Saturday, June 26, 2010

Drying Lavender

Nearly everyday in our Studio, I hear a lot of great ideas about how to dry flowers.

I still prefer the old fashioned way - the way my Grandmother taught me. (sort of, ain't broke/don't fix attitude)

The lavender starts to bloom from the bottom of the spike up the stem and finally the top. It is best to pick Lavender when it is blooming 2/3 of the way up the stem - with the top third yet to open.

Create a bundle of "disorganized" Lavender - with the flowers at varying heights in the bundle.(not perfectly lined up at the same height as we do when flower arranging) - the theory being that the random bundle has more air circulating around each bloom - which is better for drying and will avoid mildew in the process.

Next, an elastic band goes around the stems - about a third of the way of up, to hold the bundle together (I used to use twine - but noticed that sometimes in the drying process, as the stems shrink - the lavender would fall out of the twine - where the elastic tightens as the stems shrink - dah!)

Then, the lavender is hung upside down in a dry (ish) spot out of the direct sunlight.

The moisture from the stem travels to the flower - opening the top third of the bloom ready to dry. The drying process takes anywhere from a few days to a week or so - depending on the humidity.

If your lavender is already fully in bloom - it is still worth a try - you just may lose some of the flowerlettes on the bottom of the bloom - they may fall off - or they may turn brown - or you may be lucky and it will all be just fine!

It is best to dry the flower on the stem - so if you are looking to create potpourri or for culinary use - dry it on the stem first - and once dry - remove the budds of the dried lavender.

Good Luck !

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Lavender Cookies

Lavender Cookie Recipe
1 cup unsalted butter
¼ cup granulated sugar
5 tbsp icing sugar
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tbsp organic lavender buds
¼ tsp salt

Cream butter, gradually add sugars,
then flour, lavender and salt.
Refrigerate for 20 minutes.
Roll out and cut with cookie cutters.
Add light dusting of organic sugar.

Bake at 350 for 10-12 minutes
Makes 24 Cookies