We are busy harvesting the last of the summer lavender - what a joy this is. Here you can see one of last year's lavender bottles that we made, and soon we'll be settling down round the table to make new ones and, as usual, we will fall to talking about our favourite recipes. When we were small, my mother had a 'hasty' pudding recipe for when our city fruit bowl had run out. She would make sweet shortcrust pastry and roll out two discs, set one on an enamel plate, scatter it over with currants and finely chopped fresh mint from the kitchen door, sprinkle on a little water from her fingertips and then lay the other pastry disc on top. If we were at home we would be left to pinch it and prick it in our own decorative style, then it would be finished off with a glaze of brushed milk and a little sugar before being put in the oven. To talk about it now, is to taste it. I still make this at home, but we have a new variation which substitutes lavender for the mint. Like mint, lavender is an aromatic, and adds something wonderful when used in cooking. Try a little scattering in apple pie. It works wonderfully with blueberries and raspberries in jam and is lovely with honey and crisp brown bread crumbs in ice cream, or in a syrup over baked figs - I could go on and on. For lunch today we had duck pate on melba toasts on a bed of mixed salad and just to add a little something to the oil and vinegar dressing, I used up the last teaspoonful of blueberry and lavender jam. I wish you could have been here to join us.