Craft Corner

Crafting with Lavender
By Tabitha Chamberlain

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Lavender has gotten a bad wrap over the years, either from poorly rendered perfume, to being a "New Age-y" fad for flaky people. While both of these things are based partly in fact, we need to take a look at what lavender is.

Lavender is a simple flower that has a lot of practical use as well as uniqueness. Lavender is technically a type of shrub from the flowering mint family, making it more herb than flower. There is a lot of crossover between flowering plants, especially those in herb families that are edible but you need to make sure to do your research before eating anything.

Lavender grows in a lot of different types of regions depending upon the variety that you wish to plant. If you're a gardener you will probably already know that it's great from keeping away the rabbits and deer, but attracts butterflies. If you don't have a lot of space you can also grow Lavender in small containers. For the gardening challenged like myself, you can order Lavender online or try a herb shop.

There is so many things that you can do with Lavender so please don't let it's bad wrap stop you from learning more about this lovely little flower. It's personally one of my favorite flowers and go to herbs when doing spellwork, especially healing.

Here are some quick projects you can do with Lavender, but the possibilities are endless.

Lavender Bath Soak:

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Salt (Epsom Salt is fine)
Baking Soda
Lavender Buds
Pint/Quart Jar

Filling a jar mostly with salt, add in a small amount of baking soda (this helps soften the skin), add the Lavender last. Close the lid tightly, shake or turn it gently. You want to mix the salt and Lavender without bruising the buds. You can add bath salt directly into warm water, but keep in mind you’ll have to clean out the Lavender buds once the water drains. Another option is to place bath sats into an empty muslin satchel bag, this allows for the salt/baking soda to dissolve, yet keep the Lavender buds in the bag.

Lavender Sugar:

Pint/Quart Jar
Fresh or Dried Lavender

Using a glass pint or quart jar add in sugar and some dry or fresh lavender buds. Shake it gently, letting it sit for a few weeks shaking it occasionally. Good with fresh fruit or for a classy touch on shortbread cookies. By adding olive oil you can turn this into a facial scrub.

Lavender Cookies:

2 3/4 cups of Flour
1 teaspoon of Baking Soda
1/2 teaspoon of Baking Powder
1 cup of Butter
1 1/2 cups of Sugar
1 Egg
1 teaspoon of Vanilla
1/2 cup of Lavender buds

This is my basic Sugar Cookie recipe, it makes roughly 3 dozen 1 inch size cookies.I just added roughly 1/2 cup of dried Lavender buds, both crushed and whole. Lavender is not to everyone's taste as it is an acquired taste, just like working with any other edible flower.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees, line a cookie sheet with foil and lightly spray with cooking spray.

Mix together the Sugar, Egg, Butter, and Vanilla until well mixed. Add in the Baking Powder and Soda, mixing it thoroughly. Slowly mix in the Flour. Lastly you want to lightly mix in the Lavender.

Roll into 1 inch balls placing them evenly on the cookie sheet (they do spread a little unless you chill the dough first), place in the oven and cookie for 8-12 minutes.

Lavender Butter:

Softened Butter
Small amount of Fresh or Dried Lavender

Gently mash them together, than spread over warm bread, biscuits or scones. There are lots of recipes out there for Lavender Scones making this an elegant topping touch to them.

Lavender Tea:

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8 oz of Boiling Water
4 tsp of Fresh Lavender

Fill tea ball or sachet with fresh Lavender and steep in boiling water for 10 minutes.

For those that don't drink tea, you can also make Lavender lemonade as Lavender and lemon are an excellent combination. (2 Cups Boiling Water, 2 Cups Cold Water, 1 Cup Fresh Lavender, 1 Cup Lemon Juice, 1 Cup Sugar)

Lavender Rub:
In the Mediterranean areas of the world Lavender is actually used as a spice.

1 Tbsp Fresh or Dried Lavender
1 tsp Salt
1 tsp Black Pepper
½ tsp Dried Thyme
½ tsp Basil
¼ tsp Garlic Powder

Mix together and use as a rub for grilling or roasting. Probably works best for milder favors like Chicken or Pork.

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