It's always so wonderful to find lavender featured in major magazines.
So naturally I was delighted to open up my new issue of Better Homes and Gardens (which my sweet Mom sends me every year...thanks Mom!) to see lavender featured in the Outdoor Garden Doctor section. What's great about this article is they address some of the issues home lavender gardeners face, like cutting and drying, how to divide, growing in containers, pruning, overwatering, and so forth. Lavender is a hardy herb, but I've found choosing the right lavender for your growing conditions is also key. The first year I planted 100 Munstead I lost half, the following year I lost the rest. While I like Munstead, it does not like our hot, dry, windy southwest Oklahoma growing conditions. I've found for me personally Provence and Grosso do well, but I am looking forward to experimenting with some new varieties this year.
While there is alot of information on the web about lavender, BH&G also has a reasonably comprehensive section at their website, http://www.bhg.com/gardening/flowers/perennials/gardeners-guide-to-lavender/ that is worth checking out if you are a home gardener with questions. And beautiful pictures, too!! So, kudos to BH&G!
I wouldn't say spring has sprung here at Turkey Creek Lavender farm, but it is definitely springing. And that gives me hope that we will soon be rid of this dreary winter.
The cheerful spring daffodils are starting to bloom, always such an uplifting, and encouraging harbinger of things to come. I couldn't resist picking some for the house. They are, right this munute, keeping me company as I work. Their scent is so heady, and devine!
The lavender lies still and dormant, waiting for the warmer days of spring. Hard to believe in just 3 months I will once again be harvesting their beautiful stems.
The sweet-faced pansies...
will soon be coloring my little world. I can't wait!
Hope you, too, are enjoying a lovely spring day, wherever you are!
Yes, I said soap. As in rub-a-dub dub.
Here at Turkey Creek Lavender the soap is curing.
Lovely Lavender with buds on top…
Lavender Lemongrass with poppyseeds….
Lavender Honey Oatmeal made with local, delicious Tipton Honey…
All of my soap is currently made using the cold process method. It takes awhile for it to be just right to use, but it’s worth it. Why, you ask? Well, I’ll tell you.
Because real soap is a beautiful thing. It is nothing like a commercially produced “beauty bar,” or a commercially produced “moisturizing bar.” Without going into the history of commercial soap making, I can tell you that those are detergent bars, and contain things you’d rather not know about. Legally they cannot call themselves soap.
The soap produced here at Turkey Creek Lavender is handcrafted soap. Made by hand. My hands. There is nothing artificial, nothing synthetic. Just pure, natural goodness. Moisturizing, mild, safe, natural ingredients. Good for you, your skin, your environment. Aromatherapy in a bar!
Turkey Creek Lavender Soap begins with food grade olive, coconut, and palm oils. Then, depending on the soap of the day, a variety of oils, nourishing butters, essential oils, herbs and other good stuff are added! And, always, the first essential oil added is lavender. Yummy lavender. Comforting lavender. Relaxing lavender. Lovely, lovely lavender. (This is a lavender farm after all!)
Stay tuned for updates. Now I’m off to make some more soap!
Today I'm going to share my Nana's Cowboy Cookie recipe with you. This has long been a favorite in our house, if not the favorite. I've been making them so long I know the recipe by heart. So imagine my surprise when I am perusing the Bakerella site and, what's this? Cowgirl Cookies? Let's have a look-see. Now, how cute is that...pink M&M's, and she calls them Cowgirl Cookies! To see them, go here: http://www.bakerella.com/mix-things-up/ .
Now, friends, I've made Nana's Cowboy Cookies with M&M's, and chocolate chips, with nuts of every kind, without nuts, without chocolate chips, with dried cherries, or dried cranberries, with white chocolate chips...well, you get the picture. It's a versatile recipe. But what Bakerella did was re-work the recipe and adapt it for cute, cute gift giving! So, I just had to make a few jars for those near and dear. And, I just happened to have green M & M's in preparation for St. Paddy's day.
First, I will post Bakerella's recipe, and at the end of this post I will post my Nana's complete recipe.
You will need a 1 quart Mason canning jar with lid. I used the Ball jars, but Bakerella got hers at Hobby Lobby, and they were plain, which is great if you want to add a cutie label. The following directions make 1 jar.
Bakerella Directions for Mixing and Baking the Cowboy Cookies in a Jar
1 1/3 cup all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup cooking oats
3/4 cup M&M's (in this case Green M&M's!)
3/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup white sugar
1/3 to 1/2 cup chopped pecans
Stir all the dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl.
1 slightly beaten egg
1/2 cup butter (melted slightly in the microwave)
1 teaspoon vanilla
Mix wet ingredients into dry ingredients. Use the back of a large spoon to work it all together. You may even need to use your hands to get everything incorporated (and I did).Then roll the cookie dough into 1 1/2 inch balls, place on a parchment covered baking sheet and bake for about 10 minutes in a preheated 350 degree oven. I got 27 cookies out of Bakerella's recipe.
Now for the gift jar directions:
Layer the ingredients into the quart jar as follows, and pack down after each addition:
First: flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt
Fourth: chocolate chips
Fifth: brown sugar
Sixth: white sugar
Seventh: chopped pecans
Bakerella said, "Pack each level down really tightly. I mean it. Pack it in. Or else it won’t all fit. Also, I added the chopped pecans last, because if the ingredients were too much or not enough, then I could add more or less pecans to adjust. I’d rather sacrifice nuts than chocolate, you know. The ingredients should be flush to the top of the lid when you seal it up." I agree with everything she said.
Lastly, either make labels with baking directions, or make tags and attach. I covered the top of the quart canning jar with green fabric, tied on with ribbon or twine, and attached a tag with the baking directions on one side and a cute Irish blessing on the other. (Just google Irish sayings, there's alot of them!)
And now for my Nana's complete Cowboy Cookie Recipe, in case you want to make a big batch and not make the gift jar.
Nana's Cowboy Cookies
2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 cup shortening
2 cups rolled oatmeal
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 cup chocolate chips
Stir together flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder and set aside. Cream shortening, brown and white sugar. Add eggs and vanilla. Add dry ingredients. Stir in oatmeal and chocolate chips. Shape into 1 1/2 inch balls and bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes.
Note: This is a traditional cookie baking method. Usually I just dump it all in and mix it up with the Kitchen Aid and it turns out the same. I'm just sayin'.
Now go kiss a blarney stone, or at least someone Irish. Okay...anyone at all!
Yes, it's true. I like junk. I like thrifting. I like turning trash into treasure. I can't help myself. I need intervention!!
It's just so hard to pass something up that you know can go from this...
And I even lined the drawers with some lovely leftover wrapping paper from Hobby Lobby.
Now it's the repository of all of hubby's stuff that he used to dump on the kitchen table.
I picked this little gem up on a curb in Walters, OK. A sad castoff. But solid oak. At first I thought it would be great refinished, so I foisted it on my daughter, who, 2 years later, dumped it back on me, partially stripped. So, 2 coats of my new favorite black paint, Valspar Satin Black Latex Enamel, and new hardware from Lowes, and it's a buffet! If any of you know of good places to junk/antique/thrift around Lawton, please pass it on. I need a new project!
I've waited to post this until I had tried it out to make sure it would work. Well, I've used it six times now and it works. It really works. And it's so cheap. If you made the Lavender Laundry Soap from a previous post then you already have all of the ingredients for this easy, inexpensive dishwasher powder.
All you need to make this is 1 1/2 cups of Borax, and 2 cups of Baking Soda. That's it. Just stir it together really well to combine. When you're ready to do your dishes just fill the little cups in the dishwasher and run as usual. Add vinegar to the rinse aid dispenser for really spot free glasses.
I will tell you I rinse my dishes really well so there is no food left on them mainly because I have an old dishwasher. But I was so happy with the results (I even had spot free glasses!) from using this mix, with the vinegar in the rinse aid dispenser, that I won't be buying commercial dishwashing detergent ever again!
And just think how eco-friendly you're being. Not to mention the multiple, multiple uses for Borax and baking soda!
Have a thrifty day! (Sorry...I just had to say it!)
Lavender Farmer, Soapmaker, Purveyor of Curious Goods...Hi! You found me! Welcome to Turkey Creek! I am blessed to live on 10 acres in southwest Oklahoma where I am slave to a small lavender farm, and a growing soap making business. Join me on my journey through the ups and downs of the lavender, the farm, the business, and life! Thanks for stopping by!
Very truly yours,