Tag Archives: lavender shortbread

Heirloom Apple Celebration this weekend

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We had an Awesome Harvest Fest, thanks to everyone that drove out to visit us!!! The weather was incredibly warm,  and pleasant for people to lounge around on the Adirondack chairs, stroll through the garden, or blow bubbles with their children. We even had a few u-pick bouquets cut from the 2nd bloom of the English Lavender, which is the latest that we have ever had fresh lavender still in bloom! Our Apple Cider with Lavender Mulling Spice was a enjoyed by many. We greatly appreciate all our customers and friends, and hope you will have a wonderful fall season.

view through the grape vine
view through the grape vine

Today I’m relaxing awhile as I wait on customers. In the afternoon I’ll plant a few Iris bulbs around the garden to enjoy next year. We are open at our farm through the end of this month, then close for the season and only open by appointment until Spring.

This is another big weekend with Heirloom Apple Celebration, so please plan to join us for some great Lavender Ginger Apple Cider, Lavender Shortbread & tons of goodies!

Weekend Solstice Party

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It’s all about celebrating our first English lavender in bloom!! I’ve cut several fresh bouquets of our earliest English varieties, Mt. Hood and Edgerton Blue, to use for the hands-on wand making class. These lovely ‘wands or ‘bottles’ are a Victorian sachet that are extremely fun to make, incorporating the basket weaving technique. They have been used to freshen linens and impart fragrance around the home for centuries.

We are starting to U-Pick lavender, and many customers enjoy strolling through the garden cutting from the many varieties of English lavender for a delightfully fragrant, beautiful lavender bouquet to take home. Saturday Ben Bonham was on site playing his folk, blues and garden music to liven up our party atmosphere. He’s such great fun!!

Have a wonderful weekend Father’s, and celebrate your family with us in the lavender fields, with a sample of our most famous ‘Lavender Ginger Apple Cider’, and Lavender Shortbread!!

Solstice Party on the u pick lavender farm
Solstice Party on the u pick lavender farm

Click link below to see Ben Bonham playing at the Solstice Party!

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Holiday Shortbread

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Today I baked my newest version of my lavender shortbread, a slight change up for the holiday.  I’ve added pure anise extract, orange zest, macadamia nuts, with our culinary lavender, the “Signature Blend”. I think it is extremely scrumptious, and a perfect compliment for ladies “High Tea”, or any party.  🙂

I also baked my traditional Italian Bread ,”Panettone”, that’s filled with gobs of chopped dates, golden raisins, dried cranberries, 2009 dehydrated pears, orange zest, chopped almonds, cashews, walnuts & macadamia nuts. This year I decided to make a natural, healthy Panettone bread, without the traditional candied fruit and citron, with all it’s added preservatives!! I baked several loaves, and wrapped them tightly, and stored them in the freezer for two weeks.  Well… all except one loaf, that my dear Joe had to indulge in! Me too!! There’s nothing like fresh baked bread, right out of the oven, with butter 🙂 !!!  The others will be given out as gifts to friends & family, right before Christmas. I like this kind of personal gift giving!  (Now I better get back to packing up web orders)

Happy December, and happy baking. Enjoy your holiday! Inhale deeply, and take time to relax!

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Holiday Lavender Shortbread

1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) butter (no substitutes), room temperature

2/3 cup sugar

2 tbsp culinary lavender “Signature Blend”
1 tsp pure anise extract

¼ tsp orange zest

2/3 cup macadamia nuts (finely chopped)
2 1/3 cups flour
1/2 cup cornstarch
1/4 tsp salt

Lavender Powdered Sugar:

Seal 1 tbsp lavender in pint jar with a cup of pwd sugar for at least 1 day.

Cover baking sheets w/parchment paper. Cream together butter, sugar, lavender, anise extract, orange zest, and macadamia nuts, until fluffy (3min). Add flour, cornstarch, & salt; mix well. Divide dough in half; flatten & wrap in plastic. Chill until firm (To help flavors meld together, I like to store dough in the freezer for 1 week or more). On floured board, roll out dough 3/8” thick. Cut into 1 1/2” squares. Bake 1” apart; Prick squares w/fork several times. Bake in preheated oven 325’, 20-25 min. Cool slightly & sprinkle w/lavender sugar. Store in tin cookie boxes or sealed containers.

2009 Cruise West “Taste of The Northwest” Visits our LavFarm

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Taste of the Northwest Culinary Cruise
Taste of the Northwest Culinary Cruise

Last weekend we had the 2nd  Cruise West, tour group, of 56 people, visited our Lavender farm. I prepared my favorites yummies for sampling: Lavender/Mint Shortbread, Mint Medley Tea, and Lavender/Ginger Apple Cider. It was alot of fun for us and for them. We host another 1 of their tours this Friday…can’t hardly wait!

Tasting on the Patio
Tasting on the Patio

Mr. Frost Won’t Spoil Our Harvest

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We experienced out first frost this morning…..signs of our change in the season. Many of our English Lavender that are in their 2nd bloom start drooping their heads, as if in shock, or preparing for dormant sleep. Also, the annuals and perennial flowers like our vibrant Zinnias and Dahlias in the wildflowers section, have began to turn a somewhat brownish color. This is an early frost even for us. However, even though the frost has brought a change on some of the lavender and other flowers in our garden, we will continue to be open through the end of October.

One of our biggest weekend events, The Hood River Valley Harvest Fest, is October 16, 17, 18th. This is the weekend that all the farms in the valley celebrate the bounty of their harvest. Lots of farms in Hood River are open, as well as a big Festival event down on the waterfront. We will be open here on our farm as well celebrating the bounty of our Lavender farm by preparing a hot Mulled Lavender Apple Cider, Lavender Mint Shortbread, and decedent Dark Chocolate Lavender Truffles, and the release of our 2009 Fine Lavender Oils! Its also a great time to load up on gifts for the Holidays, or load up your own supply of yummies.

Hope to see you on the farm!

Blossom Weekend – open for the season

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Our little Lavender Gift Shoppe
Our little Lavender Gift Shoppe

I’m Spring cleaning my retail cottage getting ready to open for the season this Friday 12:00-5:00, Sat.-Sun. 10:00-5:00 for Blossom Weekend. We are hoping for blossoms on the fruit trees, our premier attraction at this time in this beautiful valley, but…we’ll just keep our fingers crossed. The forecast says “Sunshine”, so come out, and bring your camera for the spectacular mountain views and various flowering trees. 🙂 It’s still too cool to plant flowers in my window boxes. I’ll have to wait until after the last frost, which might be around the first of May, since we’re in zone 6 to 7.

 

Although the flowers are few at this time, I’m packing our Retail Shoppe full of various fragrant lovely products from Lavender Parfum, Lavender Essentials, and gloriously fragrant lavender sachets, to name just a few. I love our little 8 x 10 retail cottage, because it’s really quite easy to clean due to it’s size!! 🙂 Don’t we all wish our own homes could be small, and easy to clean..less clutter..small is good, and quaint in this case. When our dream of this lavender farm began 5 years ago, we considered building a small structure. But as it turned out, because of cost and efficiency, we discovered this little “Tuff Shed”, and decided to redesign it instead of building. With the help of “Jack of All Trades”, Hood River’s handy man (my dear brother :)), and a little paint. Wallahh!! We had our quaint “English Garden” cottage Retail Shoppe!!

We open at this time each year, and stay open through October 31, 7 days a week, Mon. – Sat. 10-5, Sun. 11-5. So please come out and visit us this blossom weekend while you are in town, and sample some hot lavender “Gorge Wind” tea, and out famous lavender-mint shortbread. Then pick out one or two of our organic rare lavender plants to start your our herb garden, and love for lavender! Admission is always free :). Just wear your favorite garden shoes, and again bring your cameras.  *Note: Mention seeing my blog, and receive your free vile of Lavender essential oil, “Grosso”.

Culinary FAQ

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 What makes culinary lavender different from any other lavender?  Good question!! First of all, culinary lavender is either an Angustifolia, “English” variety, or a Lavandin variety, “Provence”.  Secondly, all culinary lavender is harvested at peek season, “full bloom”, hung to dried, then cleaned and packaged with gloves on.  Our Angustifolia, (English” variety) is called, “Signature Blend”.  It is a blend of our finest English Lavender.  A white lavender, called “Melissa” is in the blend, along with several other dark purple varieties.  The “Signature Blend” of English Lavender adds a delicate floral note when added to  teas and other dishes.  I like to use “Signature Blend” in our Lavender Shortbread, because it lends a wonderful delicate floral note in combination with mint.

“Provence”, on the other hand, brings a more bold, savory floral note to dishes and teas. I like to say it’s a more “Herbie” flavor. 🙂 We use Provence in our HRL Spice Blend, and also in our “Sel Gris”, Hand-harvested French Gourmet Grey Sea Salt, because it lends a more savory note of flavor into recipes.  We also use Provence in our Lavender Truffles, to obtain a more bold lavender flavor, blended with the decedent chocolate. It makes the lavender flavor “pop” out on your palate!

I suggest that my customers brew a separate tea with each,  Angustifolia “English”, and “Provence” culinary lavender. In this way you taste the difference in the unique, soothing, floral flavors. Have fun experimenting with different recipes with culinary lavender, hope you acquire a love for the taste, as we have for this lovely flower. And next, you might even want to grow a Culinary Lavender in your herb garden 🙂

Lavender Talk

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Today Joe & I went to a business downtown called “Renisance Learning Center”, and spoke about our Lavender Farms. We spoke about how long we’ve been in business. (5 years) And about the beneficial properties of Lavender. It was a casual talk. A “brown bag lunch” talk, in their conference room. I baked my favorite “Lavender Shortbread” recipe to share with them, and talk about using our Culinary Lavender. We also brought samples of our Lavender Essential Oils to inhale, and tell about the qualities of lavender to calm stress, anxiety, and releive insomnia. It was a wonderful apportunity to share about this beautiful flower we love. Everyone seems quite calm by the time we left. 🙂