Friday, February 5, 2010

Lavender Friday

To try to get through the cold weather with its rain, snow, sleet and freezing rain, I've decided to think about fields of lavender.  Quelle bonne idée, n'est-ce pas?  Annie, of Sunshine Lavender Farms, has been a tremendous help.  Her latest email is nothing short of a feast for the winter-filled eyes.   See for yourself at  You can almost smell it.  Well, I actually can.  On my desk at this moment are two bottles of lavender hand cream and a small lavender sachet.  I also make my room at school smell good with a lavender and vanilla Glade plug-in thing.  I have the best smelling room in the middle school, bien sûr.  I have a lovely 2010 Provence calendar on my desk, too.  The little stone cottage of my dreams is on the cover.  The picture above is the one I took at the Abbayé de Senanque near Gordes.  A bit of the lavender oil that I brought home from there would be nice at the moment.  I have a headache and a little lavender on my temples would be very soothing.  I burned myself quite badly while cooking one night in Arles (hot oil splashed on my hand) and Chef Érick cured me with lavender.  I had to wait until it stopped burning so badly and then he massaged the lavender into the burns.  No more blisters, no more burning and no scars.  I became a believer.  Another wonderful find is the lavender-citrus body butter that I found at the Durham Farmers' Market made by MoonDance Soaps.  I rub it on my hands just before going to bed.  I get the lovely, soothing lavender scent and my hands are in much better shape when I wake up in the morning.
I am working on my next newspaper article, about chocolat, and research must be thoroughly done.  This is serious business, you know.  I took a chocolate class this week with Teresa Wilkerson of WR Chocolatier and I am paying a visit to the Dolly Mama in downtown Durham this afternoon to see how she makes her wonderful chocolate creations.  A nice ending to the day.

Annie's Valentine's Day Chocolate Lavender Truffles
(from Sunshine Lavender Farms)

1 c. heavy cream
1 tsp. dried lavender florets (they sell these at Harris Teeter in the spice section)
12 oz. bittersweet chocolate (use the good stuff... about 62% is ideal- not too bitter)
1 c. unsweetened cocoa

Grate chocolate.  Bring cream and lavender to a simmer for one minute, then strain out the florets with cheesecloth.  Add cream to chocolate and stir to melt.  Mix well.  Chill at least 3 hours.  Roll into 1-inch balls, then roll in cocoa.

Makes 25 truffles.

Bon appétit, vendredi, la lavande et le chocolat!

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