Tuesday, July 6, 2010


Last week, I drug my loving husband and son out to the Keys Creek Lavender Farm.   (They are such good boys - humoring me!)  This is the only USDA certified organic lavender farm in San Diego.  Located in Valley Center, California and only open to the public a few weekends a year (May-June) - the fields are beautiful, lined with many different varieties of lavender.  There is a gift shop (of course), as well as a refreshment stand which serves lavender scones, which you can have with lavender butter or lavender honey.  You can wash it all down with lavender tea or lavender lemonade, if you wish!  Bees buzzed throughout the fields, a sign that these bees are doing quite well!  There was a guitarist whose music echoed throughout the fragrant farm.  My hubby and son even loved it!  We were able to see the distillery where they extract the oil from the plants.  All around, a lovely afternoon.  

Here are some lavender tips:

* When a recipe calls for rosemary, try substituting lavender leaves, in equal (or less) amounts.
* Dried lavender is much stronger than fresh lavender.  (One tablespoon of dried lavender = 3 tablespoons of fresh lavender.)
* Make lavender infused sugar by placing a few tablespoons of dried lavender in a Mason jar with about a cup of sugar.  Wonderful in teas, sprinkled on top of fruits and desserts, or in baked recipes.
* If you are not growing your own lavender, be sure to only use culinary (English, Provence) lavender in your cooking.  Otherwise, you may end of with a very perfumy dish! 
* A little goes a long way - don't let the lavender overwhelm your dish.
* Lavender is best if used within a year a it's harvest date.
* Buy organic lavender!  You don't want to be ingesting chemicals along with that fragrant herb!
* Once your lavender sachets run out of scent, you can re-invigorate them with a few drops of lavender oil.
* Lavender is a very calming herb.  Use it's oil after a bath and before bedtime to help you sleep.

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