Lavender Maple Syrup

Like, who doesn’t like maple syrup.  Poured over the popular breakfast sandwich of chicken and waffles.  By adding double the amount, maple syrup is a great substitute for sugar in tons of today’s baked goods and in alcoholic drinks.  One of favorite cocktails is the “Old Fashioned” traditionally made with sugar, I like to muddle orange peel, bitters and maple syrup then add a shot of whiskey or aged dark rum.  Trust me its taste is as sexy as the list of simple ingredients used to make it.

Couple weekends ago while at the grocery I bought a bottle of maple syrup.   Produced locally of course; I was due for a replacement bottle ever since my Vermont stash ran out.  Priced at ten dollars for 12 fluid ounces (1 ½ cup), this rich flavored, chocolate diamond colored tree sap was well worth every dime.

I remember well that weekend was a windy and dreary one.  And after grocery shopping I thought an activity in the kitchen has to be created to prevent me from heading back to sleep, making up for lost quality time with my bed.

Tucked away in my kitchen cabinets I found an unopened packet of dried blue lavender flowers.  There are so much great ingredients forgotten in my cabinets. I’m aiming to find me a boyfriend in dem cabinets one day – LOL.  Anyway, after opening the sealed pack, the strong calming scent of the buds greeted me.  The smell made me think of a sun-kissed garden of blossoming flowers on a warm spring day, and for a moment I forgot we were in the closing days of fall.

Right away I emptied the entire bottle of (medium amber graded) maple syrup in a small saucepan and set it on medium heat. Stirring in 2 heaping tbsp. of dried lavender and a 2 inch piece of vanilla bean, I allowed the three ingredients to simmer for about 15 minutes.  I let the infused syrup sit for another 15 minutes before I strained and placed the contents back into the store-bought glass bottle.  I let it cool before refrigerating.

Sunday morning I was too happy to make a brunch at home feast of French toast and lavender infused maple syrup for myself.

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French toast tips:

– I used a hearty Levain bread.  Similar to a sourdough bread but the ‘starter’ is treated differently, and it does not have a sour taste.  Bought at WholeFoods

–  Hearty bread holds up well in the egg mixture and is very filling.

–  After cooking my toast one a time in a medium sauté pan, I place them on a cooling rack in the oven at 250 °F so the remains crisp and warm.

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