Happy first day of June! For this month’s matchmaking posts, we’ll be highlighting a somewhat uncommon ingredient in many people’s kitchens: lavender. As a cooking ingredient, it is most commonly encountered in the French seasoning mix herbes de Provence. The famous lavender fields of Provence go into bloom from late June through July, and hopefully you will see some blooming in your neck of the woods this summer as well.

Lavender also happens to be Becca’s favorite color and inspiration for her website and design business, Lavender’s Blue. Three years ago, when I was planning Becca’s tea party bridal shower, I wanted to incorporate her dearly loved lavender into not just the color scheme but also the menu in some way. So I decided to make lavender lemonade (I’ve forgotten the exact recipe I used, but this one is similar). I was worried that our mostly Asian guestlist would find lavender lemonade strange, but people ended up liking it so much they kept asking what it was they were drinking. The lavender is subtle, and the lemony tang adds brightness to the flowery perfume.

I must confess, I haven’t made lavender lemonade since then, but what a perfect summer drink it’d be for brunches, barbeques, afternoon tea, or just some people watching from the front porch (if I had a front porch). Incidentally, the lavender doesn’t actually color your lemonade, but if you’d like, you can add some blue and red food coloring to get a subtle, dusty purple, as I did for Becca’s shower. For a bit more excitement, try this boozy version. And beyond drinks, I can imagine lavender and lemon being a hit in cookies, creme brulee, and macarons! Try to look for culinary lavender, as other types may be heavily sprayed with pesticides.

I brought some Provencal culinary lavender back from my recent trip to France and am looking forward to some inspiration these next few weeks on how to incorporate it into my cooking and baking. You’ll be hearing from Becca the remainder of this month on her favorite color, flower, and now ingredient!

Photos from here and here.