Scented Things from the Garden

Surprisingly, my lavender plants survived the winter. They seemed to suddenly turn green with a flush of new leaves after looking gray and completely dried out for months. What a tough little plant! Now it's sending out these lovely scented purple flowers.


In my little pot of herbs outside I'm trying out lemon verbena for the first time. The leaves have a very sweet lemon scent. Tried it as a tea, but the hot water seems to destroy some of the fragrance.

Lemon Verbena Tea

Peonies are possibly my most favourite scented flower - I could smell their sweet, delicate fragrance forever. These ones are from my mother-in-law, who saved the last blooms from her herbaceous peony plants for me.


Noodle-y Salad

When it's really hot and humid, I sometimes lose my appetite for rice. On those days, I like to make "noodle-y salads" - cold noodles + fresh vegetables + dressing/sauce.

Spicy cold noodle salad

A Korean version, with a spring onion, chives, carrot, tomato, cucumber, a spicy sauce and 냉면 (naeng myun - chewy noodles made with potato starch, sweet potato starch and buckwheat).

Cold Soba Noodles

Another way: soba (buckwheat) noodles, cucumber, bell pepper, spring onion, carrots and peanut sauce.

I just use whatever veggies I have and if I'm feeling fancy, I'll add chicken or shrimp. In any case, it's a perfect meal for hot summer days.