Musical pairing – Days Like This by Over The Rhine

I wouldn’t call myself the most spontaneous of people. I tend to plan more than I act on impulse, I (generally…) finish my schoolwork on time, and often I find the idea of “playing it by ear” more stressful than relaxing. So I’m not precisely sure how I found myself sitting in a chair at my friend’s house a few weekends ago while she applied purple dye to a strip of my hair.

Perhaps it was a response to the stresses of schoolwork, perhaps it was an expression of youthful rebellion, but in the end I like to think that the idea of purple hair dye arose more from a desire to inject a little color into my life. Between the omnipresent gray skies and the numbing sound of the falling rain (not to mention a nasty bout of the flu) I’d been starting to understand all too well where the phrase “under the weather” came from. So why not dye a bit of my hair a nice shade of lavender?

But hair-dyeing can be an exhausting business without a little sustenance, not to mention the fact that I think college kids live in a state of constant hunger anyway. Furthermore, my friend has a kitchen and—let’s be frank—the sight of pots, pans, and a stove is way more exciting to me, after months of dorm-life, than purple hair.

So as the dye set, we made pudding. A simple dish, but also a surprisingly luxurious one. Something about the lush swoosh of milk and butter as they’re stirred in the saucepan, not to mention the alchemy of the mixture’s slow thickening, conspires to make the seven-ingredient dish feel like one fit for royalty.

And then there was the lavender. The color already seemed to be the theme of the day, so when my friend presented a bottle of lavender extract it just seemed too good an opportunity to pass up. We added a few drops each of lavender, rose, and vanilla extract to the silky mixture, divided it into teacups, and let it chill in the refrigerator while we washed out the hair dye. Half an hour later and a purple stripe the more colorful, we settled down to a cool cupful of pudding each. Between the smooth consistency and the delicate flavor of the extracts, it felt like the most elegant snack we’d ever had, and the perfect addition to the slate of spontaneous, lavender-tinted activities that made it a true college weekend to remember.

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  1. Lovely! Will look for lavender extract. Or maybe concoct some from my lavender plant.

  2. Pingback: Half Dozen Lavender

  3. I think a purple strip sounds like a fun piece of flair! This pudding looks fantastic too. Yum!

  4. Lovely post. You showed the pudding, now I want to see the hair!

  5. I tried dyeing my hair purple – but my hair is so dark that it did not take.
    The lavender pudding sounds delicious….

  6. I’m allergic to lavender but I love the other ingredients and the texture of this pudding. Will try it soon with a different flavor.


  7. Just as I was wondering what to do with the lavendar I have in the pantry, I found this recipe. The pudding looks so smooth and inviting. I am going to make it this weekend.

  8. What a wonderful pudding!

  9. An interesting post title, to be sure! 🙂
    Hope you like your new streak as well as this delicious pudding!

  10. Love this post. Will definitely have to try the pudding. I saw the purple stripe in person, Avery definitely can pull off the look very well.

  11. I love lavender… this sounds beautiful!

  12. Ah, Debra, Debra, Debra. Critique from the Queen (hand waving, Thank you, Thank you) this is a perfectly written, stunning post. Everything about it is wonderful. Gorgeous I am awash in emotion. *hug* Simple, elegant, soothing like the pudding. With a dash of lavender…

  13. MMmmm I think I can smell it…do you have smellovision on your blog? :>O YUM!

  14. Love the pudding. It sounds so delicious and I have some lavender here that I have been wondering what to do with. As for the hair-dying, you are not alone in the purple hair department. When I was in college I went through every shade of red I could possibly find, not to mention the crazy haircuts. I loved it. Maybe I should go hair color shopping today. You have inspired me.

  15. Your writing is soothing and simply brilliant. Of course I do want to see a picture of the purple hair. The flavor of lavender is something I have grown to appreciate over the years and this pudding seems to be calling me!

  16. I was wondering how you were going to put lavender pudding and hair dye together. Before I read the post I had thoughts of a purple head. I’m so glad that the lavender was only ingested. I’m trying, without success, to grow lavender in our garden. I think it is just the wrong climate but I do love the essence and it is lovely with cream.

  17. Smile. I love hearing your beautiful voice! I want to see a picture of your hair…as everyone has already mentioned, and I want to try making these pudding cups. They sound just about perfect right now. Thanks for sharing, sweet girl!

  18. And again Avery gives us a beautifully written post. And, to top off the beautiful writing, we are rewarded with a delicious recipe! Sounds perfectly dreamy.

  19. I’ve always appreciated the calming effect that lavender has, it’s scent reminds me of the south of France. I’ve never seen lavender extract before, I’ll have to see whether I can find it near me, now that you have me curious.

  20. Avery, your writing is beautiful, again! I know that your posts are going to be highlights of my days (not that I don’t like to read your writing, Debra, it is just taken for granted, as so many good things in life:)
    I’ve used rose petal extract (my mom makes the best rose petal preserves from her wild rose bush), but never lavender, even though just a hint of its smell can take me to a secluded beach on the Adriatic:)
    Pudding looks so inviting and comforting, even with our California sunshine (it’s still cold!)
    I have to agree with the majority here – give us a close-up of your lavender lock!
    (You remind me somewhat of my College Kritter – she had lavender, hot pink and blue in her hair at different times, and only several really thin strands:)

  21. As I’ve grown (and matured), I’ve learned to really appreciate the power of lavender… how soothing it can be. And in pudding… well, I’m relaxed just thinking about it.

  22. Love the pudding idea with floral essence. But if there’s no picture of the matching lavender hair, it didn’t happen. Post those pics!

  23. Thanks for the comments everyone! I’ll post a picture of my hair as soon as I can take a decent shot!

    Sofya– I’ll ask my friend where she got her extracts! They were so delicious.

  24. The pudding is just fine and dandy, but where is the photo of the hair?! Come on…you need to share!

  25. I’ve long been such a big fan of lavender…both the color and the scent but only recently have started trying it in foods and I love it. I now have half a dozen lavender plants in my garden so there is sure to be more experimentation and I’m betting this mix was perfect.

    My only disappointment with this post…come on Avery, where is a picture of the hair. No fair! 🙂

  26. Lavender pudding would brighten my day! I would love to see a picture of the hair. 😉

  27. I have got to try this! The pudding that is, not the purple hair! 🙂

  28. The pudding both looks and sounds sensational! But, Debra, I’m dying (ha!) to see your new purple do too. No photo of that?

  29. Oh, I love lavender flavored food so I bet this pudding is amazing! Its been way too many years since I had a strip of unusual color in my hair.

  30. Just beautiful! I need to track down some lavender extract-I’ve never seen it! I’d have loved to have seem your lavender hair, too. 😉 I had dark burgundy and fuschia hair in high school. That was fun!

  31. There’s something so satisfying about making your own pudding. Aimee actually gifted me a tin of lavender that I’ve been sitting on. Pudding may be the thing that brings it out for the first time.

  32. Ooo, I love this! I’ve recently been using lavender in cooking too, only I’ve never seen an extract and bought dry flowers which I’d use to infuse one of the cooking liquids for what I did make with them. I especially like the rose extract addition – I’ve never seen that either. Where do you buy this stuff?

  33. I’m no longer a college kid (at the ripe age of 31), but I too have been wanting to inject a little color into my life. Been toying with the idea of adding a strip of hot pink to my hair for nearly a year. Are you loving it? If you are, it may just give me the push to go for it. I love the idea of lavender pudding – it sounds very English, actually. In England I used to get a lavender, rose petal, and vanilla tea from a company called Whittard’s. It is divine!

  34. Good Morning

    My daughter just did the exact same thing, low lites in lavender but I must talk to my girl because I never got the lavender pudding! This looks amazing – I have yet to try any dessert with lavender – must give it a go soon, sounds divine. You must share a pic of your new “do” Avery.

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