Knowing that my parents and my husband’s parents occasionally read this blog, I have been thoroughly warned against telling this story. But I’m a rebel, and I think they all will live. So I’m going to tell a story about Harry Potter, and then link it to lavender. Ready?
When Evan and I had just started dating he informed me that he had never read any of the Harry Potter books, nor seen any of the movies. Clearly this needed to be rectified – and stat. So in the downtime of our first summer together – which meant when we weren’t holding hands under the table or gazing longingly or fluttering our eyelasshes across crowded rooms (cue eye roll here) – we were reading all the Harry Potter novels. Soup to nuts. And then watching all the movies.
It was an incredibly immersive experience. So much so that I had begun dreaming about Harry and the gang on a nightly basis, wacky adventures ensuing while I rolled around like Voldemort had discovered we were connected via a scar. No good for the sleeping.
One night I dreamed that Dumbledore had blessed me and Evan with Harry and Hermione’s powers. I had been handed my wand and was learning proper wand motion. “You’re doing it wrong,” I could hear Hermione explain, “You’re supposed to point and flick.” Point and flick. Point and flick.
I awoke from this vivid scene with a jolt, clutching Evan’s penis while exercising proper wand flicks, wondering why it wasn’t shooting sparks.
Ouch. Sorry bunny. Thus: we planted some lavender next to our bed to make for better sleeping.
Yes, the wonders of lavender are spread as far as the Hogwarts’ eye can see. From sleep aid to magical cures to, mmm, lavenderful treats. Like Lavender-Honey Ice Cream. This is not a dessert for the dairy-impaired, or the vegan conscious. But it is absolutely a heavenly flavor – creamy and soothing, thickly sweet with a tangy aftertaste. We got this recipe from The Arrows Cookbook (we crossed their Blueberry Ice Cream recipe with their Lavender-Honey one) and added slices of lemon peel.
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 1 cup milk
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 4 tablespoons fresh or 2 tablespoons dried lavender
- zest of 1 small lemon, removed in strips using a peeler
- 5 large egg yolks
- 1/2 cup honey
1. Fill a large bowl halfway with ice water. Have ready a smaller bowl that fits inside the ice bath, and a fine sieve. 2. Stir together the milk, cream, sugar, lemon peel and lavender leaves in a large saucepan and bring to a boil. Take the saucepan off the heat, cover, and let the mixture steep for 20 minutes. 3. Whisk together the egg yolks and honey in a large bowl. Slowly pour the hot liquid into the yolk mixture, gently whisky to combine. Return the mixture to the saucepan and cook, stirringly constantly with a wooden spoon, over medium heat until the mixture reaches a temperature of 180 degrees F or it thickens just enough to coat the back of a spoon. Immediately strain the mixture through the fine sieve into the smaller bowl, pressing on the lavender (and lemon peel) to extract the flavor, and place the bowl in the ice bath. Stir occasionally until completely chilled. 4. Freeze the mixture in the stand mixer with the ice cream attachment you were lucky enough to get as a wedding – commitment ceremony – being alive gift (or the ice cream machine one might otherwise own). Serve at once or freeze for later. Enjoy on a steamy July night near the solstice, when bedtime is minutes away and there’s no chance of a noseless Death Eater forcing you to maul your partner.