I like the kitchen best when I’m alone, usually at night, when the house is quiet and the phones aren’t ringing and I can take as long as I want to chop, stir, clean up.
It’s comforting, this opportunity to organize, create, make something delicious and satisfying from a mix of individual ingredients. And it’s relaxing, as I can just go at my own pace and enjoy the process.
It’s like the way some people feel about knitting. Or running. Or maybe, I don’t know, bird-watching.
Cooking is repetitive—the gathering of ingredients, the combining things together, the putting into the oven and waiting.
And it’s reliable. A cookie recipe will, most likely, give you cookies, at least if the recipe is any good at all.
Yet it’s also surprising, almost magical, that such wonderful results come out of such a little bit of time and energy. I’d imagine that’s kind of what a bird-watcher could say, too: that he likes sitting, sitting, waiting, waiting—these predictable actions become familiar.
And sometimes, when life feels complicated, overwhelming, fast maybe, it’s nice to have something familiar, even if it’s simple, routine, just plain regular, to come home to.
Friday night, after I ran to the store for a few ingredients, I set out my ingredients near my KitchenAid stand mixer and turned on the season finale of Psych within view of the counter space.
I had picked fresh lavender a few days earlier, hanging it to dry with some yarn on a door.
So on a cutting board Friday night, I gently pulled off the flowers from their stems and measured them into four tablespoons of dried flowers, to be the crowning glory of my latest cookie recipe.
In terms of texture and overall comparisons, this cookie is a subtler version of the rosemary cookie, obviously without rosemary and also without the sugared edges.
It’s softer, without the punch of the rosemary cookie, but it’s got a slightly chewier texture.
And in my opinion, a fragrant flower is the perfect addition. I mean, isn’t lavender always in those stress-relieving lotions and sprays? Isn’t it the most wonderful thing to take a whiff of?
These happy, light little cookies are easy, flavorful and interesting. You really should try them, whether or not you have a flowering bush in your backyard and whether or not you are the type to enjoy an evening in the kitchen.
I’m just saying: two baked tray-fulls on my counter and three sweet cookies in my belly later, the world seemed like a much better place.
Adapted from Taste of Home
What about you? Have you ever used lavender in your kitchen? Let us know in the comments below!
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About Shanna Mallon
Shanna Mallon is a freelance writer who holds an MA in writing from DePaul University. Her work has been featured in a variety of media outlets, including The Kitchn, Better Homes & Gardens, Taste of Home, Houzz.com, Foodista, Entrepreneur, and Ragan PR. In 2014, she co-authored The Einkorn Cookbook with her husband, Tim. Today, you can find her digging into food topics and celebrating the everyday grace of eating on her blog, Go Eat Your Bread with Joy. Shanna lives in Nashville, Tennessee, with Tim and their two small kids.