June: Lavender, Cherries, and Summertime

Lavender and Larkspur Bridal Bouquet, June 2018

Lavender and Larkspur Bridal Bouquet, June 2018

Hello, June! Thank you to everyone who came out to the farm to purchase peonies last month. I appreciate all of you! We had a ton of rain in May and it was a chilly spring in general which put a lot of spring blooms behind schedule but the peonies were perfectly timed this year for Mother's Day. The farm received a lovely mention in this month's issue of Winston Salem Monthly magazine. You can read the article here.

Peonies at Hauser Creek Farm, May 2018

Peonies at Hauser Creek Farm, May 2018

Cherries are in! I have not been lucky enough to have my own tree full of cherries (yet!) so I made a trip to Levering Orchard this week and discovered a bumper crop. If you've never been there it's definitely a pleasant adventure - located in Cana, Virginia. The following recipe for Bourbon Infused Sweet Cherry Galette is one of my favorites, and once you get the cherries pitted it's quite easy to throw together. Its especially wonderful served with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

Make the pastry: Stir together 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, 1 teaspoon brown sugar, and 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt. Add 1 stick butter (cut into cubes) and work together with your fingers until mostly combined. Add 2 to 3 tablespoons cold water, stirring with a fork or rubber spatula, until the dough comes together. Form into a disk, wrap in plastic wrap, and chill for about 1 hour.

Meanwhile, make the cherry filling: In a saucepan combine 2 cups pitted fresh cherries, 1/4 cup brown sugar, 2 tablespoons bourbon, 1 teaspoon lemon zest, 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract, 2 tablespoons cornstarch, and a pinch of salt. Place over medium-high heat and bring just to a simmer, stirring constantly until slightly thickened. Remove from heat and stir in 1 tablespoon butter.

To assemble: Place parchment paper on a baking sheet. Roll out dough on top of parchment paper into a circle about 1/8 inch thick. Spoon cherry filling in the center of dough leaving about 1 inch around edges. Gently fold the edges of dough up. At this point, I like to brush the edges of the pastry with an egg wash but this step is optional. Sprinkle with turbinado sugar. Bake in a preheated 425 degree oven for 10 minutes, then reduce heat to 375 and bake until the crust is golden, about 45 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.

 

Bourbon-Infused Sweet Cherry Galette

Bourbon-Infused Sweet Cherry Galette

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    

 

Countdown to Spring Open Farm Day and Lavender Season

peony bouquet at Hauser Creek Farm

Yesterday, I noticed we've about reached purple haze time at the farm when there's an obvious purple cast over the lavender field, but for now we're celebrating PEONIES! They have been gorgeous and abundant and I'm in love with them, already making plans to add more of these beauties later this winter.  There's been lots of activity this month both on and off the farm, and Spring Open Farm Day is two weeks from Saturday! Rain or shine. Some have asked if this is an invitation-only event and the answer is no. We'll be open to the general public, 9 am to 5 pm. Fingers crossed for comfortable temps and a pleasant breeze. If you plan on cutting your own lavender it'd be a good idea to bring your own clippers. See you soon!