Cooking with lavender – pancakes

I have a lovely lavender plant in my garden. It’s one of the few plants that survived me.
We don’t get many hours of sunlight, but it thrives in the shade.

But after visiting Bridgetown and all the lavender inspired soaps, and oils I’ve been thinking about how I can get more use out of it.

Currently we use it as a mosquito repellant, there’s always some hanging on our outside light.
I’m a mosquito magnet and I notice the difference.
I’ve tried those yellow mosquito lights but they don’t do anything.

Unfortunately I really don’t like the smell of lavender. My hay fever reacts badly to it, and it reminds me of old lady potpourri. So I’m not likely to have it inside the house.
I enjoy citrus fragrances a lot more and the only time my house smells of flowers it’s not by my choice.
But I did a bit of research which is opening my eyes to cooking with lavender.

There’s a chocolate lavender cake which I really want to try, but unfortunately couldn’t get the oven to light.
So instead I made the lavender sugar syrup by itself. Then Instead of putting it on an invisible chocolate cake, I put it on pancakes.

Inspired by that I made a lavender compound butter to go with it as well.
Absolutely delicious.

bek’s pantry pancakes

This is the ‘day before the food shopping’ pancakes, when you have run out of milk, eggs, and can’t be bothered popping to the shops just for that.
So I always have powdered eggs and powdered milk in the pantry. They don’t get used that often, but they’re good to take camping, and for when laziness strikes. Of course you can use 1 egg and 1 cup of milk but it really tastes pretty good for powder. I find it also makes it easier to get all the lumps out.

the ingredients
1 cup plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tablespoon egg powder
1/2 cup milk powder
Pinch of salt
1 cup water

the method
Mix all the dry ingredients together.
Add the water and mix until there are no lumps.
Add more water if necessary.

I always make it in a Pyrex jug, just because that way I can save on washing up.

lavender sugar syrup
the ingredients
1 cup of water
1 cup of sugar
1 sprig of lavender

the method
Combine all ingredients in a saucepan.
Bring to the boil.
Keep boiling until the sauce thickens.
Take off the heat and once it has cooled slightly (because it will be very hot), pour it through a sieve, and serve.

lavender compound butter
This was a whim. But melted on the pancakes it was a whim that payed off.

the ingredients
butter
Lavender (cut into small pieces)
Lemon zest
Lemon juice

the method
Mix it all together.

It really comes down to eyeballing it, particularly when you only want a little bit.

I’m really not an authority on cooking pancakes. In fact I’m shocking at it. So bad that I’ve bought a crepe maker into my arsenal. It always heats to the right temperature and because it’s non-stick I don’t get those first pancake blues, where the first pancake is soaked in butter.
I do love my crepe maker.

I’m now going to be looking for more ways to use lavender in my cooking.

20120520-163602.jpg

20120520-163620.jpg

20120520-163631.jpg

20120520-163637.jpg

20120520-163642.jpg

Baking chocolate biscuits

Because Sundays are made for baking. These are biscuits from a her name was greta recipe.

Delicious!!

A few minor variations to the recipe. Mainly in that I had white chocolate in the cupboard so I used that instead.
And I didn’t have enough butter, so I adjusted the mix at the end and added just enough milk to create the right consistency.

I’m looking forward to crumbling these over some vanilla ice-cream.
That’s if there’s any left!!

20110925-184758.jpg

20110925-184806.jpg

20110925-184817.jpg

20110925-184824.jpg

A sunny spring afternoon

* A good book
* A cute man
* Some pretty flowers
* A home made skirt thanks Gertie!
* Goblin Green fingernails (see the little goblin)
* Listening to The Decemberists in the sunshine
* Fish tacos
* Cold beers
* Repeats of scrubs
* a neapolitan sundae in a teacup
* Mouserat songs (in the pit)
* Happiness

the skirt
my handmade polka dot skirt

soaking up the sunshine
soaking up the sunshine
Continue reading A sunny spring afternoon

Scones and lemon butter

I still have my home economics recipe book from high school.

I could have thrown in out a long time ago but I haven’t. Mostly because it’s still useful, not the recipes so much as the quantities. They’re perfect when cooking for two.

The last time I was at J’s parents place they sent us back with a bag full of lemons.
Brain storming recipes to use up these lemons I had a massive craving for lemon butter.

J had never had lemon butter, but my nan used to make it all the time when she lived on a farm, so it has wonderful memories for me.

We used to go up to the farm in the holidays. It was a wonderful place to grow up, slide down the sheep shearing ‘slides’, run around, and be kids.

But the food was always wonderful. Mostly because it was cooked in a really old wood stoked oven, and because Mum wasn’t cooking.

Great-Nan’s specialty is still Christmas pudding, but she won’t give anyone the recipe. Mostly because there is none! Her style of cooking was influenced by the depression and war time and making ends meet. All part and parcel of being a farmers wife in the wheat belt. And I aspire to be more of that kind of cook. Making sure that nothing goes to waste.

One of the great things about the farm was always the home-made delicacies that we would come home with. I can remember standing on a stool next to the old stove while Nan made jam. Being told off for standing too close and wanting to dip my finger in the (very hot) mixture.

So she used to make preserves and butters to use up the stocks of fruit that would be produced.
And so when lemons were in season, there would be lemon butter.

It’s a very easy recipe. And J loves it. He had an idea that it would be very tart and lemony, but the sugar and the butter really mellow out the tartness.
I’ve now seen him spread it on crumpets, toast, as well as when I make scones.

It might just be making it into a few Christmas stockings this year.

20110822-045639.jpg

20110822-045659.jpg

20110822-045715.jpg

20110822-045859.jpg

It’s a kitchen invasion

I was all set to cook fish and chips for my boyfriend who had cooked the previous two meals.

I had some fish in the microwave defrosting only to discover once it had defrosted that it wasn’t fish, it was squid.
So J was called on to cook dinner, as I’m not too confident with cooking fish.

So he cooked up a seafood (prawn, squid, and barramundi all from the freezer) medley.
I put the chips in the oven (yay I helped!).

But while the oven was on I decided to make desert. And so I looked in my old high school cook book (yes I’ve still got it after all these years) and found a recipe. We’re not big sweet tooths in my household, so when I find a sweet recipes which can happily feed us two with no leftovers to go to waste, I hold on to it.
This quantity will easily serve two people, but you can have that amount to yourself with no problems.

3/4 cup milk, 1 egg, 2 tsp sugar, some nutmeg, and some vanilla were mixed in a mug.
Then poured over some buttered bread which had the crusts cut off, and placed in the bottom of ramekins.
That then went in a water bath, in the oven for 25 minutes.
It wasn’t fish and chips, but it was good.

20110801-113728.jpg

20110801-113715.jpg

20110801-113738.jpg

20110801-113802.jpg