This evening I decided that, rather than going for a run, I would make some cookies. Far healthier, I’m sure you’ll agree. So it was a case of ‘I want to make cookies, just simple ones, but with an interesting twist’. And there I was on the Cowley Road, waiting for the number 5 bus, wondering what I could do that would interest me to the point of creating the inevitable washing up. I’d found a really simple butter cookie recipe, courtesy of Rachel Allen on the BBC, which was just crying out for variations. So what was available to me?
From somewhere (probably a mixture of bus fumes and approaching summer holiday haze) I thought, ‘Yes, lavender, that’s what I want’. Hmm … easier said than done in East Oxford. I couldn’t find any usable lavender at 5.30 on a Tuesday evening, garden lavender not being quite ‘in season’ yet. But, just as I was giving in to making a simple (read: boring) cookie, I wandered into a lovely health food shop near St Clement’s and found a big jar of dried hibiscus which I think was supposed to be for making tea.
I don’t know if you’ve ever tried hibiscus in any form, but it’s really lovely – tangy, sharp, sweet and aromatic – and it was in its element, cutting though the buttery crumbliness of the basic three ingredient cookie recipe. It’s nowhere in the same league as lavender, I’ll have to wait til July for that, but it’ll do for now!