Friday, 18 September 2009

A little gardening

I have a garden, it is quite small. If I had my way, it'd be quite large, part of it would be for the growing of roses, part would be for sitting out (BBQing & the like), and part would be for fruit & veg.

I don't have that though, so I have to creatively squeeze things into the space I do have, this means herbs in pots, strawberries & tomatoes in hanging baskets and a couple of multi-purpose plants around the roses(*).

The multi-purpose plants are currently nasturtiums and lavender. Nasturtiums are quite cool, they grow like blazes, the flowers are both cheerful & edible, and the leaves make a spicy addition to a salad (think rocket/cilantro). The lavender is a shade odder. Of course you can harvest the flowers to use in bath salts, herb sachets, pillows and other asstd smelly/aromatherapy uses, but you can cook with them too.

The first trial was a lavender syrup (simple syrup, 2 sugar, 1 water plus a couple of tsp lavender flowers). This added to a standard gin martini, makes a really relaxing summer drink. An attempt at lavender shortcake followed, andwhilst it was ok wasn't quite right.

The internet provided a recipe for lavender loaf cake, a bit of reading around & jiggling quantities & ingredients, making a lavendar infused honey drizzle (2 tsp honey, 4 tsp water, 3 dashes lavender syrup. Heat till free flowing drizzle of loaf as soon as it comes out of the oven). Its a winner, the cake is moist enough to withstand the loaf form and the flavour of lavender is not overpowering.

Now what to do with the abundance of Sage ?

(*)The roses are non-negotiable.

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