Tuesday, November 29, 2022

Lavender Infused Olive Oil


It probably doesn't come as any surprise that we love "handmade" at Pelindaba. Whether that means you are making a handmade gift or creating something by hand for you and your family to enjoy, when it is made with love by your own hands and packaged up sweetly it always mean so much more.

Infused olive oils make delicious and visually delightful gifts for the food lovers in your life — including yourself! They are a treat to have at the ready in your own kitchen for your own culinary adventuring. Let's make some Lavender Infused Olive Oil!

Lavender Infused Olive Oil Recipe
 

Lavender Infused Olive Oil

There are various ways to infuse olive oil with herbs and spices. Some heat the oil and others don't, some leave the ingredients in and others strain them out before bottling. The following is what we have found to be the simplest and most successful method.

 Ingredients:

  • Olive Oil (light, extra virgin - whatever your taste and cooking preference is)
  • Organic Culinary Lavender
  • A few dried organic lavender flower stalks and rosemary sprigs for decoration

Supplies:

  • Clear glass bottles that will seal tightly (well cleaned and thoroughly dried)
  • Mortar and pestle (a couple pieces of parchment paper and a rolling pin will do) 
  • Kitchen thermometer
  • Sieve
  • Funnel
  • Twine, cord or ribbon
  • Tag template - Free download here

Ratio:

An 8:1 ratio of olive oil to Organic Culinary Lavender produces a present flavor that is neither too weak or too potent. For example, for 4 cups of olive oil use 1/2 cup of Organic Culinary Lavender.

Of course, each palette is different so feel free to adjust the ratio to suit your preference. Note: The addition of dried, decorative botanicals will allow for some ongoing infusion and slightly intensify the flavor over time.

How to make Lavender Infused Olive Oil

Step 1 : Use a mortar and pestle to crush the lavender to release the flavor. Placing the lavender between two sheets of parchment paper and using a rolling pin to crush it works too.

Step 2 : Gently heat the olive oil and lavender to 180°F in a sauce pan over a medium/low heat.

Step 3 : Remove the oil and lavender from the heat and let it thoroughly cool for several hours.

Step 4 : Prepare your bottles by adding a few dried lavender flower stalks and a sprig of dried rosemary for visual interest.

Step 5 : Strain the oil and lavender through a sieve and pour into the bottles.

Step 6 : Seal the bottles, add some twine and a label to finish. Store in a cool, dark place (or refrigerator) and use within 3 months.

Great Gift Idea -  Lavender Infused Olive Oil  Easy to make Lavender Infused Olive Oil

Note: Be sure your lavender and rosemary is thoroughly dry to avoid the introduction of moisture and the potential for bacteria growth.

If you love handmade gifts as much as we do, you'll want to explore our other DIY holiday gift projects.

We also handcraft a wide range of lavender gifts at the farm. Gifts for wellness and relaxation, for cooking and eating, for a fragrant home and peaceful sleep, and more! Happy crafting and gifting this holiday season!

Wednesday, November 16, 2022

How to make Lavender Sachet Ornaments


In preparation for the holiday season, we are making Lavender Sachet Ornaments. Fragrant and festive, this simple project requires only a few supplies to create rustic-elegant touches for holiday decorating.

Homemade Lavender Sachet Ornaments

Lavender Sachet Ornament


Supplies

  • Lavender Buds 

This is a great opportunity to use some of the lavender you harvested and dried from your garden this summer or we can send you some of our fragrant Organic Lavender Buds direct from our San Juan Island farm. Our lavender buds are also available in bulk for the avid crafters!

  • Fabric

We used an oatmeal colored linen and a white organza. The linen has a delightfully rustic and organic feel and the organza provides a touch of elegance and shimmer while allowing the lavender buds to be visible. Any fabric that you fancy will do. What a great way to use up some left-over fabric from another project!

  • Pinking Shears

The scissors in the image above are pinking shears. These shears have saw-toothed instead of straight blades and produce a zigzag pattern. This zigzag pattern prevents fabric from fraying.

  • Thread to match your fabric
  • Twine, cord, yard or embroidery floss to hang your ornaments
  • Ornament pattern template - Free download here

 

Homemade Lavender Sachet Ornaments

Directions


1. Using the above pattern template, cut out 2 pieces of fabric per ornament. These will be the front and the back of 1 ornament. You could use the same fabric or different fabrics for the front and back. Have fun with it!
 
2. Cut enough hanging loops for your ornaments. Six inch lengths is a good place to start so that there are substantial tails to secure on the inside of the ornament.
 
3. Position the 2 ornament pieces wrong sides together so that the front side of the fabric is visible on both the front and back of the ornament. Secure the fabric pieces with a couple of pins. 

4. Position the loop with the tails between the 2 pieces of fabric at the top of the ornament shape and secure with pins.

5. Sew the 2 pieces of fabric together (including the hanging loop) and leave a small 1/2" to 1" gap.

6. Fill the ornament with lavender buds and then stitch the gap closed.

DIY Lavender Sachet Ornaments   DIY Lavender Sachet Ornaments
 

Now you are ready to add the soothing fragrance of lavender to your tree, garlands, swags and wreaths. Tip: When you experience the scent of lavender starting to dissipate, gently squeeze the lavender buds to release more essential oil. You can also add a couple drops of pure Organic Lavender Essential Oil to the ornament to boost the fragrance.
 
These aromatic little ornaments also make lovely homemade gifts. If homemade gifts are right up your alley, you'll want to explore our other DIY holiday gift projects.

We also handcraft a wide range of gift-ready lavender products at the farm. Gifts for wellness and relaxation, for cooking and eating, for a fragrant home and peaceful sleep, and more! Happy crafting and gifting this holiday season!


Thursday, November 3, 2022

All About Lavender Tea - Tasting Notes and Uses Beyond Drinking!

When there is a chill in the air and the days shorten, do you reach for a cozy cup of tea? When the sun is shining bright and the heat of the afternoon is bearing down, do you reach for a refreshing glass of iced tea? Given that tea is the most widely consumed beverage in the world (after water, of course), most of us probably would answer 'yes!' to both or either of those questions.

Organic Lavender Tea Blends from Pelindaba Lavender

Tea is that most-popular of aromatic beverages, prepared by pouring hot water over dried or fresh leaves of Camellia sinensis, an evergreen shrub native to East Asia. The range of flavor profiles and caffeine content across the tea landscape is broad and made even more so by the endless variations possible by adding infusions of fruit, flowers, herbs and other flavorings.

The "proper" methodology to prepare a cup of tea is a much-debated topic that varies widely between cultures and individuals. We tend to take the approach that these are suggestions and what is most important about a cup of tea is that it is a delicious and satisfying experience for you.

Enjoy a cup of satisfying lavender tea!

At Pelindaba Lavender we love tea. All of our definitive lavender tea blends are made using our own "Provence" culinary lavender buds from our organically certified lavender fields. Of the many varieties of lavender that are suitable for culinary purposes, we prefer the flavor of Lavandula x intermedia "Provence". This variety holds it's own well amongst other flavors without overpowering the overall taste experience. 

We use the dried lavender buds in all of our teas. The buds are 1/4 inch, oblong and comprise the flowerhead of most lavender varieties. The small purple flowers emerge from the bud during the summer bloom which remains on the stalk when the flower petals have faded. Most of lavender's flavor is housed within these buds. Once dried, stripped from their stalks and sifted to remove bits of leaves and other organic material from the plant, they are ready to be used in delicious culinary settings — especially tea!

Organic Lavender Tea Blends Made with Culinary Lavender


Caffeinated Teas


Several of our lavender tea blends contain varying levels of caffeine. These are noted so that you can plan your tea adventuring accordingly to your preference for or sensitivity to caffeine.


Organic Lavender Black Ceylon Tea

Our original lavender tea blend! The unique flavor of our organic culinary lavender blends perfectly with a full-bodied organic Ceylon black tea from Sri Lanka. As a component of breakfast or afternoon tea, this blend is ideal. It is high in antioxidants, has moderate caffeine and a robust flavor.

Organic Lavender Black Ceylon Tea

Lavender Sweet Tea Recipe

Made with our Organic Lavender Black Ceylon, this simple recipe for Lavender Sweet Tea has only four ingredients and is a lovely summer dining accompaniment or warm afternoon treat.

Ingredients:
Directions:
Measure the tea onto a square of cheese cloth and secure with twine to create a teabag.  Bring 4 cups of water to boil in a saucepan over medium high heat.  Add the tea, remove from heat and allow it to steep for approximately 5 minutes.  Remove the tea bag and disassemble for drying and reuse or compost it.

Add the sugar and stir until completely dissolved.  Pour the tea into a gallon pitcher and add three more quarts of water.  Stir to blend evenly and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or, better, overnight.

Pour the tea into ice-filled glasses and add a few leaves of fresh mint or a few slices of lemon for a refreshing cool beverage on a hot day.

More ways to use this hearty tea...

For a cooler weather treat, add your steamed milk or substitute of choice to brewed Organic Lavender Black Ceylon Tea with a small splash of vanilla.

Make a succulent marinade for red meat or poultry with strongly-brewed Organic Lavender Black Ceylon Tea, a few tablespoons of our Lavender Stone Ground Honey Mustard, extra virgin olive oil, your favorite green herb (think marjoram or oregano) and salt and pepper.

Did you know that black teas can be used as a natural dye? Black tea imparts an antique, sepia tone to cotton and also works well on thick paper to give it an aged look. Brew a very strong batch of tea (amount of liquid dependent on how much you are dying), let it cool and let the fabric soak in the tea. The longer the fabric soaks in the tea, the deeper the color. For paper, brush the tea onto the paper and allow it to dry. Layer coats to deepen the color. 

This is also a marvelous method to naturally dye Easter eggs in a range of neutral tones. In fact, you can use all of our lavender tea blends for this purpose to create a subtle rainbow of shades.

Organic Lavender Black Ceylon Tea


Organic Lavender Green Tea

To create our Organic Lavender Green Tea we blend organically certified Lucky Dragon Green Tea with our organically culinary lavender to produce a wonderfully healthy and delightfully aromatic beverage unique to our lavender fields. Bold and full-flavored, this low caffeine tea is very high antioxidants and refreshing both hot or iced.

Organic Lavender Green Tea

To dress up your cup of Organic Lavender Green Tea, blend in a bit of your favorite steamed milk or substitute and Organic Lavender Gourmet Honey.

This tea also imparts a fresh flavor to a marinade. For a light, bright marinade that is perfect for fish,  combine fresh lemon, pepper, extra virgin olive oil and strongly brewed Organic Lavender Green Tea.  

In addition to being a delightful beverage, green tea is loaded with skin protecting and repairing antioxidants. Our Organic Lavender Green Tea is the star of our Lavender Green Tea Skincare Mask recipe. This at-home treatment, incorporating honey and rice flower, is a luxurious skincare mask to gently exfoliate, hydrate and brighten skin.

Organic Lavender Green Tea


Organic Lavender White Peony Tea

Our Organic Lavender White Peony Tea, a special varietal Chinese tea (named for its grey white leaves covered with a velvet peach fuzz down) is naturally sun-dried, and is increasingly being recognized for its antioxidant properties.

We blend this organic "Pai Mu Tan" white tea with our organically-grown culinary lavender to produce a highly aromatic and delicately flavored tea with minimal caffeine that can be enjoyed anytime either hot or iced. It's natural sweetness is wonderfully enhanced with a dollop of our Organic Lavender Gourmet Honey.

Organic Lavender White Peony Tea

For a fun summer drink, add a scoop of mango, passion fruit or coconut sorbet to a 12 fl oz glass of chilled Organic Lavender White Peony Tea. To make it a boozy refresher add a splash of spiced rum. Add a metal or brightly colored paper straw, a twist of orange and an umbrella to really jazz it up!

Organic Lavender White Peony Tea

Herbal Teas

These steeped beverages contain no leaves from Camellia sinensis and are made solely of herbs, flowers, spices and the like. As such, they contain no caffeine and are an excellent way to reduce your caffeine intake while still enjoying the full tea experience. You can drink as much herbal tea as you like without the caffeine-induced side effects.

Organic Lavender Chamomile Tea

This wonderfully aromatic Organic Lavender Chamomile Tea blends our own organically-grown culinary lavender with the finest of organic Egyptian chamomile flowers grown in the Nile Delta. A long-time, evening favorite of many, these chamomile flowers have a slightly fruity, sweet flavor profile that has long been prized for its sedative properties. The similar properties of lavender make this blend particularly desirable as the perfect late night hot drink.

Organic Lavender Chamomile Tea

To enhance its relaxing attributes, add your preferred steamed milk or substitute and follow our lavender-based calming bedtime ritual to aid sleep.

Many also find our Organic Lavender Chamomile Tea effective for soothing an upset tummy.

Another variation on the relaxation theme is to brew not just a cup of Organic Lavender Chamomile Tea but an entire bathtub of it! Our Calming and Aromatic Lavender Tub Tea recipe is perfect for an at-home spa day. Lavender, chamomile and a variety of other herbs create a luxuriously fragrant soak to de-stress and revive the spirit.

Organic Lavender Chamomile Tea


Organic Lavender Rooibos Tea

Our Organic Lavender Rooibos Tea blend, native to South Africa is naturally sweet, low in tannins and high in antioxidants. It connects our present lavender world to our South African roots. Our name, Pelindaba, is a Zulu word that hearkens back to our own-founder Stephen Robins' South African heritage and is a name that incorporates two key elements of our ethos — great gatherings of lavender and great gatherings of people through open-space preservation.

We are often asked how to pronounce this tea name — "Rooibos" (meaning redbush). An easy way to remember it is "Roy is getting on the bus" = Roy-bus = Rooibos. 

Organic Lavender Rooibos Tea

While it is thoroughly enjoyable hot, it's our favorite tea blend to have iced. We serve this blend on ice at the lavender farm during the summers. Mixed with lavender lemonade to make a "Lavender Palmer" you can experience a summer afternoon at the farm from anywhere.

Tip for iced tea brewing — freeze some of the cooled tea into ice cubes to avoid watery iced tea in the glass. Add small slices or lemon or fresh lavender flowers to the ice cubes before freezing for visual flare when melting

For a cooler weather treat, add your steamed milk or substitute of choice to brewed Organic Lavender Rooibos Tea and finish with honey.

Organic Lavender Rooibos Tea

 

A couple final uses for all of our lavender tea blends...

Any of our teas make a delicious base for kombucha. Steep one of our teas and add sugar as the "food" for your starter or "scoby". Try a few of our lavender blends and see which you prefer as the central flavor for your fizzy, gut-healthy brew.

After you have brewed our full-leaf, loose teas, don't throw away the used tea leaves. Dry them thoroughly and save to add to the bottom layer of soil when re-potting houseplants. The tea leaves will soak up water and then slowly release it to aid in maintaining moisture levels in the soil. For the same reason, used tea leaves are excellent garden mulch. At the very least, add them on your compost pile. There's no need to add them to the landfill!

If the weather outside is conducive to a cozy warming beverage, or a refreshingly cool iced beverage would be more appealing, our plentiful lavender tea offerings will ensure a delicious cup. 

New to the culinary world of lavender? A host of sweet and savory recipes benefit from this versatile herb. We offer many lavender recipes to try at home incorporating our wide range of farm-made culinary lavender products from kitchen and table.

Friday, October 28, 2022

3 Irresistible Lavender Inspired Popcorn Toppings


As a snack, popcorn has it all. It is easy to make, affordable, steeped in nostalgia and magical charm, and is an excellent conveyance for delicious flavors. Discovered in the Americas thousands of years ago, this now ubiquitous seed has captivated "snackers" for centuries by the nifty things it does when heated.

For many, popcorn is connected to fun times and loved ones — watching movies, playing games as a family, hanging out with friends, cheering for your favorite sports teams, etc.... At the heart of these good feelings is a little kernel of nutritional goodness. Popcorn is a whole grain that is high in fiber and naturally low in calories, sugar-free and gluten-free. Good thing too! The smell of freshly made popcorn is irresistible!

Let's make it even more irresistible with some delicious toppings using a few of our most popular culinary lavender products!

3 Irresistible Lavender Inspired Popcorn Toppings

First we need to start with some popcorn. Making popcorn with inexpensive and long-lasting kernels at home is simple and only takes a few minutes. There are lots of "perfect popcorn" recipes out there, here's one we like if you want to refine your popping skills


Lavender Herbed Popcorn

Toss freshly made popcorn with melted butter or extra virgin olive oil, salt and a generous amount of our Lavender Herbes de Provence. We usually start with a couple teaspoons and work up from there until all the popped puffs are well-coated. If you are finding that the herbs are not sticking well to the popcorn, add a little more butter or olive oil or try lightly grinding the herbs. 

If you enjoy more intense flavor, add our Lavender Herbes de Provence and a dash of garlic powder to the butter as it is melted. Let it gently simmer for a few minutes to allow the aromatic flavors to fully infuse into the butter.

Our wonderfully fragrant herb blend paired with the salty crunch of popcorn is a delightful snack and makes a charming appetizer or party treat when served in small cups or paper cones.

For more variations on this lavender seasoning theme, check out our Lavender Seasoning Sampler. Each flavor in this sampler is delicious on popcorn and also makes a lovely gift for foodies!

Lavender Herbed Popcorn Recipe


Lavender + Popcorn Blend = Bowl-Licking Good!

Our friends at San Juan Sea Salt create their signature Popcorn Blend with the mineral rich sea salt they harvest from our very own Salish Sea, nutritional yeast and a few other tasty organic herbs and spices. It is inspired by movie nights at our small island movie theater, where nutritional yeast has been a staple for 30+ years. 

The Salish Sea is the body of water surrounding San Juan Island, where our lavender farm is located. If you aren't familiar with the incredible products San Juan Sea Salt creates from the edges of our little island, check them out!

Homemade popcorn liberally finished with Organic Culinary Lavender and San Juan Sea Salt's Popcorn Blend seasoning will have you licking your fingers and the bowl for every last trace of flavor.

Start with popcorn, drizzle with extra virgin olive oil or melted butter and toss with lightly ground Organic Culinary Lavender and Popcorn Blend until each fluffy, popcorn puff is well-coated.

Lavender and San Juan Sea Salt Popcorn


Lavender Chocolate Popcorn

Now for something on the sweet, but not too sweet, side. Drizzle our Lavender Bittersweet Chocolate Sauce over freshly popped kernels and season with salt as you toss. Keep drizzling and tossing until decadently coated. The dark chocolate sweetness and saltiness of the popcorn balance perfectly with a floral touch of sweet lavender.

To avoid the popcorn getting too moist and messy, drizzle with a fork (not a spoon) and fully toss before adding more sauce. 

Lavender Chocolate Popcorn Recipe


All of these tasty topping suggests are designed to dress popcorn made the old fashioned way on the stove top or in an air popper. If microwave popcorn is more to your liking, be sure to increase the amount of toppings lavished upon the popcorn as most microwave popcorn brands include some degree of flavoring already.

Here's a final, fun fact about popcorn... Popcorn was first sold in movie theaters in the late 1920's as the country entered the Great Depression. It's affordable deliciousness helped buoy up the movie theater business during those difficult years. 

So whether you are cueing up a movie, setting up a game to play with loved ones or planning your next party, keep these specialty popcorn ideas at hand for something thoroughly snack-worthy.

Friday, September 2, 2022

Lavender Blackberry Shrub Recipe

 
Shrubs are beverage mixers made from plants, sugar and vinegar.  Commonly made with fruit, berries or herbs, they offer a wide variety of flavors to add a touch of acidity or brightness to a drink.  Shrubs are also very easy to make at home and have on hand for refreshing nonalcoholic beverages, cocktails and other culinary preparations that would be enhanced by a little sweetness and a little sharpness.
 
Lavender Blackberry Shrub Recipe

 Lavender Blackberry Shrub

 

Ingredients:

  • 6 oz blackberries (or raspberries, blueberries or strawberries if you like)
  • 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon Organic Culinary Lavender
  • 3/4 cup + 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1/2 cup vinegar (such as red wine, white wine, apple cider, white balsamic, or unseasoned rice)

Makes about 12 fl oz


Step 1  —  Gently mash berries in a bowl.  Grind lavender slightly (or crush between your fingers) to release the flavor.  Transfer berries and lavender to a large glass jar with a lid.  Add sugar and stir to combine.  Seal the jar and let fruit mixture rest at room temperature, shaking a couple of times, until berries are very soft and falling apart.  This should take about 1 day and the mixture should look very juicy.

Step 2  —  Strain the berry mixture through a fine-mesh sieve (line sieve with a layer of cheesecloth if you want to catch every bit of berry matter) into a bowl.  Scrape any undissolved sugar left in the jar into the bowl.  Discard the leftover berry mash (great for the compost pile!).

Step 3  —  Add the vinegar to the berry syrup and stir to combine. Taste the shrub and add more sugar or vinegar to your liking—it should taste both sweet and sharp but not overpowering in either direction.  Pour shrub into a clean jar, cover with lid and chill.  You can certainly use your shrub right away, but many like to let the flavors come together and mellow which takes about 1 week.

Your tasty shrub can last for 6 months in the refrigerator.

Lavender Blackberry Shrub Recipe

How to use your homemade lavender shrub...


For a refreshing nonalcoholic drink, a great place to start is a 1:5 ratio.  Pour 1 oz shrub into a glass and add 5 oz of sparkling water or club soda.  Now taste.  Tasting is very important to find the ratio that best suits you.  Add a little more shrub or soda until you find your perfect balance.  Add some ice and garnish with berries, lavender, lemon, lime, whatever you like.  Have fun with it.  This should be a fun drink, so if that means it needs an umbrella, perfect! 
 
For something else entirely... To make two cocktails use 1-2 oz of shrub, 2-3 oz of your spirit of choice, a dash or two of bitters, top it off with club soda to taste and add ice and garnish if desired.  Cheers!
 
Lavender Blackberry Shrub Recipe   Lavender Blackberry Shrub Recipe

Shrubs are also a delicious addition to a vinaigrette.  Blend 1/4 cup shrub, 1/4 cup of your favorite vinegar and 3/4 cup olive oil.  Add salt, pepper and minced shallot to taste. 

The playful balance between sweet and sharp in a shrub lends itself to culinary experimentation... drizzle a little over ice cream or the salmon you are about to grill.  Have fun and let us know how it turns out!

Continue the culinary experimentation with these fun cooking with lavender tips and recipes.

Download a printer friendly version of this lavender recipe here.

Friday, June 17, 2022

Lavender Créme Brûlée Recipe


Textures and flavors collide beautifully in this ever-classy dessert recipe.  The addition of culinary lavender adds a floral dimension that will transport you to the lavender fields with each richly creamy and crunchy spoonful.

Lavender Créme Brûlée Recipe from Pelindaba Lavender

Lavender Créme Brûlée

Ingredients:


Makes six servings using 8 ounce ramekins. Just about any small dish could be used as long as it is oven-safe and all dishes are similar sizes for equal baking time.

Lavender Créme Brûlée Recipe from Pelindaba Lavender


Step 1 —  Preheat the oven to 325º and move the rack to the middle of the oven.

Step 2 —  Gently grind or crush the lavender buds to release the delicate flavor.

Step 3 —  Bring the cream, vanilla and lavender to a boil in a saucepan, stirring occasionally.  Remove from heat and let sit for 20-25 minutes to cool.  Strain the mixture to remove the lavender.

Step 4 —  In a medium bowl whip the egg yolks and incorporate the sugar into the egg yolks 1/4 cup at a time until the egg yolks turn a soft lemon color and the mixture thickens slightly.  

Step 5 —  Slowly stir the cream mixture into the egg yolks until combined.

Step 6 —  Place the ramekins in a roasting pan.  Fill the ramekins to just below the brim.

Step 7 —  Fill the roasting pan with hot water so that the water is halfway up the sides of the ramekins.  Carefully place the roasting pan on the middle rack in the oven.

Step 8 —  Bake for 40-50 minutes.  The crème will not fully set, it will jiggle in the middle like a soft jello when it is done.

Step 9 —  Remove the ramekins from the roasting pan and place in the refrigerator to cool for 3 hours or overnight (cover if chilling overnight).

Step 10 —  Remove the ramekins from the refrigerator and let them sit for 10-20 minutes to warm up slightly before finishing.  Evenly sprinkle 1-2 tablespoons of sugar on the top of each ramekin.

Step 11 —  Using a torch, brown the sugar until it has formed a crispy, golden-brown top using a side to side sweeping motion. See note below if you don't have a torch.

Lavender Créme Brûlée Recipe from Pelindaba Lavender


Step 12 —  Return the ramekins to the fridge for another 10-15 minutes before serving to allow the sugar to harden.

Garnish with a sprig of lavender and serve with a cup of after-dinner coffee.  Enjoy the delightful first cracking of the caramelized sugar and each delicious spoonful thereafter!

Lavender Créme Brûlée Recipe from Pelindaba Lavender

Note: If you don't have a torch the crispy top can be created using your oven broiler.  Place a rack 4-6" below the broiler.  Preheat broiler on high for 5-10 minutes.  Place the ramekins on a baking sheet.  Broil for 5-10 minutes, or until the sugar melts completely and most of it caramelizes.  Watch carefully to ensure the sugar does not burn.  Rotate the pan occasionally for even browning.  Cool on a wire rack for 1 minute to allow the sugar to harden.

If you are new to cooking with lavender, it's a wonderful herb to explore on both the savory and sweet side of the palate.  On the sweet side, we'd recommend trying summer strawberries with Lavender Whipped Cream — a delicious, fresh treat.  For a savory, comfort-food recipe, try Risotto Style Yukon Gold Potatoes with Lavender and Rosemary (not eating the entire pan is very difficult!).

Friday, April 29, 2022

How to make a dried flower bouquet with lavender

Flowers are always a stylish way to say 'thank you', 'I love you' and a host of other thoughtful sentiments.  In fact, flowers have been used to send messages for centuries, reaching a zenith with the Victorians who, one could easily say, were obsessed with the communicative meaning of flowers.  Today, flowers continue to be an elegant way to celebrate, acknowledge or thank someone.

The one downside of sending someone flowers is that they will inevitably wilt.  Such is the transience of life, but there are many flowers that don't have to wither.  Creating bouquets with florals that dry naturally means that a gift of flowers does not have to be fleeting. 

Lavender is one such flower.  Many varieties of lavender retain their form and color beautifully when dried.  Let's create a giftable bouquet that will last!

How to make a dried flower bouquet with lavender

How to make a dried flower bouquet with lavender


You will need....
  • Lavender - dried or fresh (see note below)
  • Fresh Eucalyptus - We used Seeded Populus Eucalyptus for its delightful texture.
  • Fresh Baby's Breath
  • Fresh Sea Holly (Thistle Eryngium Blue)
  • Scissors or clippers
  • Floral tape or rubber band
  • Parchment paper
  • Ribbon to suit your fancy

How to make a dried flower bouquet with lavender


We chose these floral elements for their soft palette, similar scale and structural variety.  Each of these elements retain their structure and color when dried.  They are also readily sourced from a local florist.

When we are creating a bouquet we rarely follow a formula, but there are some useful things to keep in mind — scale, balance and composition.  Large or dense florals can be balanced by groupings of smaller blooms.  Use taller blooms in the center of the bouquet surrounded by slightly shorter blooms so that all the florals are visible.  Intermingle feathery, lighter textures with heavier greenery.  Turn the bouquet as you are building it to ensure there aren't any holes forming and it doesn't become overly one-sided.  Don't hesitate to remove leaves, cut stems down and trim the florals as needed.

One of the wonderful things about flower arranging is that each bloom is different.  Each stem and each spray of leaves is unique.  Embracing the organic diversity and letting the asymmetry be present will invariably mean that there is something wild, joyful and free in the bouquet.  

How to make a dried flower bouquet with lavender   How to make a dried flower bouquet with lavender 

When the bouquet is ready for finishing, secure the stems with floral tape or a rubber band and trim them to the same length.  Wrap the bouquet in parchment paper and tie with a ribbon (leaving the stems visible gives it a nice organic feel).  Or, for a simpler dressing, wrap the stems a few times to cover the floral tape or rubber band and finish it with a bow.

Add a gift note and you are all set for gifting a beautiful bouquet that will last and last!

How to make a dried flower bouquet with lavender   How to make a dried flower bouquet with lavender

To ensure it lasts a long time do not put it in water.  These florals will dry naturally without water in whatever vase or container they are put in.  Additionally, keep it out of direct sunlight to preserve the color.


Note: To create this beautiful bouquet we used dried lavender.  We cultivate two varieties of lavender in our organically-certified fields that are especially suited for drying — Lavandula x intermedia "Grosso" and Lavandula angustifolia "Royal Purple".  We used "Royal Purple" for this bouquet.  If you are planning a large bouquet and long stems would be preferable, "Grosso" would be well-suited with its long stems. 

If you plan on using fresh lavender, it's a good idea to check that the fresh lavender you are using is a variety that drys well.  Some varieties crumble and loose their color when dried and do not work well for dried arrangements.  If you are unsure, send us a picture or the variety name and we'll gladly provide guidance.