Turkey Creek Lavender

Turkey Creek Lavender

Friday, June 24, 2011

Of Cats and Cream

Before a cat will condescend
To treat you as a trusted friend,
Some little token of esteem
Is needed, like a dish of cream.
                                    T.S Eliot

On a visit to my friend Eva's farm where I pick up goats milk for my goats milk soaps I arrived right at milking time. I was delighted by the spectacle of this darling little furry kitty helping herself to some of the goats milk cream.








She waited patiently while Eva milked, then, as each bottle was put in the crate, she had a little sample.





 
 
 
 
 
 
  
 
  

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
This process was repeated over and over. Dipping...





...licking...
 
 
 
 
  ...until she was finally replete.
     
 
Oh, the life of a farm cat!
 
I can't wait to share more pictures of Eva and her beautiful goats. They were so sweet I was almost tempted to break down and get the goats I keep talking about. Almost, but not quite!
 
Instead, I will have a lovely assortment of goats milk soaps to share with you at the market as soon as they are done curing! 

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Do You Like Your Arnold Palmer Clean or Dirty? Add Some Lavender and, Voila! A Lavender Arnold Palmer!

It is hot, hot, hot here in Oklahoma! Too hot for man or beast! Beastly hot! Okay, I'll stop. But...one more time: dang, it's hot! 

Now that I've got that off my chest...we had the Lawton Farmer's Market this morning. As usual, there was a line for the fresh, Oklahoma home-grown tomatoes. If you want tomatoes you have to get there and get in line by 7:30.











Some lovely produce...

















...and happy, smiling faces of our vendors...

















...and customers. (As you can see, Sylvia very sweetly posed in front of my lavender booth in her lavender!)






















I got a great idea today from a customer as we were discussing culinary lavender. She was recently served an Arnold Palmer, which is half lemonade and half tea, but it had lavender in it! Sounds yummy, doesn't it?  Remember this post where I talked about making lavender syrup and using it in all types of beverages? So now you can make a Lavender Arnold Palmer! And if you bought the Lavender Monin Syrup from me at one of the shows or festivals, here's yet another delightful use.






















But here's one better. How about a Dirty Lavender Arnold Palmer?!






















Just substitute Burnett's Sweet Tea Vodka for the tea, add a few lavender blossoms, a lavender stir stick for garnish, and a squeeze of fresh lemon. It is so goood! (Note: I don't use the Burnett's at a 50/50 ratio cause it's too strong for me. I make my lemonade, add the lavender syrup, and a splash (or 4!) of the Burnett's. Obviously it's to taste!)

















I'm enjoying mine right now! Your choice...Virgin Lavender Arnold Palmer or Dirty Lavender Arnold Palmer! Might be more elegant in a pretty glass. But sometimes a girl just needs a canning jar!
Thanks to everyone for stopping by the market today, as always, love visiting with you!

Wishing you a wonderful, lavender filled weekend!
Cathy

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Beautiful Art Glass Hummingbird Feeder by Robbins Ranch

Do you like to add a little art, a little class, a little sass to your garden? I found this recently at the Lawton Arts for All Festival. I loved the gorgeous shades of purple and lavender. (Naturally!) And I just knew it would look beautiful in my predominantly purple hued flower bed.
 Karen and Dana Robbins of Robbins Ranch, from Moriarty, New Mexico put so much attention to detail, and artistic flair, into each piece of their awesome work. I almost went home with a bottle stopper and a ring holder. Uh, and a paper weight. And I love their wine chillers. Really I loved everything they made. And Karen and Dana are friendly and love visiting about their work, and their life in New Mexico, their art, their glass blowing schedule.




















I thought the feeder looked particularly cool with the artistic stepping stone my lovely daughter created. (I'd like a few more of those please! Hint! Hint!) Karen and Dana do quite a few shows in the Oklahoma, New Mexico, Colorado area so check their show schedule at their website. They may be coming your way.

The solution for the feeder? 4 parts water to 1 part sugar; stir until sugar dissolves and bring to a boil for 1-2 minutes. Cool in the pan, then refrigerate to cool completely. Fill the feeder completely to the top and overflow it slightly, then add the stopper to create the suction. The red tip attracts the hummingbirds, of which I will have to stalk for a picture as they flit in and out rather quickly.

Hope you have a great day!
Cathy

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Well Good Morning Mr. Tarantula!

If you've been reading this blog for awhile you know we have our share of critters who visit the farm. The neighbor's horses, the other neighbor's mini ponies, another neighbor's cattle, coyotes, bobcats, snakes and yes, plenty of spiders, including black widows and brown recluse. Occasionally we have these creep around...
















I don't bother them and they don't bother me. This one just took me by surprise early in the morning creeping across the patio.
video
When it gets really hot, like the blistering 100+ degree days we are having right now, I sometimes see them scurrying across the asphalt roads going goodness knows where. I wonder why they don't stay in the cool grass in the shade. 
 
It wasn't long before this guy had scurried through the fence and was off towards the woods. Even though they're fascinating to watch, I was happy to say good bye (and good riddance) to Mr. Tarantula!

Friday, June 10, 2011

Make Lavender Wands with Fresh Lavender














Tomorrow I will have fresh bundles of lavender at the Lawton Farmer's Market. There are several things you can do with a fresh bundle. You can enjoy it fresh. Simple enough. Just cut the stems when you get home and change the water every day and they should last about 5 days before the buds begin to shatter. Collect up the shattered buds and put them in a sachet, or simply in a bowl, like the Victorians did for an easy room freshener. They would just turn them every day to keep the fragrance fresh.

















You can dry the bundle by hanging it upside down, or standing it right side up in a vase. Depends on the look you want for your dried stems. You can even lay it down and it will dry.













The lavender blossoms are edible, so you can use them in salads, slaw, potato salad, on desserts, in drinks, to freeze in ice cubes and so on. They add a lovely and distinctive taste.

And lastly, if you've ever wanted to try to make a Lavender Wand, here's your chance. They keep for years and make lovely little gifts.













The wands can only be made with the pliable, fresh lavender stems. Here's a pretty good tutorial for wands and bottles. And this one from Essential Herbal is good, too. We did this as an activity last year when the Dahlia Garden Club came for a visit, which you can see here, as well as how I used the fresh blossoms to garnish Gooey Butter Cake and a delicious recipe for Lavender Mixed Berry Sorbet.

Just thought I'd throw this out there for those of you coming to the market tomorrow! See you there!
Cathy

Newest Soap for Saturday: Chocolate Covered Orange! Oh Yeah! Now You Can Take a Bath in Chocolate!

Do you love these?

















Or these?
















Then you're gonna love these!
















Smells just like chocolate covered orange! Because that's what it is! All layered up. A layer of orange topped with a big layer of chocolate. Our soaps are all natural, nothing synthetic, no artificial colorants. The chocolate is actually cocoa and the orange color is from a little paprika. Of course there is lavender essential oil, there always is, plus orange and bergamot to add that lucious smell. And cocoa...well it smells like chocolate!

Also back tomorrow...Oh, Bug Off! I expect some constructive feedback from everyone who is trying this soap. I know it works for me, but does it work for you? We're all created differently, after all.

I have 80 bars of Lavender Lemongrass for those of you who are making a donation to the food bank. And I want to give them all away. Remember it has to be a 28 ounce or larger jar of peanut butter AND a jar of jelly to get the free soap! If we give them all away you will receive a voucher for the following Saturday, June 18. Turkey Creek Lavender and the Lawton Food Bank thank you!

See you at the market!
Cathy : )

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Attention all Chefs! Put This on Your Menu: Garlic Scape Pesto Sandwich! Incredible!
















This picture does not do this sandwich justice! Remember the Garlic Scape Pesto recipe I shared with you? Well, as I suspected, it made an absolutely awesome sandwich spread. A little ham, a little mozzarella, on a little foccacia, plus a little heat to make the cheese all melty....simply divine! If I had a panini press it would have sent this over the top! I do hope, wherever you are, you can get your hands on some garlic scapes and try this!

And now out in the heat of hades again to cut lavender. Well, someone's got to do it! Hope to see you tomorrow at the Lawton Farmer's Market!

: ) Cathy

Just a Quick Note About Where I'll Be This Weekend

Good morning everyone!

I just have a quick blog post this morning. Last year I did the festival in Apache, but I wanted to let you all know I will not be there this year. By the time I signed up they were pretty full, so I will be at the Lawton Farmer's Market on south Sheridan in front of the Great Plains Coliseum from 7:30-Noon.

The Lavender is starting to really come on strong and I will have fresh bundles.
















Plus all the lavender soaps, and an assortment of lavender products.  You just never know what I will bring. Such a happy surprise!

I have been defoliating the dried field bundles from last year.






















If you bought bundles last year and want to de-bud them, it's an easy process. I just put the top in a plastic zip loc bag and roll gently back and forth. The buds fall off easily and I pick out the leaves and stem pieces, and voila! You can stuff a sachet, make potpourri, put in a bowl by your bed...so many things you can do!















Once they are defoliated, don't throw away the leftover dried stalks. There's still lots of fragrant oil left in them. I have sold them to people who make their own incense. They form it on the dried lavender stalk. But you can also just light one end and let it send off a fragrant smoke. Toss in your fire pit, soak and use on your grill, under your meats, in you smoker. The whole plant is useful!

















See you Saturday!
All the best,
Cathy

Garlic Scape Pesto Makes a Delightfully Light Summer Meal

I had to take a little trip up to Norman, OK today. I was so tired, and so hot, by the time I got home this evening I didn't have the heart, or energy, to cook much. Earlier in the week I picked the last of the garlic scapes.
















What are garlic scapes? Well, I'm glad you asked. Last year I purchased some Chesnock Red Garlic from Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds and it's almost ready to harvest. It is a nice hard neck garlic, and will be good for drying. About a month before it is time to harvest the garlic bulbs, the plant sends up a shoot in the center that curls and whurls and has a flower head at the end. The idea is to cut the scape off so that the bulb continues to grow. My understanding is that if you do not cut off the scape, the bulb stops growing. This is my first time growing garlic, so bear with me. And if anyone has anything to add on this subject, please chime in.

I already knew I wanted to make Garlic Scape Pesto. I think you know how much I love pesto from this post. While in Norman I stopped by one of my favorite eateries, La Baguette. I have never had anything from La Baguette I didn't like. Ever. And I love their bread, so after a scrumptious slice of chicken and mushroom quiche I bought a loaf of poppy seed and onion foccacia and a baguette.
















I sort of snacked on it while I made the pesto. (Sad but true, bread is my crack! Also why I will never be a skinny cook. Never trust a skinny cook!)
I have never seen garlic scapes for sale. I believe you can sometimes find them for sale at Whole Foods, and some farmer's markets. If you're lucky enough to live near Gilroy, CA, the garlic capital of the world, I suppose you  might find a garlic scape or two. I know when my daughter and I passed through a few years ago travelling from Santa Monica to Seattle the smell was heavenly. One day I hope to go to their festival where I can indulge my love of garlic all day long, and not have to worry about slaying people with garlic breath!

Garlic Scape Pesto
1 cup garlic scapes, flower top removed, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1/3 cup walnuts
3/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup grated parmesan
1/2 teaspoon salt
black pepper to taste

Place walnuts and scapes in the bowl of your food processor. Blend until combined and somewhat smooth. Slowly drizzle in the olive oil while the food processor is running, until the olive oil is blended with the walnut/scape mixture. Add parmesan, salt and pepper, blend.

If you are using this on pasta, the recommended amount is 2 tablespoons per 1/2 pound of pasta. I cooked a pound of the cute mini penne pasta and used 6 tablespoons of pesto. I'll leave it up to your taste buds. I also chopped up some fresh tomato and stirred that into mine. (The boys are anti-tomato!) I can't begin to tell you how yummy this was!
I think it would be absolutely delicious with shrimp stirred in, too. Also makes a great bread spread. Perhaps tomorrow I should split the remaining foccacia and make some kind of sandwich...hmmm...would also be good in cold pasta salad, or potato salad...

This little guy was our entertainment while we enjoyed our light summer dinner al fresco.
Shoo. Go away. 

I'm not fond of snakes. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~P

Alas, life in the country!
Cathy

Sunday, June 5, 2011

A Hot and Lazy Sunday and Re-Working Soap

Sometimes you're just not completely satisfied with how a soap turns out. Such was the case with Oh, Happy Day! I loved the scent, and I loved the layer, but I was aiming for a more yellow layer. Think smiley face yellow. Instead I got an orangey yellow on the first try. Soooooo...back to the drawing board.

Now you never know when inspiration will strike. But as I was cleaning out some soap from the December show that had lost alot of scent, as soaps made with essential oils will do, I just sort of played around with some soap shavings and bits of yellow soap and...
...this is the happy result. A happier looking soap having a party on top! And happily the customers liked it. I have a few bars left but will be adding it to the permanent line up.

The other soap that got re-worked this year was Lavender Gypsy Rose. Like citrus essential oils, the rosewood I was using just did not hold very long in the soap. The addition of two more deliciously decadent essential oils resulted in a very lovely mix that smells exactly like a bouquet of fresh roses. I made no change to the beautiful pink color (which did not photograph well here), or the ground rose petals in the soap and on top.
















You know how fickle I can be! Naturally this is my new favorite! I will be using this same combo of essential oils for a special goats milk soap called...Rosy Goat!

I've escaped the heat of the day long enough and must head outside for more watering...

...or more of this...I think a lavender margarita might be in order!

Have a happy summer day!

Cathy




Saturday, June 4, 2011

Animals Who Visited the Lawton Farmer's Market Today

A giant thank you to everyone who came to the market today! Thank you, thank you, thank you! Thank you for buying local, for supporting small farms, for so enthusiastically supporting the market, and for just being so darn nice!   I think we really have a great vibe going on. I know you feel it, too.

I especially love getting to visit about lavender, and the soap. By now you know I love talking about both. Sometimes I know I run on, so you'll have to excuse my enthusiasm! I just love what I do, and I want to share it.

Today I did remember my camera and wanted to snap some shots of the animals that visit us at the market. Many people bring their dogs. To my knowledge we've never had an incident.

This little guy was first up at the booth early this morning. I just love his goggles.
















His owner said he loves to stick his head out the car window so she bought him the goggles. (Now that would be a good picture! Ears flying in the wind!) He was just so adorable!
This little guy was a sweet bundle of energy. He didn't want to stand still for me for very long but I did snap this quick pic. 
















The most unusual critters we had at the market today came along with these two darling little girls.
















Really, how perfect is that?! Sweet little girls with sweet little fuzzy bunnies! And the bunnies seemed so perfectly relaxed. Don't they look like they're sleeping?

Thanks to all the owners for letting me share these here on the blog!
Cathy

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