Hauser Creek Farm in Full Flower

Hauser Creek Farm in Full Flower

Hauser Creek Farm in Full Flower

With an abundance of flowers in the field, we welcomed visitors to the farm on June 3. We were up at dawn that day picking flowers for mixed bouquets. As you can tell in the photo, my beloved lavender crop has been twiddled down - a deliberate move because of my swelling interest in other flowers and prolonging the growing season. After Bob Segal's death in 2016 I determined to color my world in flowers this year in his memory. The wildflower patch has been a delight to people and pollinators alike. And songbirds! Oh my goodness, the finches are going bonkers right now. Makes me smile every time I drive up our road.

With lavender harvest already winding down, I took time over the weekend to make a batch of lemonade, long a summer staple. Lemons and lavender go together beautifully and fortunately it doesn't take much lavender. Just be sure to use a culinary lavender and brush the stems off to remove any insects or bugs. Thanks again to those who came out to the farm and to everyone for your continued interest in the farm. 

      

Lavender lemonade at Hauser Creek Farm

Lavender lemonade at Hauser Creek Farm

Lavender Lemonade: Combine 3/4 cup sugar, 2 cups water, and 5 or 6 stems fresh lavender in a saucepan; bring to a simmer and heat just until sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat and let stand for at least 1 hour to infuse.  Once infused, strain lavender mixture into a pitcher, discarding lavender stems. Stir in 3/4 cup freshly-squeezed lemon juice and 1/2 to 1 cup water to taste. Serve chilled over ice and garnish with fresh lavender and lemon slices. Optional: For boozy lemonade, add a splash of gin. Enjoy! 

   

 

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