Lavender love

lavender & lemon jelly

My husband can’t get his head around eating lavender, he says it’s like being 7 and eating his Grannies perfume. I think if I’d known he ate her perfume before I married him, I’d of thought twice. But, he hasn’t done it since we’ve been married as far as I know so I think it was just a phase..

He’s not alone in his distrust of the purple flower, I’ve met one or two people along my travels who turn down a tasting of my sorrel jelly because it has the L word in it – but if I can bribe them into trying it, they change their view. You see, lavender is one of the most delicious herbal flavourings, done right with subtle pinches, rather than clumsy handfuls they not only add delicate perfume to sweet and savoury treats, but balance the other flavours in a dish – salty, spicy, hot, cool, bitter, sour – they all love a waft of lavender love. We pair lavender with salty lovage, savoury, thyme and hyssop in Potager, with rose petals, cardamom and fennel in our Rose el Hanout and sour, tangy sorrel in our summer jelly.

Lavender is a taste of summer sun, and at this time of year we could all do with a ray of sunshine smothered on our comforting buttery hot toast…

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Lavender & Lemon Jelly

This little recipe will make one medium sized jar of jelly, Just enough to keep you going until it’s time to make nettle & orange conserve (that’s for another day)

Take 2 lemon & bramley apple & chop them up. Pop them skin, core, pith and juices in a pan add a pinch of dried lavender flowers, cover with water, cover with a lid & simmer until the lemons & apple are soft. Strain the cooked liquid through a sieve (you can keep the pulp & use it in a steamed lemon pudding – do a google search, it’s good) Measure how much liquid you have, and weigh out the equivalent in sugar. Heat up the liquid, add the sugar and bring to a rolling boil. It’ll just take a few minutes to bring the jelly to a soft set.  Jar, cool and eat on a scone or with toast, or stir a spoonful into a gin & tonic. Drink whilst doused in lavender talc.

3 thoughts on “Lavender love

  1. Hi Liz, just seen your piece on James Martins Comforts and I am really interested in what you do. Thank you for bringing the English countryside natural herbs and plants to our attention, they are easily admired when walked past or picked for a wild flower bunch but not utilised as a food source. I do have a question, how do us ordinary folks recognise one plant from another in our search for tasty plants? Many thanks for introducing yourself and your interest to us

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    • Hi Julie, I promise you it’s very easy! There are SO many plants that you’ll recognise in your garden that are food – it’s just we’ve forgotten how to use them. There are even plants to pick right now – bittercress, chickweed, cleaver shoots..in the spring you can fill your boots (or basket) with an abundance of delicious weeds – from nettles, to dock, ground elder to wild garlic – if you’ve a sweet tooth you can make syrups, jellies and flavour cakes with dandelion flowers, cherry blossom, gorse flowers and even bramble buds – try chewing one, it tastes like coconut and makes incredible pannacottas!

      If you subscribe to my blog I’ll be posting ideas of what to pick & how to eat your finds over the next few months – you’ll be feasting on the outside in no time!

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