Ah, my first posting in my first blog outside MySpace. Now don't get me wrong, I like MySpace and all, and will keep posting personal blog entries there for my own purposes and for my personal friends, but lately I've been wanting a better outlet for thoughts on cooking, art, music, and poetry--to name a few things. Will this blog stick? We'll just have to wait and see.
Let's start this blog off right with this morning's experiment in making my own Lavender Honey.
When looking for dessert possibilities for Independence Day I happened upon a recipe for Lavender Honey and Yogurt Pie, courtesy of Epicurious.com. One of the starring ingredients is, as the name suggests, lavender honey. I, of course, don't stock many such items at home and I knew that I would never find it in any stores around here at a reasonable price, I therefore did a little research on the stuff and how to make it. It seems that there are two schools of lavender honey; one is that it is honey made naturally by bees from the nectar of lavender flowers. Of course I could never make, nor afford, enough for the recipe. The other type is honey that has been infused with the flavors, oils, essence of lavender flowers. This I could do, and at a reasonable cost.
I took advantage of a sale at Winegar's and got a couple of 12oz bears of Western Family honey, and bought a small bag of dried lavender flowers at Good Earth Natural Foods, my favorite source for health food items, and something of a dangerous addiction for me.
After looking at myriad recipes for home made lavender honey online, I combined a few of them and settled on 12oz of honey (which equals about 1 cup) and four tablespoons of dried lavender buds. I poured the honey into a double boiler and folded in the lavender and put it over low heat for 30 minutes, stirring frequently.
I then strained the honey through a sifter and bottled it.
The results are amazing. The flavor of the lavender is very apparent, but not at all overwhelming. Sweet and floral, I'd easily use this honey beyond the pie recipe. Can you imagine this honey in a cup of green tea, or drizzled over fresh, grilled peaches?
This experience also has me thinking about other possibilities. How about chai honey, flavored with cardamom, anise, cinnamon, and ginger? Or maybe something simple, like chamomile honey, or rose honey? I think I'm going to have to explore this avenue a little further.