Sunday, 21 February 2016

Lavener, cats and muffins

Lavender is a fascinating plant, so many uses in the home and garden.  Recently I discovered a new use for the French Lavender above.  One of my cats,  Lucy (below) has allergies to various grasses.  Poor thing gets rashes and she gets very itchy and scratches herself till it bleeds.  For years I have been taking her to the vet for antihistamine injection etc.

 Last year in spring when I was pruning the  French lavender, she started to roll about on the lavender and sat on it all day.  At that time she was due to a visit to the vet for treatment, as her rash was bad.  Within a day the rash subsided and when it started up again I rubbed handfuls of lavender on the affected areas.   Since then she has not had a major occurrence, she still has the allergy but the lavender controls it.  Amazing!  So if your cat or dog has an allergy it is worthwhile trying, it will save you heaps of money spent on vet bills.

One thing I love about summer is the chance to make my favourite muffins – Lavender, Orange and Chocolate.  For these you must use the English lavender (lavandula augustfolia)  I have hidcote growing, it’s getting scrappy as they tend to so I have dug it up and have taken cuttings of some of the better shoots and hopefully they will take..

Lavender, Orange and Chocolate Muffins

1 ½ teaspoons dried or 2 teaspoons fresh lavender seed heads
4 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons honey
2 eggs
½ cup milk
½ cup orange juice
Grated rind of one orange
2 cups of plain flour
2 teaspoons of Baking Powder
3 tablespoons of chocolate chips

Melt butter and honey.  Beat eggs, milk, orange juice and the butter and honey in a bowl.  Stir in orange rind.  In a new bowl mix sifted flour and Baking Powder, lavender and chocolate chips.  Stir wet ingredients into dry (do not over mix).  Spoon into greased muffin tins (2/3rds fill) Bake at 200degrees Celsius for 15 to 20 minutes.
(Makes 12 muffins)  These keep well and are great hot or cold.

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