2015 Fall Open Farm Day is Coming!

Hauser Creek Farm

Hauser Creek Farm

Join us at the farm on Saturday, October 24 starting at 3:00 pm for Farm Day! Here's what we have planned:

3:00 - 5:00 pm

Enjoy the farm on your own. See what's growing and take a walk on the nature trail.

Attention Brides: This is a great time to check out our venue options.

5:00 - 7:00 pm

Farm Potluck

Since October 24 is also national Food Day, we are celebrating with a farm potluck. This year's Food Day theme is "Toward a Greener Diet." Please bring a favorite covered dish to share along with your own plate and fork (in the interest of being green!). Feel free to bring a copy of your recipe, too! We will be serving dishes that feature Swiss chard and kale grown directly from the farm. Beverages provided. We look forward to seeing you! 

August: Naked Lavender Cake and End of the (Lavender) Season

Naked Lavender Cake

We had another great lavender season and truly appreciate all of you for your support and interest! This summer has been exceptionally dry which isn't typically a problem for drought-tolerant lavender, but some of our perennial flowers didn't fare so well. Our farmers market days are finished for the year and we'll soon be gearing up for planting fall cover crops AND more peonies. Have you noticed any signs of fall? I have! Our muscadine grapes are coming and the farm's warm season native grasses are blooming. You probably noticed a problem in the last blog in that the photo(s) were apparently missing. Sorry!! Hopefully by the time you receive the next post, the farm's website and blog will be completely updated with a whole new look!

Those of you who know me know that I like to eat and cook with flowers, especially lavender! Here's a recipe I'm excited to share! I found just enough lavender in our field to make this work. It's quick and easy and I love the naked cake concept. Hope you do, too! Enjoy!


Naked Lavender Cake Recipe

Ingredients

1/2 cup whole milk
2 to 3 stems fresh culinary lavender
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons dried culinary lavender
1 stick butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 large eggs
1 1/4 cups cake flour
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest

Process

Place milk in a glass measuring cup and heat in microwave just until very hot; add fresh lavender stems, completely submerging the stems in the milk. Let stand for 30 minutes or until completely cool. Combine sugar and lavender in a food processor bowl; top with cover, and process for about 60 seconds. Cream butter until light and fluffy; add lavender sugar and vanilla extract and beat until well combined, scraping sides of bowl occasionally. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each. Sift together cake flour, salt, and baking powder in a small bowl; add flour mixture alternately with milk (remove and discard the lavender stems) and beat until well combined. Stir in lemon zest.

Butter an 8-inch round cake pan and line pan with wax paper. Pour batter into prepared pan and bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 40 to 45 minutes or until cake tests done. Remove cake from oven; let stand on cooling rack for 5 minutes before removing from pan. Cool completely. To serve, garnish with fresh lavender stems or other assorted edible flowers.

For even more blog posts about food, including additional recipes, as well as photos related to food and recipes, visit this page!

August: Soft Lavender Tea Cakes

Lavender Sammie

Lavender Sammie

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
2 eggs
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.