Saturday, April 6, 2013

Lavender Simple Syrup

Zoe's lavender simple syrup

I'm a huge fan of the Artisan Bread in 5 concept and books.  Why am I such a huge fan?   Many reasons, I guess.  I like the fact that bread is incorporated into a healthy diet.  I'm a skeptic on the whole gluten free thing with the exception for the people who really can't tolerate it.  I do think that there are people whose bodies can't do gluten; however, many people are jumping on board and it seems a bit extremist.

Remember the whole fat free craze?  People went fat free and lost weight.....only until we got fat free processed food.  Sugar free eating was a sure-fire way to lose the pounds until the snack well sugar free snacks were everywhere. Then people went all Atkins.  Guess what, they lost weight.  Until there were easily accessible snacks that went along with this diet.  I remember a friend telling me that it worked.....but when discussing the diet he admitted that he had to give up his 2 regular sodas a day.  And when he opened the cupboard he couldn't find anything he could have.  Gee, did that have anything to do with losing weight?  Gluten free is the diet du jour.  Someone I know swears that must be a problem for her friend.....sure it has nothing to do with eating fast food.  But, the artisan bread in 5 folks are giving bread some good press.  Seriously, I just think eating bread in moderation with whole ingredients is better than eating processed food, for most of us.

We all have limited time...and make our choices on what to do with that time.  It just seems like a pretty good use of a morning or an evening to fuel our bodies with wholesome ingredients....the purer the better.  But, we all have to do what works best for our lives at the time.  I have a coworker who feeds her kids pizza rolls and hot dogs....because she's a busy mom trying to juggle a lot of things.  No need to be embarrassed to tell me judgement here.  We're all just doing what works for us....our budget of money and our budget of time.  I just feel best eating more wholesome food.  I don't like to support the whole corn syrup thing, so it's an ingredient I try to avoid when hiding in other foods.  I don't boycott it completely....just try to not support that industry.  I can co-exist happily with a pizza roll and hot dog friend....doesn't make anyone a bad mom or a bad person.  Let's just all support each other since we're doing our best.

I try to eat somewhat locally....a challenge in March in Wisconsin.  It's a goal; but those berries from Mexico do end up on my table too.  One of the things I really like is that our local Sendik's store has a label on the produce sign stating where it is from.  The country of origin is on there at least; it's a start to know where the produce started. I think we can all agree that it really does taste best if it is grown closer to where it is sold; however, without a huge freezer and gobs of time to preserve things it's not an option where I live.  Having the labels on the helps in making some choices.  It's funny how those choices can sometimes be misguided.  For example, I tend to by Crystal sugar since it's from Paul's area of the world, yet the workers have been on strike there for a bit and I found out my inlaws try to avoid it for that reason.  I guess if you think too much about every choice there isn't much time for much else.

Hmm, so I'm making lavender simple syrup with Crystal sugar and lavender that is not grown in Wisconsin from a recipe from a midwestern baker who promotes gluten.  -Sigh-  I guess we're just at my comfort level.    She lives in the city, if that's a reason to endorse her:)

I found the recipe for the fruit pizza intriguing as a breakfast idea.  Although I'm more of a savory breakfast gal, I can appreciate some goat cheese and fruit in the morning.  And I do love the flavor of lavender.  I had gotten some lavender a couple years ago at Penzey's; however, I don't think they sell culinary lavender anymore so I may need to find a new supplier. My sister has some in her yard along with rosemary in huge bushes, so maybe a trip to Socal to harvest some is in order.  Needless to say, her dogs smell fabulous after a run through those plants!

I think I'm just yearning for some early summer days when the CSA boxes come rolling in and the local markets are in full swing.  It really isn't too much longer now.  Wowza...thinking about strawberries right off the plant.  I guess this will have to do until we get a few more months into summer.

In theory, I would do this Zoe's way.  That is, keep the lavender blossoms in the syrup and strain as needed. For me, in my life right now, I just need to strain it and have it ready to go.

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