Friday, June 24, 2011

Oh So Lovely Lavender Lemonade

Summer officially began this week, as did my super busy season at work...hence a post about lemonade.  Let me tell you there was nothing glam cooking in my little kitchen this week...just some soup from the freezer one night, eggs on toast another, and a simple, yet tasty salad tonight.  These are busy, busy times, plus there is the jungle of weeds to contend with and the ants to attack with great cunning and chemical.  At the end of the day I'm exhausted, and that's why I'm writing about lemonade.

This is no ordinary lemonade, mind.  The lavender infusion adds a lovely herbal note without overpowering the familiar tartness one expects from their lemonade.  And look at that colour!  Stunning!  In the name of "recipe research" I also added a splash of vodka, and it makes a dandy cocktail for days when you want your lemonade to have a bit more of a grown up twist. Days like today!!!

My lavender plant hasn't blossomed yet, so I used dried lavender, which you can find in health food stores or specialty groceries.  Remind me to one day tell you about this amazing lavender shortbread I make.  It's incredible.  I also sprinkle some dried lavender on my chicken as it's going into the oven to roast away.  It's good stuff this lavender, so if you buy some, don't think you can only make lemonade with it!

Simple and delicious, with only a little more effort required than opening a can of the frozen stuff...I'll be making this lemonade all summer long.  That whole thing about when life gives you lemons, blah blah blah, may actually have some truth to it.  

Lavender Lemonade

1 cup water
2 tbsp dried or 1/2 cup fresh lavender
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice (freshly squeezed from about 3 lemons)
1/2 cup white sugar
2 3/4 cups - 3 cups cold water
fresh lemon wedges and lavender blossoms for garnish

To make lavender infusion, bring 1 cup of water to boil, and remove from heat.  Add lavender and let steep in a covered pot for about 15 minutes.  Strain liquid through a fine sieve into a pitcher, then add lemon juice and sugar.  Stir then add cold water.  I started off with a scant 3 cups, because you can always add more water if you think it's too strong, and don't forget about the ice cubes, which will weaken it.  Chill 2 hours, and garnish with lemon wedges and lavender.  ( I used some thyme, and it still looked pretty!) Makes 1 pitcher.  Adapted from House and Home.

My Aunt gave me this tray a long time ago...isn't it gorgeous?  Lemonade tastes even that much better served on something so pretty.


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