Monday, 12 October 2009

Lavender in a jar

I had a number of small tasks to carry out over the weekend, one of them was to fill up a jam jar with the lavender I had drying on the windowsill. I am really looking forward to making some edible delights in the cold months, as well as occasionally sticking my nose into the jar, just to get a natural high!
I have never been one to sew lavender into little sacks for drawers or wardrobes; or turn them into bath bombs - I think I will in the future, just not right now. The one thing I can do right now is keep the stalks of the lavender as they contain oil and make good fire lighters, a tip I recently read on one of my fellow bloggers blog.
A couple of years ago, D brought a present for me. Would you like to take a guess at what it was? Roses, perhaps a box of chocolates or even a ...(cough) No, it was a mandolin: a vegetable slicer - something every working kitchen should have. Yes, I know very romantic. Previous to that he gave me a flour sifter. Now that's what I call knowing me. I haven't used the mandolin much, as i'm quite nervous of the sharp blades, but over the weekend I decided to give it a go and make some Pommes Anna. It was actually quite therapeutic slicing the potatoes slowly, but not a task you get too comfortable with as a moment of distraction and you could slice some skin - ooh. The Pommes Anna turned out lovely, golden and crispy on the top and soft, yet with a little bite at the bottom.
I served them alongside some Broccoli in garlic cream. I know it doesn't look very pretty, but it was packed with flavour.

Broccoli in garlic cream
Serves 4
100g single or double cream
Zest of 1 lemon
1 large clove of garlic, peeled and crushed
400g -500g broccoli florets
1 tbsp toasted pine kernels to garnish
Salt and pepper to taste
Steam the broccoli. Do not overcook. Set aside.
Gently heat the cream, lemon zest and garlic together and allow the flavours to infuse for about 5 minutes. Season well. Toss the broccoli with the cream sauce, turn into a dish.

For the beady eyed amongst you, you might be wondering where are the pine kernels? Well I have to admit I burned them in the oven, so it’s optional if you want to scatter them over the dish.


  1. Those two together look delicious. (and knowing how wonderful the broccoli fresh from the plot I'll bet it was delicious.

  2. Thank you MandyCharlie.
    The two dishes together they were lovely and really filling.

  3. You've got me thinking about broccoli and potato recipes, Mango. I love a thinly sliced potato in a casserole. Your garden photos are lovely; I enjoy peeking at your plot.
    And the photos from the Burrell are great. Thanks for sharing scenes from a museum I might never get to see in person.

  4. I am always hungry when I leave your blog! The Brocolli dish looks amazing!

  5. a mandolin sounds like a good idea. what a thoughtful gift :o)

  6. I really need to make one of those potato bakes, i havent made one for ages! And the creamy broccoli sounds great, and idea i havent seen before.


  7. Looks like a lovely meal!
    A close friend once gave me a potato ricer for my birthday: one of my best-ever presents!

  8. Thanks Barbara.

    I am so glad you enjoy peeking at my allotment plot, I really enjoy showcasing it now and again.

    I am also glad that you liked soe of the Burrell collection photos.

    Aw Thanks Jenn,
    I am pleased the broccoli dish excited your tastebud, as many people would look at it and then look away, as it doesn't look that exciting really does it.

    Yes Nic,
    My fiancee then and husband now, can be thoughtful now and again : D I like these kind of gifts.

    Thanks Rose,
    Do you want to borrow my mandolin to make the potato bake?! : D

    Thanks Fran,
    Some kitchen gadgets are great, other not so.

    I have a potato ricer in the cupboard, something I bought in my student days. I think I may have only used it once, as I am not a great one for mash potatoes. I must try and dig it out someday. Thanks for reminding me.

  9. I love my mandolin! I'm going to second a previous comment and vote that D is a great and thoughtful partner :-) It's also really great for slicing cabbage for super this cole-slaw. hmm. Have you made asian slaw with rice vinegar and hot sesame oil and black sesame seeds? It is divine!

  10. Thanks Leah.

    I haven't sliced a cabbage on the mandolin, but may try it out the next time I decide to cook with the mighty cabbage. I have never made asian slawy, sound really interesting, may have to give it a whirl as I am always on the hunt for cabbage recipes.

  11. No thankyou, we have one of those mandolins and i find its a little too scary to use too :)


  12. I know where your coming from Rose,
    but please do persevere. The mandolin is a good gadget providing you get a decent one.

  13. Both the potatoes and the broccoli look delicious! Your husband sounds very sweet!

  14. Wow great tip about the lavender twigs! Could have done with knowing that last week, we were trying to start a bonfire off but didn't have enough kindling, but we did have loads and loads of lavender stalks! :)

  15. Thank you Emma.
    Ah I know, but now you know for next time - the challenge is remembering the tip, let me tell you why - I forgot about it until you reminded me by visiting this post :)


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