Nice, France: August 16, 2003
I’ve been here for two weeks now. My internship is going very well although it is very hard sometimes to wake up at 7am after going to bed at 2am. Nice is so beautiful: La promenade des Anglais, La colline du Chateau, The Old Town, The flower market, the food, Oh the food! I haven’t seen everything yet but I just can’t wait to explore what Nice has to offer.
The only thing that I don’t like about Nice is the beach. The beaches of Nice are shingle and now my toes are all sore and it hurts. Well, I guess I will get used to it.
Today my sister and my nephew came to see me. I was so excited. We went strolling along the beach then went to The Old Town to have some ice cream. A friend of mine told me that you would find the best ice cream there. We had to check it out. We weren’t disappointed. The counter of ice cream was 6 feet long, with over 30 varieties of ice cream, gelatos and sorbets.
My sister went straight for her favorite flavor: caramel and coffee ice cream and I went for a flavor that caught my eyes right away: Lavender ice cream. A bite of it and I had the feeling to be… a dirty shirt inside a washing machine. The lavender ice cream reminded me of a fabric softener. It was too much lavender for me and I couldn’t finish it. My sister was really enjoying her ice cream, licking every drop that would fall on the sides. And I was there watching her.
What a torture!
Michigan, USA: June 10, 2007
Yesterday I bought a bag of lavender flowers. I was torn between making some muffins or sables. I went for muffins. I have never been scared of flowers before, but since my ice cream experience I am just terrified of everything that involves flowers and food together. I love the smell of lavender, I find it very calming but I just couldn’t imagine how it would taste in a muffin.
I took a basic vanilla muffin recipe and turned it into a lavender, lemon and pine nuts muffins. “Breath, Rose! Breath!” I was telling my self all the time. Once the lavender was mixed into the batter I could have sworn I was in a lavender field. It smelled like spring. Into the oven, 25 min later I had my muffins and they were beautiful. “Don’t rush it Rose! Let it cool completely then you can have a taste”.
My fear of lavender scent fabric softener was gone once I had those muffins. They were so fragrant, yet not overpowering. There was just the right amount of lavender. The only thing that I would add next time to the batter is some honey because it needed a little bit of sweetness. M thought they were “interesting”.
What? What does he mean, “interesting”? Have a lavender ice cream, Honey! That’s very “interesting”.
Lavender, Lemon and Pine nuts Muffins
- 1 ¾ cups plain flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp baking soda
- ¼ tsp salt
- ¾ cup granulated sugar
- 1 tsp dried lavender flowers
- 1 tbsp candied lemon peels
- 1 ½ tbsp toasted pine nuts
- 2 large eggs
- 1 cup whole milk
- 6 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
In a bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, sugar, lavender, pine nuts and candied lemon peels.
In another bowl, Combine the eggs, milk, and butter and beat just until blended. Add the dry ingredients and mix just until moistened. Do not overmix.
Spoon the batter into prepared muffin cups, filling each cup about three-fourths full. Preheat the oven to 425F and bake for about 15-18 min or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Let cool on a wire rack. Sprinkle some icing sugar on top. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 days or freeze for up to 1 month.
Muffins a La Lavande, Citron et Pignons de pin
In francais please:
- 280g de farine
- 2 c.c de levure chimique
- ½ de bicarbonate de soude
- ¼ c.c de sel
- 155g de sucre en poudre
- 1 c.c de fleurs de lavande, sechees
- 1 c.s de pelures de citron confites
- 1 ½ c.s de pignons de pin
- 2 gros oeufs
- 250ml de lait
- 90g de beurre, fondu
Dans une grande jatte, melanger la farine, la levure, la bicarbonate de soude, le sel, le sucre, la lavande, les pignons de pin et le citron.
Dans un autre bol, melanger les oeufs, le lait et le beurre jusqu’a ce qu’ils soient bien incorpores. Verser dessus les ingredients secs d’un seul coup et melanger. Ne melanger pas trop. Verser dans des moules a muffins et faites cuire dans un four prechauffe a 220C pendant 15-18 min. Laisser refroidir sur une grille a patisserie. Saupoudrer de sucre glace. Ces muffins se gardent pendant 2 jours dans une boite hermetique ou peut se congeler pendant un mois.