Snowy January at Hauser Creek Farm

Snow day at Hauser Creek Farm

Snow day at Hauser Creek Farm

Happy New Year! Barely a week into 2017 and we received about 8 inches of snow overnight. Mornings like these are breath taking! A fresh blanket of powdery snow all over the farm never gets old here in North Carolina. By noon today the sun was out and tonight bitter cold temperatures are moving in. I am grateful for the beautiful snowy scenes and don't mind the slow-down one bit. I took Margaret the chocolate lab for a long walk and did a ton of indoor work including trying out a yummy new lavender dessert. Enjoy the snow if you can and enjoy the tart (recipe below). I hope things are pretty and well wherever you are. Spring is coming.

Chocolate Lavender Tart: Combine 1 1/4 cups half-and-half, 2 tablespoons dried culinary lavender buds, 1 tablespoon sugar, and 2 tablespoons butter in a small saucepan; heat just until mixture comes to a simmer making sure butter is melted. Remove from heat and let stand for at least 30 minutes. Meanwhile, prepare crust. Place 8 graham crackers and 1/2 cup walnuts in food processor; top with cover and process until crumbly. Transfer crumbs to a bowl and add 1 tablespoon sugar and 1/4 cup melted butter, stirring until well mixed. Press crumb mixture evenly in bottom of a 8 x 11-inch rectangular or 9-inch round tart pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes; remove from oven and set aside. Place 12 ounces bittersweet chocolate chips in a large microwave-safe bowl; microwave on high for 2 minutes or until melted, rotating after one minute. Place a thin-mesh strainer over bowl; pour lavender mixture through strainer, pressing lavender buds to extract all the liquid. (Reserve lavender buds for garnish.) Vigorously whisk or beat the chocolate mixture until completely smooth; pour into prepared crust. If desired, garnish with reserved lavender buds. Chill completely before serving.     

    

 

Chocolate Lavender Tart at Hauser Creek Farm

Chocolate Lavender Tart at Hauser Creek Farm

High Summer: Reflections on Lavender Season

Hello, July! Another successful lavender harvest has come and gone. From now through the rest of summer I expect only random stems here and there, depending largely on weather of course. At this stage we have dried bundles available. Please contact me if you're interested. I am frequently asked, " how many stems to a bundle?" The answer is typically 100 to 125. Any more than this and you run the risk of having the stems mildew. However, once dried, the bunches can be combined and easily adjusted in size - the lovely dried bridal bouquet pictured below, for example, contains 300 stems. AND it will last forever as a keepsake. 

Our farm had the privilege of being featured in Carolina Country magazine last month in a finely written article about North Carolina lavender farms. Additionally, Fox 8 News caught up with us in a segment on Roy's Folks. You can find the link here:

http://myfox8.com/2016/06/20/davidson-county-woman-grows-sells-lavender/

Since I am a huge fan of cooking with lavender, I couldn't let the season go by without cranking out a batch of Lavender-Honey Ice Cream, also pictured below. Here's the recipe: In a medium-size saucepan combine 2 cups heavy cream, 1 cup half and half, 2/3 cup honey, and 1 tablespoon dried culinary lavender; place over medium heat until very hot (do not boil). Remove from heat and let stand for 30 minutes to an hour. Strain cream mixture through a fine sieve and discard the lavender. Return the cream to saucepan and place over low heat until mixture is hot. Meanwhile, in a large bowl beat 2 large eggs with a wire whisk until frothy, adding a pinch of kosher salt. Gradually add a small amount (a generous 1 cup) of the hot cream mixture to the beaten eggs, stirring constantly to temper. Then slowly add the egg mixture to the hot cream mixture. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture coats the back of a spoon, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and pour the mixture through a fine sieve a second time. Cover and chill at least 8 hours or overnight before freezing according to manufacturer's instructions.    

Thank you all for your kindness and condolences from my last post. I appreciate every comment, including this special one: "We will laugh and dance again." ~ Psalm 30:11    

 

Reflections on Spring Open Farm Day 2015

Farm Day 2015 051.JPG

I'd say Saturday was a near-perfect farm day. Big HUGE thank you to everyone who visited! This is one of my favorite photos, and I can't help sharing how it happened that Chef Lynn Wells cooked lunch at Saturday's event. Last month I spent 3 days in Charlotte getting continuing education credits for registered dietitians. I had been nervous about signing up for the class because it was during "busy season" at the farm, but it was close enough to home that I could make the drive back and forth each day, and, as a dietitian, I needed the credit-hours. One day during a break in the lectures I stepped outside to get some fresh air and stretch my legs, and as a result I made a new dietitian-friend named Christine from Ontario, Canada. Long story short, Christine suggested I contact her friend and former dietitian, Lynn, who now works as a personal chef in Greensboro, NC (Thyme Well Spent - Personal Chef Service).  Funny how things happen, but in the course of about a week Lynn and I made plans for her to cook at the farm. I love this picture because it portrays Lynn in her element, towel slung over the shoulder, chef's hat, and beautiful decor in the open air. I know some of you didn't get a chance to enjoy Lynn's food, but it was amazing! I look forward to collaborating on future events. Thanks again, EVERYONE!