That sweet smell of lavender... I can’t get enough!
Last year I heard about Princeton Lavender and was told to go because there was not only a field of lavender, but amazing lavender honey, flowers to buy, and other lavender products!
My boyfriend Matthew is a graduate student at Princeton so I love to go visit him and check out the area.
It is the perfect way to get a total change of pace from work and “real life”, as well as spend some quality time.
I knew we may check out the lavender farm that day, but what I did not know is that it was going to truly be a lavender extravaganza from start to finish!
We began our day by visiting a farm with high ratings on google. At this farm, you had to pay 10 dollars to go and take pictures in the field. You could not pick your own flowers, but you could take your time and enjoy the fields.
This seemed fun because we went into the adventure not knowing what to expect or what people do at a lavender farm. There was a wide selection of soaps and gifts at the shop, but we found a lavender farm that we loved MUCH MORE.
The place we loved was called Princeton Lavender, located in Princeton, NJ. When we pulled in, we were immediately greeted by the nicest women who owned the farm. She took us around to the lavender, showing us the two different kinds, and gave us cutters. It was $10 for a big handful!
We loved this idea so much better than just taking pictures! I am kind of obsessed with the idea of “pick-your-own” when it comes to flowers, fruit, or anything like that.
I don’t know why, but I just LOVE IT!
There were bees EVERYWHERE but they dont bother you because there are so many flowers!
Being surrounded by flowers is basically my favorite thing in all of life, so this was just too fun!
Matt had so much fun he fell asleep......
It was so cool because at Princeton Lavender there is actually an Air B&B you can stay in! The owners are originally from Vermont. I loved talking to her because you could see the genuine care and love she has for what she is doing there. It was not gimmicky, it was a break from our work week, where we could enter into nature, smell the fresh fragrant air, and smile about all that God has created.
Matt is an amazing cook and kept asking the woman at Princeton Lavender about recipes. She was not sure, and Matt began to get that look on his face that means he is on a mission...
Off to the food store we went!
Matt is the best at spices. He puts all sorts of spices together and comes out with some truly amazing flavors!
For Christmas, he gave my dad about 7 dry-rub spice mixtures he made himself, and they are such a hit around the Shotmeyer house. We use them all the time and had to ask for refills!
He did not do as much cooking as an undergrad, but with the stress of grad school, I think it has become such an awesome outlet for him especially because he LOVES food. He cooks all the time and loves it.
I had total confidence Matt would come up with something that tasted amazing, but I was a little skeptic about the lavender... I love the smell of lavender, but I was unsure how it would taste in a meal.
We walked through the food store and he started putting random things in the cart.
“Hey Matt, where do you think you are going to go with this?” I asked skeptically. He laughed, squinted his eyes, looked into the distance, and then said,
“I’m thinking savory, salty, and satisfying”.
It was INCREDIBLE.
He made pork chops, creamed corn, and roasted potatoes all with light lavender flavor. My skepticism about lavender VANISHED as I wish I could eat this meal again and again and again.
2 pork chops:
Sprinkle both sides with:
- Fresh lavender
- Ground black pepper
Wrap in foil and smash them to get the ingredients to sink in. Let sit for about 20min.
After that, take lavender buds off and put on skillet with surface temp of about 350.
Cook until outside has just lost its pinky hue, and put in oven at 375 degrees and place lavender sprigs onto the pork.
Take out when meat thermometer reads 140-145.
3 large red (new) potatoes
First, cut into cubes. Then lightly coat the cubes with salt and pepper and sprinkle sunflower oil. The sunflower oil compliments the lavender really well.
In a separate pan on medium heat add about 1.5tbsp of sunflower oil and about 1 full lavender flower (all of the buds from one lavender stem).
Toast lavendar in cast iron skillet with sunflower oil until just toasted.
Add potatoes to skillet and cook on stove for about 5min.
Put potatoes in oven at 375 for about 15min or until just browning and soft.
For the creamed corn:
- Chop 3 ears of corn off the husk and put in skillet. In separate pan toast lavender in (see instructions on how it was done for the potatoes)
- Add 2 tbsp of butter
- Add corn to butter and lavender. Heat and mix for about a minute.
- Mix: 1 tsp of salt, 1/2 tsp black pepper, 1 tbsp sugar, 2/3 cup whipping cream
- In separate bowl mix 1 cup of whole milk and 2 tbsp flour
- Add milk and flour mixture to large corn mixture
- Heat on stove until thick and boiling - continue to mix as it simmers on medium
- Let mixture get think and bubbly. Take off heat when this phase starts so it does not burn.
Take the lavender sprigs off of the pork, and ENJOY!
I did not think that the pork would taste like lavender, but it did! I also thought that if the pork did tast like lavender it would be weird, but it wasn’t! It was amazing.
I think the creamed corn was my favorite part... He had never made it before and just kind of winged the recipe and it was just SO GOOD. We are thinking we could try again and make it a little healthier, but honestly, if we make it again, I’d like it exactly how it was.
The hints of lavender in all parts of the meal flowed together beautifully just as the sun flowed into the most beautiful sunset as we ate.
We ate on his porch to the summer sounds of crickets and the incredible aroma of the food.
Don’t forget Princeton Lavender for the perfect day-trip and summer escape.