week's New York Times. Check out the links to his recipe and video, too.

        http://www.nytimes.com/2008/08/27/din...

        2 Replies
        1. re: WendyBinCT

          thanks everyone!

          1. re: mrspvr

            I just made delicious lavender filled cupcakes with pink grapefruit (or any citrus) cream cheese frosting with my son. You can use the lavender leaves and stems to make the simple syrup for the whipped filling. (I could not find the flowers) I have the recipe if you want. They are awesome!!!

        2. A natural foods store I went to used to make the most delicious lemonade that they infused with lavender. It was so delicious! I would definitely recommend that for a great drink.

          1. Tried a lavender & honey yogurt last week. Almost too sweet but the flavors were otherwise very nice together.

            1. "ExtraVeganZa" cookbook by Laura Matthias contains recipes which call for lavender. I haven't tried any of them yet. The index lists: Chocolate cake with lavender, Lemon cheesecake with lavender, Chocolate cookies with lavender, Almond crust with lavender, Lemon glaze with lavender, Lemon and blueberry muffins with lavender, Lemon spritzer with lavender, Blueberry tarts with lavender.

              2 Replies
              1. re: lgss

                Try making dried lavender sachets for your linens, sheets, and napkins in drawers. Your guests will marvel at your attention to detail.

                1. re: lgss

                  Does the book have recipes for other herbs? The garden is full now and new uses would be great. Lemon verbena, anise hyssop, mints, thyme . . . . .

                2. Floating lavender buds in ice cubes adds sparkle and fragrance to any cold beverage or cocktail. Looks pretty too.

                  Dry lavender buds on a cookie sheet and pack in bags for use all year long.

                  Fresh lavendar flowers/buds go nicely with lemon pound cake. I usually decorate the light lemon icing with lavendar immediately after pouring over cooled cake. The flowers/buds tend to hold in place better.

                  Enjoy!