Do you grow lavender? is it blooming now? The early bloomers in lavender world are the Lavandula angustifolias, the English lavenders. Their buds at the tip of a 12" or so stalk are usually deep purple, although pink, white, and pale blue buds are also found in English lavender.
Unlike French or Spanish lavenders, the English is a culinary lavender and can be used in sweet and savory dishes, both dried and fresh.
To use lavender in cooking, simply strip the fresh or dried buds from the stem, and grind in a mortar or chop with a sharp knife, or pour boiling water over the buds and steep for 5 minutes before adding to the recipe.
To dry lavender, cut the stems mid morning after the dew has dried, but before the sun's heat activates the essential oils. Gather the stems upside down, secure with a rubber band and hang to dry in a cool, dark, airy space for about two weeks. Store dried lavender buds in a tight jar.
2 tablespoons culinary lavender
1/2 cup boiling water
1/2 cup sugar
cold water to taste
Pour boiling water over the lavender buds. Let steep 5-10 minutes, strain, and squeeze the buds, discard. Add the lavender tea to a pitcher. Add the sugar, stir. Slice one lemon, squeeze the juce from the remaining two. Add lemon slices and juice to the pitcher and cold water to taste. Chill, add ice.