Tag Archive | How to make Borage ice cubes

A Lavender Lemonade And A Lavender Fairy Cake Recipe

My lavender hedges that line my two paths either side of my plot, are flowering beautifully at the moment.  The variety is ‘Munstead’, which is an old english variety.

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The bees and butterflies are loving the flowers and I didn’t have to wait for long to take a photograph of the butterfly below:

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Lavender is a herb which has been documented for use for over 2500 years.  It was used by ancient Egyptians for mummification and perfume.

Lavender has a calming effect and can aid sleep.

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Using Lavender:

I think it is really important to make use of everything that our garden gives to us.

This week I picked some bunches of lavender and hung them in my kitchen to dry out. It’s best to pick lavender in the late morning after all the morning dew has evaporated.

I am hoping to use the dried flowers for my christmas hampers, but I’m not sure yet what exactly I will do with them.

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Lavender flowers are perfectly edible provided that you are 100% sure they haven’t been sprayed with harmful chemicals.   I always give them a quick wash under a cold tap before I use them.

 As my lavender is flowering so beautifully at my allotment, I decided to make some Lavender Cakes and Lavender Lemonade.

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Lavender Cakes

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2 tablespoons of lavender flowers

125g Self raising flour

125g Caster sugar

1 teaspoon baking powder

125g margarine or softened butter

2 eggs

A drop of milk

Icing sugar and more lavender flowers to decorate.

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Put the lavender flowers, flour and sugar in a blender and grind the flowers for a little bit.  Sieve it all into another bowl discarding the left over bits of lavender.

Add baking powder, eggs and margarine and beat until combined.

Add a drop of milk until the right consistancy is reached (i.e. drops off the spoon easily).

Half fill cake cases with the mixture and then bake for approximately 15 minutes at gas mark 5 / 375F / 190C

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When the cakes have cooled, decorate with white icing and a bit of lavender.

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The cakes taste really nice as they don’t have an overpowering lavender taste, just a ‘hint’ of it and they are a bit of a novelty if you have friends round for ‘afternoon tea’.

I do choose to take the lavender off the top of the cakes before I eat them, as I find this tastes too strong for me.  You may think differently, please let me know if you do.

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My next recipe is for a thirst quenching Lavender Lemonade, which is my eldest daughters favourite drink.

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Lavender Lemonade

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870ml water

2 tablespoons of lavender flowers

100g granulated sugar

120ml lemon juice

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Put approximately a third of the water into a pan and bring it to the boil

Pour the boiling water over the lavender flowers and leave to ‘steep’ for ten minutes.

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Strain the water and add it to the pan again.

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Add the rest of the water, sugar and lemon juice and bring back to the boil, stirring continuously.

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When it has boiled, take off the heat and chill.

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Dilute the lavender lemonade with water to your taste.

I added ice cubes with borage frozen inside them for an extra pretty twist.

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I hope you have enjoyed reading my post today.

I will be back on Friday at 4pm.  I hope you will join me then.

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Borage Icecubes and Chocolate Chip Muffins

Today at the allotment I picked some borage flowers.  Borage tends to self-seed everywhere so I have mine in a large pot to keep it contained.  It is great for attracting pollinating bees.

The flowers taste of cucumber if you eat them.  I pop the flowers in ice cube trays and freeze them.  The borage ice cubes make your drinks look really pretty and they are always a good talking point when friends visit.

I also pulled up a bed of shallots ready for drying and pickling.  I then did a bit more hoeing.  I find if I hoe every bed at least once a week, then it is easy to keep the weeds down.

When I got home I made some rolls and a loaf of bread.  I won’t pretend to be superwoman and tell you I make my bread by hand, as I don’t.  I own a bread maker and I love it. My family prefer to eat rolls for lunch so  I make them by using the dough setting on my bread maker.  When it’s finished, I roll them into shape by hand, let them rise and and cook them in the oven, gas mark 5 for 16 minutes.

Homemade Bread Rolls

Then I weigh out the same ingredients as the rolls and let the bread maker make a gorgeous loaf from start to finish in two hours.

A Homemade Loaf

After this I made some chocolate chip muffins for my eldest daughter to take to her friends in the afternoon.  This is my recipe:

255g Self raising flour

85g margarine

140g Granulated Sugar

4 level tablespoons of Coco powder.

85g cooking chocolate chopped into small chunks

250ml of milk

1 teaspoon vanilla essence

1 teaspoon of baking powder

1 egg

  1. Mix the dry ingredients together
  2. Beat the egg with a fork and then mix into the milk.
  3. Melt the margarine and then mix it together with the egg and milk.
  4. Mix the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients but stir until only just combined, so no flour is visible.  The mixture will be lumpy.  This is the secret of good muffins…if you over mix they just won’t rise.
  5. Fill muffin cases three-quarters full.  You can sprinkle with more chocolate at this stage if desired.  This recipe makes approximately 12 muffins.
  6. Cook for 20 minutes on gas mark 5-6 /375-400F/190-200C

Homemade Chocolate Chip Muffins

The muffins in the recipe cost approximately 87p to make, which works out at just under 8p per muffin.  The muffins I made today would have been slightly more expensive as I used ‘lactose free’ ingredients, so that my daughter could also eat them.  Just to give you a comparison, the cheapest chocolate muffins I have managed to find from the ‘big four’ supermarkets, were 18p per muffin and that was a half price special offer and I’m very sure that homemade ones taste an awful lot nicer.

‘Use it up’ Vegetable Curry

Tonight we had a ‘use it up’ vegetable curry.  If we have any cooked vegetables left after dinner, I freeze them in old margarine tubs.  When I have enough, I make a lovely vegetable curry and tonight I served it with boiled rice, ‘reduced price’ naan bread that cost me 10p and some nice homemade yoghurt.  A very frugal meal.

I will post the recipe for the curry and how to make natural yoghurt, another time.

It’s been another busy but enjoyable day.

Thanks for reading