It was a gathering of nature lovers, gardeners, Ukrainians, scientists, students, family, and friends — people who I knew, and some who I didn't.
On March 2, I launched Planted: Stories From Manitoba's Natural World at McNally Robinson Booksellers. I can't thank you all enough for supporting me during the writing process, purchasing my book, and coming to the launch.
More people than I could have imagined came to the launch — about 130, leaving standing room only.
There was a seed swap at the start of the launch, and for those who didn't bring in seeds to exchange, there were still plenty to take home, thanks to Ducks Unlimited Canada's Native Plant Solutions who donated seeds. Also, for the door prize, FortWhyte Alive donated a one-year family pass. Thanks to both organizations for their support.
Thanks to you, whether you came to the launch or not, I made it to #1 on McNally's bestsellers list in the paperback nonfiction category. And I sold out of my books, so stay tuned for when the next batch is ready (which should be at the beginning of April). Feel free to order your copy through the Purchase tab on this website to guarantee a book.
Many people helped me with the launch, so thank you all for baking, brewing, decorating, and everything else that made the night what it was. My friend, Maddy Lapointe (in the final photo below), took some photos at the launch (and helped me lots with launch prep). Have a look in the gallery below (click the right/left sides of the photo to scroll forward/back). And at the end of this post, you'll find the recipe for the lavender sugar cookies my sister made. Many people asked for the recipe, so I figured I'd share it!
Lavender Frosted Old-Fashioned
3 c. flour
1 c. granulated sugar
1 ½ tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. salt
1 c. butter, soft
1 egg, slightly beaten
3 tbsp. cream (or more)
1 tsp. vanilla
Cream butter and sugar. Add egg and vanilla. Add all other ingredients and combine — add more cream if it seems too dry. No need to chill, just roll out ¼ inch on a floured surface and use a cookie cutter to shape.
Bake at 400° F for 5 to 8 minutes until they are looking just done — less shiny but not golden.
When cookies have cooled, ice with lavender frosting.
⅓ c. butter
1 c. icing sugar
Cream (enough to bring to desirable consistency)
Just a few drops (2 to 3) of quality 100% lavender oil (enough to "scent" it but not overpower).
These also taste great with a bit of finely grated pink grapefruit rind on top.
*My sister had this written in her recipe book. It's modified from one that likely appeared in a book or magazine, but we searched and searched and can't figure out which one.
Feel free to subscribe to the blog so you don't miss a post. (The blog sign up form is directly below.) I plan to eventually post weekly, but for now it will be every couple weeks until the summer. You can also sign up for the Planted monthly newsletter where you'll find nature events around the city, a recap of what's been on the blog, information about what I'm foraging when, and some insight to how Planted came to be, including photos of sites featured in the book. (Scroll to the very bottom for the newsletter sign up form.)