Turkey Creek Lavender

Turkey Creek Lavender

Saturday, April 28, 2012

A Metaphor for Life

To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven. Ecclesiastes 3:1

So true. Exactly 30 days ago there was this...

















So ripe with possibility, so full of promise. The discovery made my heart quicken, my breath catch.

And just yesterday, there was this...

















Oh, sweet, sweet babies.

And then today, there was this...

















And again, the discovery made my heart quicken, and my breath catch.

A metaphor for life.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Farm Fresh Radish Spread


Just a quick post before I go out to weed my little kitchen garden and the upper lavender field. I love to garden, but hate to weed. I know some people find personal satisfaction in eliminating weeds, but there's so many other things I'd rather be doing. Like making soap.

But, alas, it has to be done. So before I go I wanted to leave you with a quick idea for excess French Breakfast Radishes.

As many of you know I went to St. Charles, Missouri for five days to visit family. I love their historic downtown area on the river. So many lovely little shops to explore. But I digress.

Anyway, while I was gone, nobody picked the radishes. Nobody. After sharing with neighbors and friends I'm still left with more than enough, which, in hindsight, is kind of nice. I get to explore those other options we talked about in my previous post on French Breakfast Radishes.

So yesterday I made a lovely little spread with cream cheese. I pretty much love cream cheese in any form. And I'm trying to stay on a low carb diet, so I spread this on some lovely buttercrunch lettuce leaves from  Murphy Farms at the Lawton Farmer's Market and made lovely little lettuce roll-ups.
















Super easy, and so delicious I had to toast some special 9 grain bread I've been hoarding in the freezer. Yep, I loaded it on there and added some more radishes. So good! (I so miss bread right now. I so love bread!)


















So I guess I blew low carb yet again. Of course the addition of carrots didn't help, but it was only one tablespoon. This recipe could easily be modified to make more. And I do think I will add chopped cucumber in place of the carrots next time, and perhaps a touch of fresh dill.

















Farm Fresh Radish Spread
Can be used for lettuce wrap filling, sandwich spread, or dip

2 ounces softened Philadelphia Neufchatel Cream Cheese (1/3 less fat)
2 Tablespoons finely chopped French Breakfast Radish
1 Tablespoon finely chopped carrot
1 teaspoon finely chopped red onion
1 teaspoon Gourmet Garden Organic Cilantro

Mix thoroughly and enjoy.

NOTE: I love this Gourmet Garden Organic Cilantro. Love it! And it really took this spread to the next level! I originally bought it during the winter to add to homemade salsa, but find myself using it in new and creative ways! So good! Found it in the fresh produce section.

















Last, but not least, Eva brought by some of her delicious homemade goat milk mozzarella. So good. She made several varieties and I ate them all. With radishes.

















I think for lunch I will actually try the Butter Poached Radishes. Intriguing.

Thanks for stopping by. Have a wonderful day wherever you are. Now I'm off to the garden!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Success! Propagating Rosemary

"There's rosemary, that's for remembrance; pray you, love, remember." -William Shakespeare, Hamlet 

If you follow my gardening board on Pinterest you'll already know I have a special place in my heart for Rosemary. I use it in several of my handmade soaps, including Lavender Rosemary, Rosey Goat, and Oh, Bug Off!
Turkey Creek Farm Rosey Goat Handmade Soap



















I use rosemary in herb mixes, in cooking, to infuse honey, to flavor water...well, you get the idea. In the winter, when everyone is cooped up and sniffling around here, I combine it with other healing essential oils and put it in the essential oil diffuser.

There are so many health benefits of Rosemary...it's rich in vitamins, anti-oxidants, and minerals. Like lavender, it is naturally anti-bacterial, and anti-inflammatory. For aromatherapy, it is an awesome de-stresser, promoting feelings of contentment and well-being. Rosemary essential oil promotes mental clarity, energizes, balances, and, when mixed with a massage oil, stimulates circulation. I combine several drops with Sweet Almond Oil and use it before I go out to weed. After I am all achy, I often combine it with lavender, and put a few drops in a hot bath. So delicious!

Aside from that, I just love the way it looks, and feels. Over the years I've had several rosemary topiaries,  some shaped like trees, some shaped like balls. So naturally when I read how easy it was to propagate I had to try it.

Guess what? It worked. Out of 19 plants, I only lost one.

I just followed the directions from Fine Gardening that I pinned on Pinterest.

I used a rooting hormone and took cuttings 4 weeks ago. And here is the result...roots!
















So now I have 18 new little Rosemary plants to shape into little topiaries, or plant in the wall garden with the mother plant.

















Thank you Mother Plant!

















Perhaps you work in a stressful office, or need a little de-stressing during the day. Here's an idea or two...take a little Rosemary plant to work and just give the leaves a little rub every once in awhile to release their healing power, or add a few drops of Rosemary essential oil to some distilled water in a small mister bottle to brighten your cubicle. Combined with a few drops of lavender essential oil and you will stay calm and clear all day!

Or perhaps you are interested in creating your own Rosemary Topiary...BH&G has a nice tutorial here. 
Better Homes and Gardens























Source Pinterest























This little guy has been repotted and trimmed slightly and is now taking up residence in the kitchen window. Soon he will be trained into a mini ball standard. So cute!





















Have a wonderful day, wherever you are! Thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

For Love of the French Breakfast Radish



















Yes, I know. Sounds like an ode to a radish.

As a general rule I am not a radish lover. Those round little red balls you see in the grocery store have always had just a bit too much bite for my taste. And then I discovered the French Breakfast Radish.

I planted them for the first time last year in one of my raised beds. I was so taken with their mild flavor that this year I planted them in two raised beds. Needless to say, we are being overrun with French Breakfast Radishes.

While we just enjoy them raw, I was astounded by the ways upscale chefs have found to prepare this yummy little root veg.

Butter Poached Radishes, French Breakfast Radish Sandwich, French Breakfast Radish Salad, as part of a Veggie Spread, sauteed in butter, raw split down the middle and salted, as an hors d'oeuvre, as a garnish, as a snack...it's all good as far as I'm concerned.

The French Breakfast Radish is an heirloom radish from 1879. While most records are not positive about the naming of this little red and white gem, it's widely believed it stems from a French custom of slicing the mildly flavored radish and putting it on a slice of buttered bread with a dash of salt on top. Who knows if that's true or not. I can't find any actual evidence, just speculation.

I can tell you they are delicious, easy to grow, and versatile. It's not too late to get this beauty in the ground for spring planting. The seeds germinate really fast.

Happy gardening!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Celebrating the First Lavender of the Season!

The first lavender has officially started blooming here at Turkey Creek. This is always a cause for celebration!






















In honor of this glorious day we are toasting with a little Lavender Lemonade and Lavender Fairy Cookies.
















Let's start with the Lavender Lemonade. First make your lavender simple syrup. Simple, easy and you can find out how by reading this how-to in a previous post. After it is cooled and strained add 1/2 to 1 cup of freshly squeezed lemon juice and 2 cups of cold water. Of course this is done to taste. Some people like their lemonade sweeter, and some like it a little more tart so adjust accordingly. Stir thoroughly and chill.

While the lemonade is chilling make your Lavender Sugar. I guess this should be a post all by itself, but it's really easy. I not only keep lavender sugar on hand all the time for adding to recipes and tea, but I also grind enough culinary lavender buds to add to recipes at a moments notice.

Lavender Sugar
2 cups granulated sugar
1 tablespoon lavender buds

Grind lavender buds in a spice grinder or clean coffee grinder until they become a powder. Mix thoroughly with the sugar. The longer you let the sugar sit the more infused it will be with that lovely lavender flavor.

It will look like this...

















Lavender Sugar would make a lovely gift all packaged up with some lavender tea and lavender cookies for Mother's Day...just a thought!

















So now that the lavender sugar is made simply mix up your favorite sugar cookie recipe. I use this one, our family favorite, for all of my sugar cookies. It makes a nice, easy to work dough. For the Lavender Fairy Cookies use a small round cutter. It will make alot of cookies, but you will be sandwiching them together with icing. Sprinkle the top of each cookie with Lavender Sugar and bake accordingly.


























When they are cooled, sandwich together with a simple buttercream icing.















Note for the non-bakers: Yes, it is just as darling if you use that roll of prepared sugar cookie dough and canned frosting!

For a stronger lavender flavor just stir some of the whole buds into the dough before baking. We love them that way, too!













You might like to try Easy Lavender Shortbread Cookies! Also delicious with Lavender Lemonade.

Now that the first lavender of the season is blooming the others won't be far behind!






















I can't wait! Hope you are having a wonderful spring day wherever you are!

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Totally Fun Day at the Market!

What a way to start the season! Bedding plants, Woods and Waters wine, Pepper Creek Farm deliciousness, an array of lettuces, onions, tomatoes, farm fresh eggs, more plants, soap, more plants, crafters...really great morning! A huge thank you to everyone who came out this morning! As always, wonderful to see old friends, and make new ones! Nice of you guys to eke out the last little dib of soap all winter until you can get re-supplied in the spring! Seriously people, you can always email me! I do love that you love it so much. It makes it all worthwhile! : )

I was a serious slacker in the photo department though. Sorry about that. I managed to catch three fur babies who came to the market today. This is Kato, aka "the cat in the stroller." I couldn't get Kato to look my way however. Typical cat. Ignore the people. I was amazed he rode around in the stroller. Never once attempted to escape or leave his comfy ride. I kept wondering if he was named after Kato from the Pink Panther series...hmmm...have to ask next time.

















This is Rex, Katos dog brother. Don't let appearances fool you. He was large but quiet, preferring little people to big people with cameras. I'm sure he was thinking, "Seriously? Papparazzi at the farmer's market?" or "Fine, if you have to." Rex was very patient.























Lastly, we have Jehu, pronounced Jee-hoo, as in King Jehu from the Old Testament. I can see that. He's going to be very kingly when he grows up. English Bulldog puppies...what's not to love!























In honor of opening day I broke out the last container of my garlic scape pesto from last year. Slathered on some angel hair pasta with a side of the first homegrown tomatoes of the season, it's a fitting lunch don't you think?

















If you missed today...well...we'll be there next Saturday, too! Hope to see you then!

If you bring your fur baby and I fail to take a pic, please remind me!

It's Time for Opening Day of the 2012 Lawton Farmer's Market Season!
























Beautiful, isn't it, shining in the sun? This is how we infuse our olive oil with calendula for our Sleepy Goat with Calendula, and Baby Goat, just two of our deliciously creamy goat milk soaps. Eva has had so many baby goats this spring she's been coming by almost daily with fresh goat milk. I can barely keep up, so expect to see alot of goat milk soaps at the Lawton Farmer's Market for awhile.

Tomorrow, April 7, 2012, is opening day of the market. We can start selling promptly at 7:30, so if you want something in particular you might want to forgo that fourth cup of coffee and beat a path to the Great Plains Coliseum parking lot.

Click on over to the Southwest Growers Association webpage for a list of things to expect tomorrow. The local FFA chapters will be selling vegetable and bedding plants, I have it on good authority Murphy Farms will have quite an assortment of lettuces, and...can you believe it?...J.D's Orchard will have red, ripe greenhouse tomatoes. You just never know what you're going to find at the market!

Consider adding a bar of our all natural handmade soap to your Easter basket tomorrow. Hey, it's not fattening and so good for you!

See you tomorrow!
Cathy

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Easy Lemon Chess Cake for Easter


















After I had my first child in 1983 a very thoughtful neighbor arrived with a full 9 x 13 pan of this delicious concoction. She made hers with a yellow cake mix, but over the years I have used the same basic recipe but substituted all different cake mixes for the base. As it turns out, I am not alone. Apparently Paula Deen serves this cake in her restaurant, The Lady and Sons in Savannah, Georgia. Smart lady, because it is always a favorite wherever I take it.

Oh, back to the story. I digress. So in 1983 when my very thoughtful neighbor delivered her gift, I, the starving, stressed, new young  mother with the screaming infant proceeded to devour the entire 9 x 13 pan. Yes, I plowed through it from one end to the other. It was just so good. And I was just so stressed.

Nowadays, I make this and send it to work with my hubby and just keep the edges, my favorite part. That way I get a little but not the whole pan. Which, at my age, would become a permanent fixture on my body!

For Easter I will be making this using a lemon cake mix. But you can use yellow, or chocolate, or carrot and add some shredded carrot and nuts to the filling. Really it's one of those versatile recipes. And you know I love versatile. And of course I have even added lavender, which is very scrumptious.

Chess Cake
(This is the Lemon version)
Base
1 box of lemon cake mix (or yellow, or your choice)
1 egg
1 stick butter, melted

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine the ingredients and mix well. Pat into a lightly greased 9 x 13 pan. Make the filling.

Filling
1 8-ounce package of cream cheese, softened
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 stick butter, melted
1-2 teaspoons lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
1 16-ounce box powdered sugar

Beat cream cheese until smooth. Add eggs, vanilla, lemon juice, lemon zest. Add butter and beat, but don't overbeat. You're not aiming for fluffy. Add powdered sugar and mix well. Spread over cake mixture. Bake 40-50 minutes. The center will be a little gooey so don't overbake.

Allow to cool before cutting. (But I dare you not to sneak a bite while it's warm.)

Of course if you are making the plain version, just use a yellow cake mix and omit all the lemon stuff.

I like to serve this with fruit, particularly raspberries, blueberries, or strawberries. If you make the chocolate version, adding chocolate chips to the filling is nice. Paula even suggests a 20 ounce can of drained crushed pineapple added to the filling. I've tried that, too and it was good.

Lastly, if you have to entertain alot this is great cut into small 1 x 1 inch squares. It gives everyone a nice little bite of yumminess.

















(You'll notice these are edgeless...I ate the edges...)

Wishing you a wonderful day!
Cathy

P.S. I don't know why it's called "Chess Cake."

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Early Morning Frolic

Slightly cloudy and overcast, but the dogs don't care. They just want to run, and chase sticks, and dig turnips.

















Beau and Sarge are off  in the woods somewhere chasing bunnies and squirrels, but Molly and Sukie stick close by hoping I'll throw things for them to chase and retrieve.  And I do. Usually sticks, sometimes turnips, occasionally training dummies.






















We have a lovely yellow field just full of flowering turnips and wildflowers. Sometimes you can barely see the dogs as they tear through the field.






















There you are! My sweet-faced Sukie! Such a happy girl.

















It won't be long before we plow under the cover crop and plant sunflowers. For now we'll just enjoy the view. You can see the upper lavender. The Fat Spike Grosso is really starting to green up. Won't be long!
















Wishing you a wonderful day wherever you are! If you haven't "liked" us on Facebook, I'd love to have you visit our page. We update it a little more frequently so you know our whereabouts!

Monday, April 2, 2012

Baby Goats and Soap for Saturday

It was recently brought to my attention that I shared baby got pictures on Facebook but failed to provide blog readers with a glimpse of  the spring arrivals. So, for your viewing pleasure, a look at Eva's little loves.
Twins


Curious baby

The herd

More twins

Someone loves their mother!

Baby La Mancha

Spots first baby

Playful head butting

Chert, the father of all!

Chert watching over his herd of girls

Minty Goat

Sleepy Goat


Sleepy goat in bar form


Goat Milk with Calendula

















Now you see what we've been up to! So many babies make for lots of goat milk. This Saturday for the opening day of the Lawton Farmer's Market we will have both goat milk and vegan soap available. Still all natural, still only made with essential oils, in small batches, by hand, by me.

Look forward to seeing you Saturday! 

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