Lavender

Lavender is one of the aromatic herbs, as is readily evident if you have ever come into contact with it. It, and others like thyme, rosemary and peppermint, contain volatile oils that have antiseptic properties and repel insects. Lavender is a nervine, in herbalist lingo; it calms the nervous system. I use every part of the plant. Flowers go into cooking. Leaves are pulled from the stems and stuffed into my bed pillow covers, or dried and put into sachet bags to keep closets and drawers sweet smelling and moth-free. Dried stems I put on the fire in the winter. And, every time, I take a breath and say aaaaahhhhhhhh.

This recipe is adapted from one I found in a mystery novel by Theresa Whittig Albert. Her protagonist is an herbalist in Texas. They're fun books, light reads and have good recipes. These scones make a GREAT base for berry shortcakes! Especially with mint syrup.

LAVENDER SCONES

2 C flour
1/3 C sugar
2 Tbsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
6 Tbsp. unsalted butter, chilled and cut into small pieces
2 Tbsp. dried lavender flowers
1 large egg
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1/2 C whole milk or half & half
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and lavender flowers. Cut in flour with pastry blender ( I use my large whisk with great results)until the mixture looks like course bread crumbs. In another small bowl, combine egg, vanilla & milk. Add to the flour mixture and stir to blend into a soft, sticky dough. Turn out onto a floured board, cover it and let it, and you, rest for 15 minutes. Knead gently, adding only enough flour so the dough doesn't stick to your fingers. Pat or roll (lightly flour the rolling pin) it out to about an inch thick. I use my 1/2 C. stainless steel measuring cup or you can use a biscuit cutter to cut the dough into rounds. Reblend and cut the scraps, being careful not to overwork them. If desired,brush the tops with an egg wash and sprinkle with a bit of sugar. Bake until light brown, about 12-15 minutes. Cool on a wire rack.
If you find the lavender a bit strong, use less next time. It's never too much for me.