Turkey Creek Lavender

Turkey Creek Lavender

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Repurposing Your Lavender Wreath for Fall

If you bought one of our lavender wreaths this year (or last year, or the year before!) and just sort of have it hanging around looking boring, it's time to change it up a little! And really, it couldn't be easier. Um...just add a ribbon. Like this...






















Of course, lavender comes in many different shades. This happens to be made of Fat Spike Grosso, which turns a lighter, greyish lavender when it dries. It's so neutral you can change it with the seasons. I like bright green for Christmas, yellow for spring, and white for summer.

To get the most life out of your lavender wreath hang it inside, or in an area protected from the elements. Sunlight will cause it to fade. Our wreaths are always untreated, but you can spray them with dried flower preservative or plain old hairspray as a fixative. You can't really dust them, but you can usually just blow the dust off as needed.

I just love purple and orange together for Halloween, don't you!?

Friday, August 19, 2011

Longing For Fall? Make Pumpkin Bread! And Back at the Market...Lavender Gingersnap Soap!

It's easy to fool yourself into thinking fall is on the way. We are at day 71 of over 100 degrees, a new record, and there is just no end in sight. If you're like me and just sick of it, you can fake it. (Until you go outside, that is.)

Well, I faked it today and made a batch of pumpkin bread and muffins, and scarfed some down with a cold, frosty glass of apple cider. It was so nice to pretend.

















I received this recipe from Rosie Wright of Hurley, Missouri when I got married back in 1979. It was clipped to a homemade recipe holder her husband Orie had made me in his woodshop. Orie was the minister of the Primitive Baptist Church in Hurley where my Nana and Teta attended. Teta, known to everyone else as Mote Gwaltney, was a deacon at the church, and I have so many childhood memories of that simple, little church and of Orie in the pulpit. I remember one Sunday in particular when Orie was talking about manna in his sermon. I was probably around eight at the time and I leaned over to Nana and asked her what manna was. I know I whispered, but somehow Orie heard it. He stopped mid-sentence and smiled down at me in that sweetly gentle way he had, then took the time to explain exactly what manna was. Needless to say, I was mortified to have everyone looking at me, but I have never forgotten that lesson. Nor the delicious potluck lunches every Sunday, or the baptisms in a burbling creek.

And that is why this Pumpkin Bread recipe is so special. Plus, it's versatile. You start with the simple recipe and add your favorite things. And it works well for both bread and muffins. Today I added walnuts to the bread, and raisins and pecans to the muffins. Sometimes I add pineapple, coconut, and dates. Or blueberries. Or chopped apples. You get the idea. When the kids were little I made them plain since kids don't normally like stuff in muffins. And yes, I've even added a touch of lavender!

Rosie didn't put any directions on the recipe so I just stir together the dry ingredients in one bowl, and the wet ingredients in another, then stir them together. I don't even get out the mixer, that's how quick and easy this is.

Rosie Wright's Pumpkin Bread
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 1/2 cups sugar
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 cups flour
1 cup pumpkin
1/2 cup salad oil (I use vegetable oil)
2 eggs
1/3 cup water
1 cup nuts

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Stir dry ingredients together in one bowl. Stir wet ingredients together in a seperate bowl. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients, stir until combined. Stir in nuts plus anything else you want to add, such as raisins, etc.

Spray one large loaf pan with vegetable oil spray. Pour in batter and bake approximately 1 hour, to 1 hour and 15 minutes. Makes 1 large loaf.

NOTE: I usually use 2 smaller pans, 7 3/8 x 3 5/8 x 2 1/4, and bake 45-50 minutes.



















Or 1 dozen muffins, baked 20-25 minutes. And you can use a variety of toppings.
Sprinkled With
Powdered Sugar















Slathered in Butter













Dipped in Melted Butter
And Brown Sugar
 




























And if that wasn't enough, our small batch, handmade Lavender Gingersnap soap will be back at the Lawton Farmer's Market this Saturday. (Follow the link for my favorite gingersnap recipe!)


Still need more inspiration? Hop on over to Holiday with Matthew Mead! Order your copy of his fabulous magazine and follow the instructions for entering to win a $250 gift card! Fall will be here before you know it!


 Hope to see you Saturday at the market!
: ) Cathy

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Mumpkins!


Photo from Lowe's Creative Ideas




















Okay, it's still 100+ here in Oklahoma. But my mums all have tiny buds. They know fall is coming...eventually!  I saw this darling idea for Mumpkins in Lowe's Creative Ideas mag and thought it would be so ideal for a fall centerpiece, and very elegant arranged on pedestals for Thanksgiving. And we all know you have to trim the blooms to keep them blooming, right? So, I'm just planning a little ahead!

They also had a lovely Mum Wreath. I'm sure most of us have made cut flower wreaths exactly the same way. It's a great trick to know if you have an event coming up. I've done it with roses, carnations, and even cheap old marigolds from the garden. I was thinking I'd make one with my end of year multi-colored zinnias!
Photo from Lowe's Creative Ideas


























Both the Mumpkins and the Mum Wreath will keep for several days. The Mumpkins will draw moisture from the pumpkin, and you just have to spritz the wreath to keep it fresh.

Yay for fall! I can't wait for cooler weather!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Fun at the Watermelon Festival!

Good morning everyone! Just a quick post to thank you for stopping by the Turkey Creek Lavender booth at the Rush Springs Watermelon Festival. It was a busy, but fun-filled, day. And, as always, it was wonderful to see old friends, and delightful to make new ones!

























Among our many visitors was Miss Natalie Wells, the current 2011 Miss Oklahoma International. She stopped by for a visit and graciously posed for us. A lovely young lady, inside and out, and turns out she loves lavender!

















I look forward to seeing our new friends, and fans, at the Lawton Farmer's Market on Saturdays! I will post soon about the new items I will have this coming weekend!
All the best,
Cathy

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Where I'll Be This Weekend: The Rush Springs Watermelon Festival














Why, yes, that is a giant watermelon. And that's where I'll be on Saturday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. with soap, lavender bundles, buds, and a variety of other lavender related items.

FYI: The Rush Springs Watermelon Festival has been held continuously since 1948 on the second Saturday in August to celebrate the local watermelon harvest. They have a rodeo, carnival rides, craft booths, a 5k run, watermelon related activities, like seed spitting, and they even crown a watermelon queen. You're in for lots of fun, any way you slice it!

Hope to see you there! And don't forget, lavender salt is good on watermelon, too! Honest!
Cathy : )

Friday, August 5, 2011

"Life is Just a Bowl of Cherries!"

Rainier Cherries, that is!

















Rainier Cherries are all over the place here in the Pacific Northwest. 'Tis the season! Of course, I had never had a Rainier Cherry, so we stopped at a farm stand and bought a basket. They are so large, and sweet, and juicy. I quickly became addicted and have been buying them wherever we go.

Developed in 1952 at Washington State University, they are a cross between a Bing Cherry and a Van cultivar. The result was this large golden, reddish, orangish cherry with sweet golden flesh. They're just so yummy, and so darn sweet! Thankfully the season was later than usual this year due to the cool spring weather. Lucky for me!

I wonder if they would grow in Oklahoma? Nah. Too hot probably. Might be worth a try though. Hmmmm...

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Visiting a few Lavender Farms in Washington

While I was hanging out with Katie waiting for baby Kael to make his appearance we decided visiting a few lavender farms in the area might be a fun, relaxing way to move things along.

We were surprised to find two very near to where she lives, so we set out on a lovely, sunny afternoon to pay them a visit.

But before I take you there, I wanted to share a few pictures that reflect how they use lavender in their commercial landscaping up here in the Pacific Northwest. Perhaps it will give you some ideas.

































































The temperate climate seems ideal right now. However, when it rains alot, it does drown, and the roots can rot. Given the abundance of lavender available in this area, I don't think replanting is much of an issue.

The first farm we visited was Stringtown Farms in Eatonville, WA. In addition to lavender it is also a small winery.

































We met with John Adams, who was happy to show us around and talk about lavender, the lavender business, and his winery. Katie took pictures and rested while I picked a bundle of assorted varieties of lavender that I don't grow in Oklahoma.
This is John's gift shop and tasting room. He has both dried bundles, and freshly picked bundles available, plus plants and a variety of lavender products, including honey, soap, lotion, fudge and many I'm sure I missed seeing.

A few visitors dropped by for a wine tasting, which John is all too happy to offer. You can see the varieties of wines he produces posted on the board just behind him. We left with our fresh bundles, some soap, and some lavender honey, which you know I love. I enjoy it in my tea every morning.
After we left John's place we headed over to Mountain Meadow Lavender Farm in Roy, WA and visited with Barbara Hulscher.
I bought some of her Royal Velvet culinary lavender to try, and some blackberry jam for our toast.
As a lavender lover Barbara was only to happy to talk about the joys, and trials, of growing our favorite herb. It seems foreign to us in Oklahoma given the drought, but they do have to deal with too much rain here in the northwest, and Barbara lost quite a few plants during the spring rains.

The view of Mount Rainier from their lavender is spectacular. I love the contrast of the purple lavender, the green of the pine trees, and the white of the snow capped peak.
A big thank you to John and to Barbara for sharing their farms, and their knowledge. I am always learning something new and fascinating about lavender, and I continue to be inspired to create more products for us to share in Oklahoma.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Escaping the Heat of Oklahoma and Travelling to...

Washington!

















If you've ever flown into the Seattle/Tacoma airport then you know you get a fantastic view of the mountains, and of Mount Rainier. And, while I flew up to help my daughter and her husband with the new baby, I was so happy to leave behind the hellish heat of Oklahoma I almost kissed the ground! Every day has been lovely. But...no baby yet.

So we've had a little time to tour around, and one of the trips we made was up Mt. Rainier.
Mt. Rainier dominates the view from just about every direction where the kids live.
From the Wal-Mart parking lot...

















to Wal-Greens...
and all points in between, there are beautiful views of  the snow covered peaks. And...well...I just had to get a closer look and play in the snow. In July!
So off we went. Past the glacier fed lakes...
through the tall pine forest...
to Mt. Rainier.
It was a lovely, clear, sunny day, perfect for viewing the peak. We wound our way through the sun-dappled forest...
past rivers, and streams, and waterfalls...
and beautiful vistas...
until we reached the Paradise Visitors Center, and the end of the road at the peak of the mountain.
Hard to believe it's the end of July in this winter wonderland, isn't it?
I could have spent the day here, basking in the cool 65 degree weather, and frolicking in the snow.
But we were running out of daylight and, alas, had to make our way back down the mountain.
I'm really going to miss this when I have to go home!
Just waiting on baby to make an appearance...

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