Turkey Creek Lavender

Turkey Creek Lavender

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

My Favorite Pie: Aunt Lolita's Buttermilk Pie, Perfect for the 4th of July

Sorry folks, we ate all but one piece before I could snap a picture!

I'll admit it. As a child I ran from things containing buttermilk. I just assumed they would be...well...yucky. Perhaps because I'd seen my grandad eat cornbread crumbled in buttermilk out of a glass. (And no, I have never tried it, and never will, so don't ask.) Somewhere in my teenage years all that changed when I took a bite of my Aunt Lolita's Buttermilk Pie at a family reunion. Good lord...how could anything containing buttermilk taste so good!?! It quickly became my favorite pie. And I do like pretty much all pie. It's easy. It's delicious. And I even cheat on the crust by using a ready-made Pillsbury pie crust. I've probably made hundreds of these over the years. It's just a great go-to for company. And it's also great with sliced strawberries, or blueberries, or raspberries, or lavender-infused strawberry, or blueberry, or raspberry chunky syrup drizzled over the top. Perfect colors for the 4th of July. But best of all, whenever I make this pie, like so many of the family recipes I treasure, I remember the person who first shared it with me. And that would be my sweet Aunt Lolita (Cope) Wiley. (Those of you from Leavenworth High School will remember her as Mrs.Wiley from the counselor's office.) Thanks, Aunt Lolita!

Aunt Lolita's Buttermilk Pie
1 stick of margarine, melted
2 cups sugar
3 eggs
1/3 cup flour
3/4 cup buttermilk
1 t vanilla
1 unbaked pie shell

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Mix all ingredients with a hand mixer until well blended (or simply stir until well blended, which is what I do). Pour into the unbaked pie shell. Bake 35-40 minutes. Cool before serving. Can be stored at room temperature or in the fridge.
Note: The middle might be a little jiggly, but it will set up.

Yummmmmeeeeee! Enjoy!


Tuesday, June 29, 2010

TCL Good Times at the Lavender Festival!

A great big thank you to everyone who came out to the lavender festival at Lavender Valley Acres, and to Jag and Linda Sodhi for putting it on. Food, fun, and new friends...a truly fabulous day! And a big thank you to my oldest son, Nathan, for helping me get ready the night before, and sticking it out all day in the heat. Thank you son, I couldn't have done it without you!

Despite the heat, you can see there is a long line of cars parked along the road leading to the festival. 
There were some wonderful belly dancers all day long, and some great music, and...
...colorful peacocks that put on a continuous show.

Thanks to everyone for stopping by my booth. As you know, I love to talk about lavender...cooking with lavender...growing lavender...therapeutic properties of lavender...all of it!! I enjoyed getting to visit with each and every one of you. It was such fun! I hope you become a follower here on the TCL blog so you don't miss out on the news and happenings around the farm. There's always something going on! And I look forward to seeing you all at the Lawton Farmer's Market.

Until next time,

Great Idea for 4th of July: Scrummy S'Mores Buffet Bar!

Don't you just love the word "scrummy?!" Yummy and scrumptious all mixed up! Sort of like S'Mores. As you can see from the sidebar, I follow several blogs, but one of my favorites is a foodie blog from England, aptly named "The English Kitchen." Marie always makes the most scrummy recipes (also one of her favorite words!). I just wish I had the time to make, and consume, all of the wonderful things she posts.

Todays post is not from her blog, but I wanted to share her link, and the scrummy word scrummy! This idea came from my sweet sister-in-law Michelle when they were visiting a few years ago, which I think was from one of her neighbors. It's just a really wonderful idea, and so fun.

I've never been especially fond of S'More's. But my kids all love them. We even keep the fixings around for a rainy day, or in the winter, when we need a reminder that warm weather will be here again despite freezing temps.  So here we are in the throes of S'More season. And what better weekend than 4th of July to trot out a S'More's Bar. The beauty of this, and you all know how I like adaptable things, is that it can be elegant or casual, kid friendly, or adult oriented. You can set the bar up in silver dishes, or in baskets, depending on your get together.

It's so easy, and you're only limited by your imagination, and your taste, but there should be a flavor combination to please everyone. Here you can see a variety of chocolates, and yes, we have tried them all in many different combo's...
...and a variety of marshmallows, and graham crackers. Here you see plain, strawberry, and coconut marshmallows, and cinnamon and plain graham crackers. You can order the fancy schmancy graham crackers online that have the scalloped edges, and the handmade marshmallows in exotic flavors, but my crew doesn't get that fancy. These are all Kraft marshmallows, and Keebler graham crackers. We do, however, indulge in the wonderfully diverse chocolates available, like chocolate mint, chocolate hazlenut, or caramel or raspberry filled, and both the white and dark chocolate. And you can have nuts or colored sprinkles on hand to roll the sides of the melted marshmallows in after they are all deliciously melty on a stick and get squished between your graham crackers. I favor pecans, but peanuts and walnuts would be good to.

My favorites this summer are dark chocolate, with strawberry marshmallows, and sliced fresh strawberries. Soooo delicious!
My second favorite this summer is dark chocolate with coconut marshmallows and sliced bananas. So tropical! 
So have fun with it. It's guaranteed to delight all of the S'More's lovers. I mean, how fun is this!! S'More's in every combination imaginable!

Now I'm off for a midnight snack. You guessed it...S'More's! So scrummy! Did I mention we also make them in the microwave? Just 10-15 seconds and they're ready. You don't even need a fire!

Have fun!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Cooking with Lavender: Lavender Egg Salad

Good morning everyone.  Today we're going to chat about cooking with lavender again. From our conversations at the farmer's market, it's clear that many of you have never tried to cook with it, and, in fact, didn't know you could cook with lavender. Some of you bake with lavender, and some of you enjoy a good-for-you cup of lavender tea, but you're really missing out if you don't make it part of your culinary repertoire.

One of the keys to cooking with lavender is to ere on the side of less, especially if you are not following a specific recipe. It can be overpowering, and thus turn you off using lavender in your cooking. So start out with a small amount, even if a recipe calls for a tablespoon, add 1/2  tablespoon, then add more if you want more flavor. The other key to cooking with lavender is the type of lavender you use. The English lavenders are much milder and sweeter, while the Provence, which is what I raise, has a slightly stronger flavor because it has a little higher camphor content. So when I am baking with Provence, I scale back the amount a little bit. Also, fresh lavender blossoms are milder tasting than dried, which is about 3 times as strong. Roughly chopping your lavender releases some of the oils, also affecting the flavor, as does grinding.

The beauty of lavender is that it can be used in sweet, or in savory. So, you can make lavender sugar, or lavender salt and pepper. You can add it to your sugar cookies, or you can rub it on your salmon. Pretty cool, huh?

Today we're making Lavender Egg Salad. Egg salad came up in conversation at the farmer's market on Wednesday when we were discussing the virtues of the wonderful organic eggs. I know I've said this before, but the yolks are a beautiful, dark golden color, and so much richer in flavor. But before we get to the recipe, I briefly want to mention the ins and outs of boiling the perfect egg. You probably already know this method, but it comes as news to some that you don't have to boil the egg to death to cook it perfectly. Place your eggs in a pan of cold water, cover by about an inch, bring to a boil, boil for a minute or so, take off the heat, cover, and let sit for 10-12 minutes. Drain off the hot water, add cold tap water and let cool. If you have trouble peeling your egg, peel it under cold running water. I don't know why this works, but it does. Guess it gives the egg an extra chill so it releases the shell.

Lavender Egg Salad
5 hard boiled eggs, smashed, or finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon curry
1 1/2 teaspoon dried culinary lavender buds
1/3 cup mayaonaise, or to taste (I use Miracle Whip)
Combine all of the ingredients, mixing well. You can refrigerate overnight to blend the flavors, or eat right away. I usually eat right away on (and do not gasp!) white bread. I also like egg salad on crackers and toasted bread. And plain. I'll eat it plain, too.

One final tip, and this is from my Nana. When she smashed her eggs for egg salad she always did it on wax paper on a flat surface to really get the smash, then just dumped the smashed eggs easily into a bowl. That's how I do it, too.

Thanks to everyone who stopped by the stand to chat about lavender, and soap. I'm so glad some of you tried the linen spray! I love getting to visit with everyone! Looking forward to next Saturday!

The puppies are doing wonderful, trying to get up on all fours, but their eyes are still closed. And yes, I'm still smelling their puppy breath!

Have a great day!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

This One's For the Dogs! Lavender and Labs: Heaven at Turkey Creek Farm

First there was Beau. This picture is so typically Beau. He's happy all the time. It always looks like he's smiling, and he has the most eager to please nature. But he's happiest when he's retrieving something...
...footballs, practice dummies, golf balls, ducks...
Then Molly entered the picture...
...and life was never the same for Beau.
Molly is a chocolate pointing lab. She has a strong pointing instinct, plus a strong retriever instinct...the best of both worlds for us, since we duck hunt, and upland bird hunt. Plus, who could help but love this little face... 
And she's the best companion in the world, so sweet and loving. I not only love hunting with her, I love just being with her. (Yes, I'm in love with my dog. Do you have a problem with that?!!)

But I am also in love with this little guy...
...and this little girl....
...and all eight of these precious little chocolate lab puppies that were born on May 30, 2010, with Beau and Molly as the proud parents.
Molly is such a good mommy. They have grown so much in just a week. Their eyes are still shut, and of course they can't hear yet, but they are trying to stand on all four feet. They just sort of wobble back and forth, then give up and crawl. So adorable! I love their little noses...
...and their little feet...
...and all of their little baby puppy yumminess...
...and their little Yoda ears!
You're gonna want one! But there's only eight...
...so if you're interested in having a beautiful chocolate puppy, half Molly, half Beau, they'll be ready for new homes by mid-July.

Oh, I almost forgot...the lavender part of this post. The heat has brought the bloom time on full force so I've been taking fresh bundles to the farmer's market. If you purchase a beautiful, fragrant, fresh bundle of lavender, when you get it home cut the stems, and place in cool water, then trim the stems each day and change the water. Very key to making your bundle last....change the water every day.

I've enjoyed every second visiting with each of you at the Lawton Farmer's Market. It's such fun to share ideas with other foodies, especially about cooking with lavender.

Have a wonderful day. I have to go play with the puppies now! And cut lavender! Cathy


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