Lavender isn’t traditionally an African ingredient (at far as I know). The best is grown in France, where it’s mixed in an Herbs de Provence blend of thyme, savory, rosemary and other herbs. It also nicely pairs with sweet potatoes, a starchy root vegetable, in which African slaves who were brought to the Americans, found to be similar to their native yams. Serve this dish with Broccoli and Freekeh Pilaf or Brazilian/Stir-Fry Style Collard Greens.
After weeks of resting well and looking at the four corners of my apartment, a good friend suggested we drive two hours to Lavender by the Bay in East Marion, New York. They have a booth in Union Square’s farmer’s market selling lavender bunches, dried lavender for cooking, lavender sachets and more. After reassuring the boyfriend the trip is mostly sitting in a car, walking around the fields for less than an hour and driving another two hours back to the city, my friend and I left Brooklyn one foggy, mild Thursday morning. We picked a weekday, because the crowds would’ve been too stressful for me (I’m not in the condition to stand in line). We also took a chance, because the weather stations predicted t-storms starting around 1 pm. We started our trip at 7:30 am, so we can return to the city before the heavy rains. Read more →
Inspiration for recipes not only comes from staring at the pantry, for scents are part of the culinary experience. Lavender Apple is one of my favorite shower gels at a small chain of bath shops located in New York City. It’s not a teenage bubble gum, sugary scent. The fragrance is mildly sweet and calm. The taste of this bread recipe is slightly similar to the smell of the shower gel because of the lavender flowers. However, this bread has an earthy taste.
We talk about eating balance meals, regularly working out, and decreasing stress to maintain a healthy lifestyle. However, the importance of sleep is rarely mentioned. Receiving seven to eight hours of sleep improves the memory, encourages the brain to embrace new ideas, helps control weight, and builds the immune system. Personally, to get my daily-recommended hours of sleep, I’m striving to begin the evening by turning off the computer. No checking emails, for my responses are more effective in the morning. FaceBook friends and fans can wait for tomorrow, and my influence on Twitter ends a little after dinnertime. Creative projects are scheduled for the afternoons, for working in the super early morning hours is an old college habit that must die. Getting a better night’s rest and more hours of sleep requires me to have better time management and efficiently organize daily tasks. It’s difficult at first, but I’m rediscovering calmer evenings.
Please Note: This post was updated on Wed., Aug. 11, 2010.
During the weekend, a visit was scheduled to help a girlfriend who recently moved into an apartment. I can sympathize with anyone’s move. I once moved three times in one year. The experience of packing and unpacking is exhaustive. Being upended from familiar friends, a neighborhood and an apartment are unsettling. Moving has never been a good transition. I have the personal horror stories to validate horrid feelings.