Hello, Friends! Just a quick reminder that Spring Open Farm Day happens THIS Saturday, and I'm very excited to share this last-minute news flash! Chef Lynn Wells of Greensboro, NC will be cooking on site at the farm from 11 to 1 pm. Lynn is a personal chef and owner of Thyme Well Spent - Personal Chef Service, LLC. She'll be preparing an amazing grilled chicken wrap served with Swiss chard from the farm's garden for $5.00. Oh, and there'll be refreshing lavender lemonade for free. Current weather forecast: Mostly sunny and 83. This year's lavender crop looks strong. See you Saturday!
It's about time to say goodbye to lavender for 2014. Only a very few scattered stems here and there but just enough for one bride later this month. Lavender pruning is underway, an annual task that usually takes me from now until Halloween to finish.
We finally got some rain, although not in time to save this year's sunflower crop. Because of this, the Summer Sunflower Social won't be happening this month, however we DO expect to have our Fall Open Farm Day when the weather turns cooler.
I'm super excited to share this recipe for Soft Lavender Tea Cakes which I recently perfected. They are fabulous all by themselves or try filling 2 tea cakes with vanilla ice cream for a lavender sammie.
Soft Lavender Tea Cakes
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup shortening
1 1/4 cups lavender sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 tsp. almond extract
2 1/4 cups non-bleached, non-bromated flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
Additional lavender sugar for dusting (optional)
Combine butter, shortening, and lavender sugar in a mixing bowl; beat until creamy. Add eggs and extracts, beating until combined and scraping sides of bowl once or twice. Stir together flour, baking powder, and salt. Add flour mixture to the mixing bowl and beat until thoroughly combined. Cover and chill dough for at least 1 hour. Shape chilled dough into 1 1/2-inch balls, roll each ball in additional lavender sugar and place 2 inches apart on cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake at 375 degrees for 10 to 12 minutes or until edges are lightly brown; do not overbake. Remove cookies to a wire rack to cool completely. Makes 35 tea cakes.
Hello, November! This has been the busiest fall I can remember with much going on at the farm in preparation for winter and next year. New lavenders have been planted and established lavenders have been pruned. In other areas, the soil has been worked and poppies are planted. And, something new for 2014: peonies. Fifty of those planted with names like 'a la mode,' 'bridal icing,' and 'abalone pearl,' to name just three. Did you know that peonies are capable of producing blooms for over 50 years? I hope my unborn grandchildren like them. Smile.
Over the weekend, our annual Fall Open Farm Day was a big success. We appreciate all who came out to enjoy the farm. It was a stellar weather day with picture-perfect Carolina blue skies. Some of you asked about the tart lavender cider that we served, and I have to confess there's not really a recipe for that. But here's how I made it: To 4 parts pasteurized apple cider add 1 part lavender lemonade. Adjust flavor, adding a splash of fresh lemon juice, if desired, for added tartness. Serve hot.
Wishing all a Happy Thanksgiving!