ONCE UPON A THYME, a lavender rabbit lived all alone in a humble hole dug deep in the ground. He wore the finest tweed jackets and drank the finest drinks with a hint of lavender syrup. Every night, he sat around watching the fire until his eyelids became heavy and he could no longer sit up. Now this would be all very well if the lavender rabbit were a ditzy butterfly or a leisurely snail or any other creature destined for a lifetime of solitude.
But the lavender rabbit was a social beast.
More than anything, he longed for a family.
The lavender rabbit worried his wish was impossible. He had never before belonged to any place or any beast. Not even to his brothers and sisters, who all had ink black fur and red beady eyes and were unlike the lavender rabbit in every way. All that he could do was wander the graveyard and make believe that the names on the headstones were his dearest companions.
One night, the lavender rabbit was out walking when he saw a sudden flash of milk white fur appear from behind a gravestone. He walked over and discovered a small ghost cat, shivering in the cool twilight.
The lavender rabbit stared at the animal. The cat’s eyes glowed green and in an instant, the rabbit’s wild heart beat with a strange and familiar recognition of home. He motioned for the cat to follow him back to his hole.
The trees had gone from green to gaunt many times since the lavender rabbit had hosted a guest. He worried that he no longer knew what to do. But he had a recipe for a special drink and so he made it. The lavender rabbit taught the cat words in his language and then the ghost cat taught him some words in her own. The two animals feasted like kings. They fell asleep watching the fire. In the morning, the ghost cat was gone.
I should never have tried to love a ghost thought the lavender rabbit. There is no point. A ghost just fades into the night.
The lavender rabbit was very sad. That night, he went back to the graveyard. He walked around to the same grave and to his delight, there sitting in the moonlight was the same ghost cat..
The lavender rabbit spoke the words that he remembered and within minutes, the ghost cat followed him back to his hole. Once again, he was scared. He worried that he no longer knew what to do. But he had remembered the delight the ghost cat had when he made the recipe for his special drink and so he made it, again. The lavender rabbit once again taught the ghost cat words in his language and then the ghost cat taught him more words, as well. The two animals feasted like kings. They fell asleep watching the fire and the lavender rabbit felt happy. In the morning, the ghost cat was gone again.
I should never have tried to love a ghost, thought the lavender rabbit. There is no point. as ghosts always fade into the night. .
The lavender rabbit walked around the graveyard looking for the ghost cat, but he was nowhere to be found. The Lavender Rabbit sat on the gravestone and began to cry. As the tears fell down his face, a sparrow flew by and perched on his shoulder.
You must not cry about your love for the ghost cat, said the sparrow in her sweet sparrow language. We are all become lovely memories one day. I leave this forest every winter but I return every spring. All we can ever do is simply give our love as freely and often as we are able.
The lavender rabbit went home and made his delicious drink. Although his heart was broken, he still set out another mug for his friend, ate his dinner, and fell asleep watching the fire.
In the morning, he woke up to the softness of fur.
The ghost cat had returned. She had smelled the special drink and remembered the beautiful words and in an instant, their hearts beat quickly and both the Lavender Rabbit and the ghost cat had a strange and familiar recognition of home. That night, the two animals feasted like kings. They fell asleep by the fire and the lavender rabbit never felt so lonely again.
Note: Relaxing and beautiful, the magical properties of lavender are vast. Like a great drink or a good meal, it has the power to calm, strengthen pure love, and foster connection. In this tale, a lonely lavender bunny finds friendship by constantly living up to his namesake.
2 cups water
3 tablespoons dried lavender
2 cups sugar
Gather all ingredients and bring water and lavender to a boil. Once at a boil add sugar and stir until fully dissolved. Reduce heat and simmer for about 15 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to sit for about one hour. Once cooled strain out lavender and transfer to a bottle. Store in refrigerator and keeps for up to 2 weeks. Enjoy!
Turkey Pot Pie
It seemed appropriate when I decided to make a Turkey Pot Pie with the leftovers from Thanksgiving to post to the Lavender Rabbit story. We live in Munich, Germany and hosted 18 people with the only Americans being my family. For some this was the first time even trying turkey! I made this pie to share with my neighbors for their post Thanksgiving lunch as the Rabbit shared his delicious pot pie with his ghost friend. This pie is adapted from Joy the Baker's Double Crusted Chicken Pot pie, as I have made it for many years now and there is no sense in reinventing the wheel. The only true adaptation is substituting the turkey for the chicken.
For the Crust
2 1/2 cups of all purpose flour
2 sticks of butter
3/4 teaspoon of salt
1/2 cup of butter milk
For the Filling
3 tablespoons of flour
1/3 cup of all purpose flour
1 1/4 cup of broth (chicken, vegetable, turkey whatever you have)
2 oz cream cheese
3/4 of whole milk
salt and pepper to your liking
2 cups cubed turkey (I had a large breast leftover and diced it up)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 small onion
1 garlic clove
1 cup diced carrots
1 cup diced green beans
3/4 cup peas
To make the dough: In a medium bowl mix together the flour and salt. I add butter then use a pastry blender to cut it up and continue until the butter is in small pea sized pieces. After I make a well and add the butter milk. I use my hands, but you can also use a spatula to fold over the flour mixture in the butter milk until a ball begins to form. Once ball is formed I remove from bowl and flatten into a disc then cover with saran wrap and refrigerate until I am ready to use.
Once you have made your dough and it is in the refrigerator begin to make your sauce. Use a medium sized pot and melt the butter. When butter is melted add the flour and use a whisk Lower the heat and slowly add your broth while continuing to whisk until there are no lumps. Next add the milk and cream cheese. Whisk until the cheese is melted. Set aside while making the rest of your filling.
For the vegetables I had leftover green beans uncooked, already roasted carrots and diced up onions and garlic. However, if you don't have leftover precooked carrots I would recommend cooking your veggies a little longer than I did so they are fully cooked. To start add 2 tablespoons of olive oil to your pan. Once hot add onions and garlic. When onions are translucent add the rest of your veggies and saute for about 5-7 minutes. The veggies won't be cooked all the way through, but will finish in the pie. Set aside and add your chopped up turkey. Stir mixture into your sauce and fold over until veggies and turkey are covered.
To assemble your pie cut the dough in half ( you can also do this ahead of time before you refrigerate) roll out half of dough on a floured surface (placing the other half in the fridge) until you have about a 13 inch circle. If your dough begins to stick the butter is softening and you may want to put in freezer to chill for a moment. Once you have your 13 inch circle place in your pie dish with a few inches hanging over the edge. Next, add your filling and place in fridge. Roll out second half of dough until you have another 13 inch circle. Top the filling with the second circle of dough. I used a L'Creuset 9 inch ceramic pie dish so I did not pinch the sides, but rather folded the bottom over the top and sealed. However, if using a traditional pie dish I crimp the edges. Place pie back in fridge and preheat oven to 400 F. Bake for 10 minutes then reduce heat to 375 F for 15 minutes more. Let pie cool for about 10 minutes before cutting. Enjoy!
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