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Gifts for Me, A Recipe for You

6 July 2006

Have I already mentioned that my Secret Pal is great? I got another box of treasures yesterday, so many that I had to break it into two pictures:
Once again, books for me (I’ve been meaning to read The Poisonwood Bible for a long time; my father grew up in the Belgian Congo, but his stories have been sparse), and books for the girls (Trixie already called first dibs on one of them and hasn’t gotten up off the couch unless I insist). There was also a magazine on Iowa gardens, with an article on kitchen gardens (yummm), and some snacky treats and peppermint tea!

Then there were the crafty items. I now have a beautifully soft blue knitted facecloth (SP, you said it’s your favorite pattern, would it be shareable?), some yummy (in the scent sense!) artisanal goat milk soaps and deliciously scented lemon verbena/lavender hand salve (you have a Whole Foods near you? I am *so* envious!). And see that gorgeous yellow and green thing? That is a knitted dishcloth from Mason-Dixon Knitting. Here’s where it gets spooky: just last week we went to the bookstore, and I sought out MDK because I was curious about the dishcloth pattern. How did you know?! (Of course, I didn’t want to seem to be copying down info from a book I wasn’t going to buy just then, so I only glanced at it — how *do* you make those 3-row cross-over stitches?) And she included a ball of variegated cotton yarn — I’ll have to figure out that pattern and try a dishcloth myself! There were also some double-pointed needle holders in the shape of little sweaters (I’ll have to take a close-up shot for you-all, they are too cute!) And yes, the astute will have noticed: more office supplies! Thank you, Secret Pal!

And now, I am sure the rest of you are feeling pretty down that you don’t have a secret pal as well, so I will share with you the Rhubarb-Lavender Lemonade we made this weekend with a recipe from Prairieland Herbs (a local farm):

Rhubarb-Lavender Lemonade

  • 5 stalks rubarb, chopped
  • 1 cup fresh lavender (or 1/2 cup dried, but we used the fresh)
  • 8 cups water
  • 1 cup (or more, to taste) sugar
  • 1/2 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice

    1. Bring water, rhubarb, and lavender to a boil in a large pot. Let simmer for 20-30 minutes with the top on.
    2. Turn off heat, and let sit until cool (this is the hard part!)
    3. Strain out rhubarb and lavender, and put in your compost pile (this is straight from the recipe — I love these folks!)
    4. Stir in the sugar and lemon juice.
    5. Pour over ice, and enjoy!

    We did this with the last of the rhubarb. We liked it so much we talked about next year making up a whole lot and freezing it. One warning: don’t drink too much at once, or you will get the subtle sense of being in a lingerie drawer. But the bouquet is half of the draw; try it!

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