As you may have caught on my Instagram feed last week I was totally shocked and honored to find out The Perfect Loaf won both Editors’ Choice and Readers’ Choice for The Food Obsessive award in the 2016 Saveur Blog Awards! In addition, I met some incredibly talented and passionate people at the event in New York City — so passionate I could have probably talked with them for weeks upon weeks about food, cooking, and baking. A huge thanks go out to everyone who nominated, voted and supported this site (and me) — I really can’t convey enough thanks. And congratulations to all the other nominees and winners!
Now back to sourdough! I recently had an opportunity to attend a lavender event at Los Poblanos Historic Inn & Organic Farm, a local farm here in the heart of Albuquerque, New Mexico. They offered a small glimpse of their lavender fields, organic farming practices and an introduction to their growing lavender distillation process. The lavender grown on the farm is not a culinary lavender, it’s actually only used for cosmetic1s (essential oils, lotion, etc.), but it was incredibly interesting to see how they follow sustainable growth practices throughout the farm and produce so much local lavender each year. The particular variety of lavender grown on the farm was selected for a specific reason: it takes extremely well to the local warm, dry climate. When walking up and down the numerous rows of large lavender bushes you spot bees busily going about their business, rich bark-laden soil, and every once in awhile a faint smell of lavender on the breeze. Lavender margaritas are a common thing here, and if you’ve had one you know why, but I couldn’t help myself from dreaming up pastry and bread ideas that would complement the purple little buds. After the tour, a quick visit to their Farm Shop provided just the fuel I needed: sachets of culinary lavender buds grown here in New Mexico ready to use in my kitchen baking adventures.