So Succulent Gardens

  (Columbia Station, Ohio)
www.sosucculent.com
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Homemade HONEY --- 100 year old recipe

A fun recipe to do with the kids this summer when the fields are in full bloom with unsprayed wild clover.   Over a hundred years old from an old New Hampshire native.

HOMEMADE HONEY
2 1/2  cups white clover flowers  (No green parts)
1 cup red clover flowers    (No green parts)
Petals of four wild roses
10 cups sugar
1 teas.  alum
3 cup water

Directions:
1. 
Wash blossoms and drain well.
2. Bring all ingredients except alum to a boil and stir slowly.
3. Add alum and stir 60 times (no more, no less). Turn heat off
Allow to streep for 3 hours.
4. Strain mixture through cheesecloth, reheat to boil and pour into clean sterilized 6 oz containers.


Note: If you use green parts your recipe will taste grassy.

 

Happy Gardening! Gayle at the Blossom Farm

 

 

 
 

Herb Flower Baby Oil Recipe

Chamomile is known to calm and is anti-inflammatory and antibacterial.
Calendula helps to prevent the overgrowth of yeast and is soothing to the skin.

Calendula / chamomile Baby Oil
8 ounces of oil (olive, almond,or sunflower)
1/2 ounce dried calendula flowers
1/2 ounce dried chamomile flowers.

Place the oil and flowers in a crock pot on low temperature
for about 4 hours to extract the beneficial properties of the flowers into the oil. Check very carefully that your oil is not getting to
hot.   Allow the oil to cool and then strain it using cheese cloth.
Or fill mason jar with flowers and cover with oil, label, store in dark cool place, shake ever few days, in about 6 to 8 weeks, strain, and label. 

You can add a few drops of essential oils if you like. Try 5-10 drops
of lavender essential oil.
To make into a salve, simply add 1 ounce of beeswax or soywax. 
For gifts pour in small bottles then  wrap raffia add instructions for use.

Happy Gardening, Gayle at the Blossom Farm
 
 

Make MOM homemade HERBAL Cologne

If you do not have cash on hand this year to send mom a BLOSSOM FARM live herbal basket or our handmade Lavender products.  There is time to make Mom hand-crafted cologne.
It should be done today since MOM's day is only 10 days away.
Filter through coffee filter and visit you local $$$$ store for  unique looking bottles. 
Enjoy!  Gayle

Cologne
1/2 cup lavender
1/4 cup rosemary
peel of 1 lemon
peel of 1 orange
1/2 cup orange-mint leaves
1/2 cup lemon balm leaves
2 cups vodka
2 cups rosewater
Steep 2 weeks; filter and bottle.


Spicy Cologne

1 oz. rose petals
2 T. lavender
2 thin strips orange peel
1 (1-inch) stick cinnamon, crushed
1 tb. coriander seeds, bruised
10 oz. vodka
Steep 2 weeks; filter and bottle.

Herbal cologne
2 T. rosemary
2 T. lavender
1 T. juniper berries, crushed
1 strip lemon rind
10 oz. vodka
Steep 2 weeks; filter and bottle.

Hungary Water
1 T. rosemary
1 tsp. mint leaves
Grated peel of 1/4 lemon
Grated peel of 1/4 orange
1/4 cup vodka
1/2 cup rosewater
Steep 2 weeks; filter and bottle.

 
 

HERB TONIC FOR HEALTHY PLANTS

1 1/2 teaspoon dried plantain herb
1/2 teaspoon dried nettle
1/2 teaspoon dried horsetail herb
1/2 teaspoon dried yarrow
1 clove garlic
1 kelp tablet (about 150 micrograms) crushed
6 cups boiling water
Combine all ingredients, pour on the water, and let steep, covered, for 5 minutes. Strain and use to water herbs. Or make a sun tea, letting the herbs steep all day. This tonic provides nutrients that herbs needs, and helps keeps pests away. ~ from "The Good Herb" by Judith Benn Hurley   
 
 

Herbal Bathing Brews From The Garden

Herbal Baths From The Garden
Herbal baths are a perfect antidote to combat impure air and water conditions. Smoothing, soothing and hydrating to the skin.
The basic bath: Place 1/2 cup of any combination of herbs in a non-metallic pot add water to cover. Bring to boil, simmer 10-20 minutes to extract the wonderful benefits. Strain. Pour the herbal fragrant brew into your bath water or use the brew as a last rinse in the shower. If you are bathing, soak 20 minutes. Do not have the bath water too hot will make you sweat and not allowing your skin to pick up the herbal
nutrients. Note: Allergic reaction can occur with any herbal product, as always test on a small area o the skin before bath.

Herb Plants to Gather:
Lavender-rejuvenating, fragrant
Peppermint-stimulating, cooling
Sage- astringent, Helps joints
Calendula-healing to dry skin
Chamomile-reduces swelling
Horsetail-anti-fungal
Lemon Balm-relaxing
Parsley-Soothes insect bites
Marjoram-stimulating
Rosemary-astringent
Thyme-muscle relaxer
Roses-hydrator
Chervil-revitalizing
Savory-stimulating
Hop-revitalizing
Spearmint-calming
Catnip-relaxing
Strawberry leave-cleansing
Basil-relaxing

 
 

MAKE YOUR OWN TINCTURES (alcohol extraction)

TINCTURES (alcohol extraction)
Tincture are concentrated doses of herbal remedies used in small doses.

To make a tincture; place 4 oz of dried herb in a sterlized glass jar with a tight fitting plastic lid. Add 2 1/2 cups of high alcohol content vodka, shake every day for two weeks, than using a coffee filter to strain out the herbs and fine particles.
Label and store in a cool dark place. Consult a herbal book for additional information on what type of herbs to use for what ails you. Using only a drop or two of you tincture at a time.

*Please note the herbs must be in in DRIED FORM.

 
 

MINT PART 2 Recipes to follow

Here are other Mint Plants I have available in spring.


Mentha piperata 'Chocolate Mint'
Chocolate Mint
Height: 18"     Zone: 3-9     Light: sun to part shade
Description:  Bronze green leaves with a surprising chocolate peppermint fragrance. Add a few leaves to your coffee grounds before brewing for a special chocolate peppermint coffee. Can be added to brownies, cakes and ice cream recipes.
    

Add a few chocolate mint leaves to you coffee grounds. Add a tablespoon of dried chocolate mint herb to your brownie mix.  
 

Mentha x piperita 'Lavender'
Lavender Mint
Height: 18"     Zone: 3-9     Light: sun to part shade
Description:     Sweet lavender floral fragrance used for potpourri, herbal teas and cooking.
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Mentha pulegium
Pennyroyal
Height: 3"     Zone: 5-9     Light: sun to part shade
Description: Creeping growth habit, effective in repelling mosquito, fleas and ticks. A strong infusion of pennyroyal is an effect flea dip. Can cause spontaneous abortion so avoid using if the animal is pregnant. Make your dog a pennyroyal flea color by braiding pennyroyal around a string and placing around the pets’ neck.
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Mentha sp.
Blossom's Favorite Tea Mint
Height: 18"     Zone: 3-9     Light: sun - part shade
Description:  This is our creation from the farm, it is a chance seedling.
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Mentha requienii
Corsican Mint
Height: 1"     Zone: 6-9     Light: part shade - shade
Description:     Very dainty with tiny green leaves with a cool Crème de Menthe fragrance. Prefers a shady moist area between stepping stones, nooks and crannies and along a waterside. Seems to be hardy to only Zone 6 but reseeds freely.
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Mentha species
Basil Mint
Height: 18"     Zone: 3-9     Light: sun to part shade Description:     Dark green heart shaped leaves emitting a spicy floral fragrance.  Running short of basil?  Try this in pesto.
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Mentha 'Sweet Pear'
Sweet Pear Mint
Height: 18"     Zone: 3-9     Light: sun to part shade
Description:     It really gives off an unmistakable hint of sweet, ripe pears.  Make a light sweet tea with pear mint, or use the tea to simmer fruits, (apple, peaches, pears, etc.) until soft, let cool and marinate in the frig for about an hour.  Also try in yogurt, punch, cream pies and fruit jellies. It is wonderful in salads.
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Mentha spicata
Spearmint 'Kentucky Colonel'
Height: 24"     Zone: 3-9     Light: sun to part shade
Description:     Cool mint flavor, a classic ingredient of mint juleps, herbal teas or as a skin astringent.
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Mentha X gentilis
Ginger Mint
Height: 15"     Zone: 5-9     Light: sun to part shade
Description:     Bright green leaves variegated with gold mottled stripes, with the taste of mint and ginger. Lovely container or basket plant for the porch.
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Mentha suaveolens
Apple Mint
Height: 18"     Zone: 3-9     Light: sun to part shade
Description:     Large woolly leaves with a sweet apple scent.  Herbal teas, cooking herb and fragrant garnishes.
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Mentha suaveolens 'Variegata'
Variegated Pineapple Mint
Height: 12"     Zone: 3-9     Light: sun to part shade
Description:     Fruity, fragrant and very lovely variegated green and white leaves. Would be nice as a container plant.
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Mentha piperita 'Variegata'
Variegated Peppermint
Height: 12"     Zone: 3-9     Light: sun to part shade
Description:  Creamy variegated peppermint is more of an ornamental variety of Peppermint,  but with the same great peppermint flavor. Peppermint is an excellent digestive aid and has been used for the treatment of morning and motion sickness, as well as an inhalant to treat congestion. Flavorful herb tea, hot or cold. 
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Mentha species
The Best Mint
Height: 18"     Zone: 3-9     Light: sun to part shade
Description:  The Best" Mint is so called because it is the most vigorous growing form of spearmint. The green, wrinkled leaves make a soothing and refreshing tea and may be used to scent linen closets and woolen chests, repel moths, in fact all mints are good repelling insects.

Recipes to follow in part 3

 
 

Over 20 varities of Mint Plants and still counting PART 1

I get crazed when it comes to certain type of plant groupings. I get obsessed and need to collect them all.  MINT was one I had to find every fragrant and tasty variety - it is still a collection in progress, but now I have around twenty varieties and my newest is mojito mint from Cuba.  I hope to have enough Mojito mint by fall to offer for sale at my website.


Here is some interesting notes about MINT:
The Greek God Pluto, ruler of the underworld, fell madly in love with a beautiful nymph, Mentha. His jealous wife, Persephone, pounded her into the earth. Pluto then turned poor Mentha into a wonderful healing, fragrant plant that gave him some consolation.

Fresh leaves make a pleasant addition to hot or iced tea, garnish for beverages or fruit deserts. Mint is cleansing and makes a nice addition to herbal bathing products.

Folklore: To carry a few leaves in the wallet is said to attract money, stuff sachets with mint leaves to ward off disease.

Mentha
LEMON MINT
Description:     Lemon scented with slightly ruffled leaves, perfect for blending or using alone in herb teas and savory recipes.
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Mentha aquatica citrata 'Eau de Cologne'
Eau de Cologne (Orange)
Height: 24"     Zone: 3-9     Light: sun to part shadeDescription:     Refreshing citrus orange flavor and is tantalizing in teas, fruit salads and chasing those fleas and ants away. The oil is an ingredient in chartreuse liqueur and perfumes.
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Mentha avensis 'Banana'
Banana Mint
Height: 12"     Zone: 3-9     Light: sun to part shade
Description:     Pale green, slightly fuzzy leaves with the unusual fragrance of bananas, add to fruit salads, breads or as a garnish. Blend with chocolate mint for a great herbal blend to add to baking brownies.
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Mentha spicata 'Chewing Gum'
Chewing Gum Mint
Height: 18"     Zone: 3-9     Light: sun to part shade
 
Description: Extremely fragrant and flavorful, very similar to Wrigley's spearmint chewing gum.
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Mentha piperita citrata 'Lime'
Lime Mint
Height: 24"     Zone: 3-9     Light: sun - part shade
Description:   Bright green leaves with a strong lime scent and flavor. Great as a garnish were a lime flavor is required. Try it in your salsa recipe  or guacamole or toss a leaf in your margarita.
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Mentha citriodora x. M. arvensis
GRAPEFRUIT MINT
Height: Zone: 3- 9 Light: sun part shade
Description: Crinkled, light grapefruit-scented leaves with mild spearmint undertones.
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Mentha piperata 'Blue Balsam'
Peppermint 'Blue Balsam'
Height: 12"     Zone: 3-9     Light: sun to part shadeDescription:  Peppermint is an excellent digestive aid and has been used for the treatment of morning and motion sickness, as well as an inhalant to treat congestion. Flavorful herb tea, hot or cold. Blue balsamic is an improved peppermint with purple tinted, dark blue/green leaves; it has a much cleaner peppermint flavor.

THE REST OF ARE VARIETIES WILL BE POSTED WITH RECIPES==

KEEP LOOKING!
    

 

 
 

The Best Scone I have Ever Had ---- Recipe Included

Once a month I help out with a wonderful group of folks for a program call Angel Food Ministries --- Coming to a neighborhood near you.....
But before the food truck arrives we all enjoy a bit of conversation and break bread together.   A few of us bring the breakfast type food and this scone was served, I just had to find the recipe, they had  hinted that it was from the Cleveland Plain Dealer, so of course I ran home and did a search and it popped up -  I replaced the raisins with cranberries, and used sliced almonds, I would think lavender buds would be a nice touch, but everything with lavender is a bit redundant, so my family states.

Scones
Makes 15 to 20

10 ¾ cups of all-purpose flour
1½ cups sugar superfine works best
2 teaspoons salt
½ tablespoon baking soda
1 pound butter (cold)
¾ to 1 quart buttermilk
1 cup raisins
4 tablespoons baking powder

Preparation: Combine all dry ingredients using paddle attachment for mixer. Add cold butter, previously cut into small pieces.

Allow butter and dry mix to incorporate. Add raisins.

Slowly add buttermilk until entire mix becomes like a dough.

Roll out on floured surface to about ¾ to 1 inch.

Use a round cutter to cut out the scones. Place on sheet tray with parchment paper. Egg-wash each scone.

Bake for 12-15 minutes at 365 degrees.

Let cool. Finish with fresh Devonshire cream or fruit preserves.

Source: Pastry chef Roger Smith, the Ritz-Carlton Hotel, Cleveland.

Thank you Chef Smith!  Great Recipe----Gayle

 
 

Homemade NATURAL ROSE WATER and Old fashion Lotion

As the cold snowy wind blows outside, my heart is dreaming of spring. Soon the rose shrubs will be bursting with blossoms and before the blooms fade, I want you to gather the items needed to prepare this wonderful fragrant water.

NATURAL ROSE WATER
Rosewater can be used in the bath, (1cup), hot tub or as a splash after bathing .   Floral waters tone and clear the skin, and act as a hydrating agents, and help to normalize the acid balance of the skin.
    2 Cups distilled water
    1/4 cup vodka
    1 large clear and clean container
    2 cups fragrant rose petals
In your very clean container fill with rose petals 3/4 of the way full.  If you want to ingest your rosewater make sure your rose petals  were organically grown.   Pour the water in until it covers the petals completely.  Once your water is in, add your Vodka.  Put on your lid and shake it up a little to make sure the ingredients mix completely.  Place in the sun and wait about two weeks.  The water will start to turn in a few days.  Strain out the rose petals through a coffee filter and presto your have made your very own rose water.  Please note:  The unscented vodka will kill any bacteria on the petals and the alcohol prolongs the scent.   Store in the refrigerator use within two weeks  If fragrance is not strong enough add a few drops rose oil
.

ROSE WATER and  GLYCERIN HAND LOTION
In a attractive bottle blend 1/2 rosewater and 1/2 vegetable glycerin (available from any drug store).  Shake well and it’s ready to use.  Great for hands, face, rough elbows

 
 

Secret ingrediant to your making great chicken soup

My daughter graduated from Ashland University in December and was lucky enough to get a long term sub teaching job...  But one of the side effects of working with kids is getting ill.

So today only four days on the job she was home sick with the flu.  So I made a big pot of homemade chicken soup.....   I thought I would share this my grandmothers secret ingrediant,  she would always add a bottle of clam juice into the pot.  Do not add salt to your soup of course until after you have added the juice.   Or it can end up too salty.  I find adding the clam juice adds an added depth to the soup, also do not forget to add plenty of Parsley!

I boil spaetzle noodles and add a handful to the bowl then pour on the soup.

Enjoy! Gayle

 
 

HOMEMADE LAUNDRY SOAP - Super easy and save a few $$$$$

Ingredients:
Tap water
1/4 cup Castile bar soap, grated (Zote or fels napa soap will make it low suds).
1/4 cup borax
1/4 cup washing soda (Sodium Carbonate), if you can find it at the local grocer try a pool supply.
Optional:  Essential oil 1/2 ounce.  Sweet nrange and Lemon will help a little to cut grease.
Supplies Needed:
-1 recycled gallon milk or water container with a screw top
-Measuring cup
-Funnel
-Stirring spoon
-Stove pot (6 cups or larger)
 
Using a funnel, put 4 cups hot tap water into milk container.  Set aside.
Measure 4 cups water into pan. Add grated soap; heat and stir until soap is dissolved.
Remove from heat and add borax and washing soda, stirring well.
Using funnel, transfer with measuring cup into container. Tighten screw top onto container and shake.
Add 8 more cups of water to container. Tighten top and give another shake.   Remove top and allow to cool.
 When cool, it will resembles egg drop soup. 

To use: Give a shake before pouring. Add 1/3 to 1/2 cup liquid soap to machine as washer water fills.
 
 

Comfrey HERB Plant Heals bruises and tonic recipe for your plants


Symphytum officinalis
Comfrey or Knit bone
Height: 30"     Zone: 3-9     Light: sun to shade
Description:     Comfrey herbs contain the active ingredient allantoin, a skin healer proven to heal wounds and skin ulcers. Allantoin adheres to the skin to stimulate the growth of healthy tissue. Beware: it heals the wound so fast that many times the infection is still in the cut. Softening and soothing, it is used in creams, lotions and bath brews. Use it to treat burns, bed sores, insect bites, athlete’s foot, psoriasis, eczema, and sprains. Fresh leaves can be mashed in a blender and applied to the skin. In folk lore it was carried for protection during travel and is used in money spells. Comfrey produces a brown dye with a mordant iron.

COMFREY TONIC
Comfrey significantly is high in potash and other essential for plant nutrition, which makes it ideal for feeding your plants. Put comfrey leaves and water into a water tight container with a brick on top to weigh the leaves down and allow the mixture to stand for 4 weeks. The result is a ready to use evil smelling brew that can be diluted and watered onto plants. I add 1/8 to 1/4 of the comfrey tonic to a watering can and fill the rest with water to use the comfrey spray, dilute 1 tablespoon with 2 pints of water. Add a drop of dish soap as a spreader sticker.

COMFREY SALVE 
    2 oz dried comfrey leaves
    2 cups olive oil
    1 oz pure beeswax
    4 drops tea tree
    4 drops lavender essential oils
    1 400 vitamin E
Heat herbs in olive oil over low heat for about 5 hours. Do not let the oil boil or bubble. A Crock-Pot or the lowest temperature setting on a range should be suitable for heating this mixture. (If the lowest setting is too hot, turn off the heat once it has warmed the oil...it should keep warm for at least and hour....then repeat the process twice.) After cooking, strain out the herbs while oil is still warm. Place 1 1/4 cups of the herb oil in a pan, add beeswax and heat just enough to melt the wax. Add essential oil and stir. Finally, pour the salve into wide mouthed jars. Store at room temperature. Use for minor scrapes and cuts, to protect and promote healing.

HINT:  DIP METAL SPOON IN SALVE BEFORE POURING IN CONTAINERS, TO SEE IF IT HAS THE RIGHT THICKNESS.

 
 

Staghorn Sumac Lemonade

While driving last week to visit Maumee Bay State Park, I notice beautiful bright red Staghorn Sumac seed heads still attached to the branches, it reminded me  of an old recipe for sumac lemonade.  I have only had it in fall when I was a child and thought this old recipe should be resurrected. This is an old recipe was used by early pioneers and Native Americans.

The name refers to the stout, velvety branches that look similar to the antlers of a buck. Harvest the berries in the late summer and fall, if you harvest too early the flavor has not yet developed, make sure they color is a deep red.   Also a  good source of vitamin C.

1 quart of sumac berries
1 gallon water
 sugar to taste

Bring water to a boil
Place sumac in a large teapot or non-metal container
Pour boiling water over the sumac
Steep for 20minutes - 2 hours
Strain through cheesecloth or a coffee filter
Enjoy over ice

Add sparkling water for a little fizz, make a stronger decoction to make into jelly or add other berries.

SAFETY NOTE ***** The red fruit spikes of the 'Staghorn Sumac' create a wonderful brew. The 'WHITE' fruit of the 'POISON SUMAC' is as deadly as its name. The fruits do not look the same, but ask someone who knows the difference to teach you

 

 

 

 

 
 

A little Ditty to help you remember how to cook with HERBS

The magical powers of herbs are such.
one's eagerness prompts one to use too much;
But tis wiser to taunt than to tire the taste,
And a nice moderation guards against waste.

A good rule to follow, in seasonings, therefore,
Is a scant fourth teaspoon to each serving for four;
And you soon will discover that herbs used with care,
Will glorify all that you cook or prepare.

Dishes that simmer, or bubble or stew
For long patients house - like soup or ragout -
Should be given their herbs the last hour or so,
For too lengthy cooking lets herb flavors go.

But dishes that cook while you hurry and fix,
Should receive their herb quota right in the mix;
While cold things - like cocktail - really should sleep
Overnight with their herbs to allow them to steep.

Author - M. Dunnigan

FOR MORE VISIT WWW.BLOSSOMFARM.COM/RECIPES.HTM

 
 

Steamy Hot Chai Tea this Winter

     There is no end to the diversity of recipes for making your own chai at home. Brewing chai is fun and allows you to experiment until you get it 'just right' for your own personal taste.
     Chai is basically black tea brewed with selected spices and your chose of low fat, soy, or whole milk. The aroma of spices shouldn't be overpowering; it should be almost like an incense experience. 
Make and use your spice mix by weight. For best results, use whole or broken spices, not ground!
To make 3 ½ ounces, start with about an ounce of shelled green cardamon and a half ounce of cinnamon bark. Then make up the balance of the weight from your favorites from this list; Whole Black pepper HOT, Ginger HOT,  Cloves, Coriander seed, Mace, Nutmeg, Star anise, Fennel, Bay leaf or Vanilla bean (vanilla extract). Some folks stew/boil the tea with the spices. Others stew the spices with the sugar or honey, then add and brew the tea, then add the milk. I like this slightly thickened texture.  I make it this way, stews the spices, then adds and brews the tea, strain, add honey  (at this point I can put extra in fridge)then stir in the hot milk.  It's your choice.

CHAI TEA BASE (to prepare six servings).
 4 T. whole spices. 
 ½ cup dark brown sugar or honey
 4 cups water
Remove from heat. Stir in: 2 T black tea or 3 T rooiboos
Bring to boil, simmer 15 minutes, strain. You can refrigerate this base up to a week. To serve, heat the base, add 1/4 to ½ to an equal amount of heated milk, (you may preheat milk 5 minutes in microwave - it foams). Stir well, serve with a sprinkle of cardamom.


CHAI TEA for 20-24 servings
 3 ½ ounces mixed whole chai spices (about 1 cup)
 1 ½ ounces black tea (about ½ cup)
 3-4 quarts water
 1 ½ cup brown sugar or honey
Brew and strain using one of the three methods discussed above, stir in: 2 quarts whole milk, scalded.

If you need to find bulk herb, spices and tea,  I carry a over 400 varietes at my website:   www.blossomfarm.com   for more.

 


 
 

FILL your local food bank & Lavender Cookies

LAVENDER SUGAR COOKIESLast night I was invited to a Christmas tea, so what is a better way to introduce a roomful of ladies to eat some  lavender flowers.   I told my daughter and my neighbor who  invited us, do not let anyone know who made the lavender flower cookies just in case they were horrible.   GOOD NEWS! my bowl was empty at the end of the night, so that was a good sign?  Make a day ahead so the lavender can perfume the baked dough.  See my note BELOW on a great idea to fill the local food bank.

LAVENDER SUGAR COOKIES

  • 4 -5 dozen
  • 2 1/4 cups sugar
  • 1 cup shortening
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 8 drops French Lavender (Lavender angustifolia) from blossom farm
  • Essential  Oils  Do not use lavender intermedia!
  • 5 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 Tablespoon Royal Lavender Flower Buds (from Blossom farm of course)

Cream sugar and shortning. Add sour cream, eggs, and Lavender EO/vanilla. Mix well.

In a separate bowl, mix flour, baking soda, lavender and salt.
Add to creamed mixture until well blended. Remember, the more you mix, the tougher your dough will be.


Chill for a few hours (at least 3-4). The dough will be soft and slightly sticky.

Roll out (I use a floured pastry cloth), and cut with a cookie cutter. Flour cutter between each cookie to prevent sticking. How I did it- I rolled in balls and flatten with bottom of glass.
Bake at 350 degrees for 10  minutes. Cookies shouldn't be brown, just done to the touch.

FROSTING

  • 2 lbs. powdered sugar
  • 1 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla.
  • I used purple food dye

Just mix ingredients until smooth.

This was a nice idea for a ladies church group - one person adopts a table of 8, brought their best china, tablecloths, tea bags, honey, sugar, and decorates the table with beautiful things from home, some ladies brought a special little gift or fruit or cheese tray for their table guests.  Everyone invited brings their favorite (3 dozen) cookies, and canned food for the local food bank....  Leftover cookies are used for other groups at the church....  We had a wonderful guest speaker and was a wonderful ladies night out, for the young and us old gals.

PS.My shout out for our hostess Carol and daughters --was a fun night.....
Excuse me if I acted goofy every since I had been on atkins, lots of carbs makes me a little tipsy.   smile
 
 

Lavender - Lemon Cream Cheese Scones

Now you made the lavender sugar, here is a starter recipe.

  • 1/3 cup firm Butter
  • 2 1/4 cups All-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup Lavender sugar
  • 1 tablespoon grated Lemon peel
  • 1 teaspoon  Royal Velvet Culinary Lavender
  • 2 teaspoons Baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon Salt
  • 1/3 cup Milk
  • 3 ounces soften  Cream cheese
  • 1 Egg
  • Lemon juice and additional lavender sugar

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cut the margarine into the flour, lavender sugar, lemon peel, baking powder and salt with a pastry blender in a large bowl until the mixture resembles fine crumbs. Gradually stir the milk into the cream cheese in a small bowl until smooth. Stir the cream cheese mixture, lavender and the egg into the flour mixture until the
dough leaves the side of the bowl and forms a ball. Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface; gently roll in flour to coat. Knead lightly 10 times. Pat or roll into a 9-inch circle on an ungreased cookie sheet. Brush with lemon juice. Sprinkle with lavender sugar. Cut into 8 wedges, do not separate. Bake for 16 to 18 minutes, or until golden brown. Immediately remove from the cookie sheet; separate the wedges. Serve warm. 

 
 

Lavender Sugar a great Gift for yourself

I am making this today to have on hand for the holidays, it will last up to a year.   I will be posting recipes in the near future that uses lavender sugar since some folks are shy about eating buds....  


LAVENDER SUGAR
Ingredients
3.5 cups sugar 
4 tablespoons lavender flowers

I alternate the lavender in the jar and after about a month
you can pass it through a strainer to remove the buds or leave them in.

Strain it for things like whipped cream, cream brulee or sprinkling on berries,
But you can leave the buds in if cooking the sugar for example cookies.
You can also toss the sugar with buds in a food processor to grind it up a bit before using.

Stored in a dark place, mix well again and use as needed. The sugar is good to use for up to one year.


You can substitute confectioner’s sugar rather than granulated sugar. Use in icings and dustings.
Give as Gifts:
Once the lavender sugar is ready to be used, you can pour in decorative glass jars and give as gifts.
Attach cards giving ideas for use as well as provide the recipe is a nice touch, I have many lots and lots of lavender recipes post on my website located at www.blossomfarm.com/recipes_lavender.htm

 
 

Hunter's Minestrone

This is from Tyler Florence Utilmate this is a wonderful recipe and uses lots and lots of fresh herbs.  I have made it numerous times and is always a winner with my picky family.  This is a very thick type soup/stew.   I used only one can of beans (black beans, there is a cannelloni bean shortage).   If you think there will be left overs, I would keep the noodles out until serving or they get all broken up after heating and re-heating.  I used hot italian sausage, and served with my Tuscan Lavender Bread Dip on the side.

Hunter's Minestrone

  • 2 quarts chicken stock
  • 1 head garlic, halved
  • 1/2 pound small rigatoni
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • 8 fresh sage leaves
  • 1 sprig fresh rosemary
  • 1 sprig fresh thyme
  • 3/4 pound loose sweet Italian pork sausage
  • 2 medium carrots, roughly chopped
  • 2 celery ribs, roughly chopped
  • 1 onion, roughly chopped
  • 1 (28-ounce) can crushed plum tomatoes
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 (28-ounce) cans cannelloni beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 bunch fresh parsley leaves, finely minced
  • Coarsely ground black pepper
  • 12 slices baguette
  • 1 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano

Combine the stock and halved garlic head in a big saucepan and simmer for about 15 minutes to give the stock a nice, garlicky taste; strain out the garlic. Keep warm.
Bring a pot of salted water to boil for the rigatoni.

Pour 1/4 cup olive oil in a large saucepan. Add the sage, rosemary and thyme and warm the oil over medium heat to infuse it with the flavor of the herbs, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the sausage and cook, breaking up the sausage with the side of a big spoon until well browned. Chop the carrots, celery, and onion in a food processor. Add to the saucepan and cook for 3 to 4 minutes, until the vegetables are softened but not browned.

To the pan with the sausage stir in the crushed tomatoes, bay leaf, cannelloni beans, and chicken stock. Bring to a simmer and cook for 15 minutes stirring occasionally.

Cook the rigatoni in the boiling water for 6 minutes; it should be slightly underdone. Drain and stir into the simmering soup. Add the parsley, and salt and coarsely ground black pepper, to taste. Discard the bay leaf and herb sprigs.

To serve, preheat the broiler. Put the baguette slices in a single layer on a baking sheet. Sprinkle with the Parmigiano and broil until the cheese is bubbly and golden brown, about 3 minutes. Ladle the soup into bowls and float a couple of the baguette slices on top.

 
 
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