Kitchen Essentials — Lavender
Long a popular part of kitchen gardens, lavender is quickly coming back into vogue. With its pretty looks and inherent hardiness, it’s a smart addition to modern plot or container gardens, especially where water conservation is a concern. There are many different varieties of lavender, from fern-type plants to dwarf varieties. The tiny flowers bloom on tall stems that shoot up above the foliage and can be purple, pink, yellow or white. My lavender plant is about 5 years old and will bloom only if it’s allowed to spend its days lounging in the sunshine. So, make sure that the spot you’d like to house it receives a fair amount of light throughout the day.Apart from cooking, lavender makes a great addition to potpourri. A handful of flower stems tied together with a ribbon (with or without other flower petals or spices) tucked into dresser drawers lends a subtle fresh and floral scent to all your clothes. Grow a pot of it to use in floral arrangements or when wrapping presents.
Lavender is part of the mint family. The flower petals have a strong floral taste and can be eaten fresh or dried. The only word of caution here is to make sure that pesticides haven’t been applied to the the plant before you eat it! I suppose a second word of caution might be to watch how much you use at one time. Like saffron, a little really does go a long way. I’m not going to give you any specific instructions on how to use lavender because it really comes down to your own preferences. Use it as you would any sweet herb, like basil or mint. Try adding a pinch of leaves to a pitcher of iced tea as a special touch.