The Monday Make: Everything Lavender

Mondays can go in one of two directions, depending on how well planned out we are for starting the week.  To keep some consistency laid out for the beginning of each week, I’ve added The Monday Make as part of our routine to kick start the week of snacks off better.  I find when there are snacks made and available in the house for those in-between meal hours, everyone stays content (for the most part.)  And I always welcome suggestions so forward your own recipes and we’ll add them to our baking sessions and post them, making sure we give credit where it’s due.

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Normally I post a pic of what the weather is showing in my own front or back yard up here in the great white north for each particular week, however, being that I’m featuring lavender, and being that my old homestead down south had an abundance of it in my garden plot, you’re looking at my unkempt garden in the pic above but heavenly smelling lavender plant at the bottom of our deck stairs in our gift of a place we resided in for six years in Tennessee.

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We’ve been tickled to since find a lavender farm up here in our new northern abode.  We live a bit of a drive, with an added stone’s throw from that, away from this lavender farm atop the escarpment of our town.  It’s a small family run business with a wee store inside the house, and a few fields of lavender outlining the house.

Do you know if your lavender plant is English or French?  This year I discovered the answer….I think.

There are oodles of species of both Lavender and Lavandin.  Lavender, a generally larger plant, seems to commonly refer to English lavender because it was produced in England for the perfume market, whereas Lavandin, a generally smaller plant was the species used to produce perfume for the French market.  But that doesn’t mean they only grow in these locations.  They are found everywhere, with the two most common types being referred to as Lavandula Angustifolia (what we know as Lavender) and Lavandula Intermedia (what we know as Lavandin).  The Lavandula Angustifolia seems to have the most medicinal properties to it. So I’m guessing from my tall plant in the first pic, I had Lavender not Lavandin? Am I right all you Lavender experts?

And because my daughter’s name is Violet, and of the lavender persuasion, and because it happens to also be her favourite colour, and because some dear southern friends hosted a Lavender Tea for her 14th birthday three years ago (oh my, has it been that long?), and because it was her seventeenth birthday this past Saturday, I decided to feature everything lavender for my Monday Make post this week.

You’ll be amazed at how lovely a combination it makes as a scone, a shortbread cookie, and even butter!

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The farm changed from the boot stomping, chore riddled dwelling that farms often encompass, to a rather idyllic Jane Austen, rolling hills resort the day we arrived for Violet’s 14th birthday Lavender Tea.  The girls dressed in their finest, with the eldest ones draped in their Regency gowns for the occasion, with the chosen colour accenting Violet’s dress as none other than, lavender.

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The day was absolutely picture perfect, the farm thriving with life (yes, in April! A hard thing for me to envision now that I’m north), the warmth of the the air glorious and just right for an outdoor tea party among the rhododendron and irises.

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The girls painted some used tea cups and saucers our friends picked up from the thrift store. We were served lavender scones with lavender butter, and I’m not remembering the actual tea, but I know my cup showed purple.  We lingered over our pots of tea, friendly conversations, and enjoyed the sweetness of the little ones painting, then scattering to play happily in the stream together.

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And wouldn’t you know it, our creative friends even found a book called Miss Violet’s Shining Day as one of the presents, along with some home made Violet jelly.

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A more thought filled, beautifully themed tea party has yet to be a match to this marvelous day on the farm.  Three years later we’re still reminiscing, and ever grateful for the pampering and joy we still hold from this memorable event.  And because of that, we can’t but share a few recipes from the occasion that were shared with us.

So here are a few recipes for y’all to try with lavender, and I’ll sneak one in of Violet jelly as well, just because we’re on the lavender colour theme.  Some of the recipes come straight from those used on the farm that day,  and some I have linked to online recipes you can use.

Lavender Scones:

1 tsp chopped dried lavender buds

1 1/2 C unbleached all purpose flour

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

1/4 C sugar

1 C sour cream

Pre-heat oven to 450 F

In a medium bowl, mix the dry ingredients together

Add the sour cream and stir with a large spoon until the dry ingredients are damp (about 20 seconds)

The dough will be very light.  Turn onto a floured surface and knead very gently, 8-10 times.  Roll or pat into a round shape that is 1/2 to 3/4 inches thick.

Flour your blow scraper or spatula and cut into 4 pie shaped pieces.

Flour your spatula again and gently lift each scone onto a lightly greased cookie sheet.

Bake for 15 mins or until golden brown.

Serve with some lavender honey butter (1 stick of softened butter, 4 tsp dried lavender pulsed and chopped, 4 tsp honey…mix together and voila!)

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Lavender Shortbread can be found at:

http://www.agardenforthehouse.com/2013/06/easy-lavender-shortbread-cookies/

Violet Jelly can be found at:

http://www.healthygreenkitchen.com/violet-jelly.html

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Happy Monday Make! Don’t forget your cup o tea!

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