My garden in July is dry, dry, dry. Even though it is set up with drip irrigation, the plants never have the same lush look that they have in early spring. This year is especially dry because we had so far below our normal rainfall. Luckily I have plenty of lavender, rosemary and other herbs and plants that love the nice hot summer days. With all the nice warm days we've been having lately, I really notice the wonderful scent of the lavender.
I have planted several varieties of lavender: English, French, Spanish and one called Goodwin Creek Grey that seems to do particularly well, but has a more medicinal scent. One of my favorites for how it smells has the unlikely name of Lavendula Grosso.
The English lavender (Lavandula angustifolia Munstead) is blooming and I am thinking that it's time I tried using it in some sort of culinary experient.
It is supposedly the sweetest and best tasting of the lavenders. I've used it garnish everything from appetizers to chocolate cakes, but I haven't yet tried cooking with it. Perhaps I should try a lavender cream sauce? Lavender ice cream? Or lavender infused honey? A quick search on the Epicurious website turned up 19 results for recipes with lavender in them. This includes a couple for ice cream, which might just the thing for a warm summer day in the garden.