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
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.