I will arise and go now, and go to Innisfree,
And a small cabin build there, of clay and wattles made:
Nine bean-rows will I have there, a hive for the honey-bee,
And live alone in the bee-loud glade.
And I shall have some peace there, for peace comes dropping slow,
Dropping from the veils of the morning to where the cricket sings;
There midnight’s all a glimmer, and noon a purple glow,
And evening full of the linnet’s wings.
I will arise and go now, for always night and day
I hear lake water lapping with low sounds by the shore;
While I stand on the roadway, or on the pavements grey,
I hear it in the deep heart’s core.
A poem, sent by a good friend.
I can’t write poetry. So lavender and apricot shortbread is my effort to render this floating idea of sweet – violet – dusk in edible form. (I hope it does it justice.)
Lavender and apricot shortbread
100g butter, cold, cut into cubes
2 tbs fresh lavender
pinch of salt
several fresh apricots
Preheat the oven to 160C. Grease a square tray (20cm across) or round tart tin (23cm).
Pull the lavender seedheads off their stalks. Mix the lavender and sugar in a small bowl and rub them together with your fingers to release the scent.
In a larger bowl, rub the cubed butter into the flour with your fingertips as if you were making the gesture for “he’s got lotsa money”. (Or use a food processor if you have one.) Keep going until more or less evenly distributed – so it looks like rough breadcrumbs.
Add the sugar and a pinch of salt. Gently stir in the egg. The dough will not form a ball – it will look like a shaggy mess. Tip it all into the tin and press down lightly with your hands.
Slice the apricots thinly and distribute over the shortbread – circles, lines or just haphazardly. Press them down gently.
Bake for about 30 minutes. You will smell the shortbread when it is ready, but otherwise it should be only just brown around the edges, which will have shrunk a little from the pan. The apricots will be a little caramelised.
Leave for 10 minutes then cut into slices or squares. Left too long it will be more difficult to cut.
Next day: reheat for a couple of minutes in the oven to make it crunchy again.