Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Lavender photos

Arles Lucy and I took a short road trip on Sunday.  We went to northern Orange county for Sunshine Lavender Farm's harvest celebration.  I just finished writing about it for next week's newspaper article, but I just have to post some of the photos I took of our afternoon.
It was a beautiful day.  Hot, but it's hot in Provence during the summer, too, so that's appropriate.  The heat of the sun releases the heavenly perfume of the flowers.  
We ate chocolate lavender ice cream from Maple View Farms first.
Trop bonne, la glace au chocolat à la lavande.
Lavender flowers can be white.  I did not know that!
Annie has a drying barn for her lavender.
She surrounds herself with beautiful lavender objets.
Lucy bought a wreath made by Annie's mom who also grows lavender at her home in Virginia.  This one is made with flowers from the Hidcote variety of lavender.

We felt it was our duty to try the vanilla lavender ice cream, too.

La glace à la vanille à la lavande -- très bonne aussi.
There are a few resting spots on the farm...

More lovely lavender...
I just couldn't stop snapping photos.

In the barn, the photo on Annie's calendar was the Abbaye de Sénanque.  Arles Lucy and I let out a long sigh as we remembered our trip there...
Merci, Annie for a wonderful day!

Annie's Old Fashioned Chocolate Lavender Ice Cream(makes 4 quarts)

2 -2/3 c. sugar
2 Tbsp. cornstarch
1/2 tsp. salt
6 c. milk
4 eggs, beaten
6 squares semi-sweet chocolate, melted
1 -1/3 c. half and half
2 c. whipping cream
2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1 Tbsp. or one small tea ball packed with lavender florets, fresh, dried or culinary

Combine sugar, cornstarch and salt in saucepan.  With tea ball suspended on edge of saucepan, gradually stir in milk.  If using loose florets, just add them to the milk.  Cover and cook over medium heat until mixture comes to a simmer, stirring constantly.  Gradually stir about 1 cup of the hot mixture into the beaten eggs.  Add to remaining hot mixture, stirring constantly.  Cook and stir over low heat until slightly thickened (about 2 minutes).  Stir in melted chocolate.  Beat with a whisk until mixture is smooth.  Stir in half and half, whipping cream and vanilla.  (You may remove the tea ball now or strain the florets out with cheesecloth for a lighter lavender taste or leave in during the cooling process for more flavor.**)  Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours.  Freeze as directed.

Annie's note:  "If I am making ice cream from scratch, I splurge and go the rich and creamy route.  Some folks need a lighter, lower fat version, so here ya go!"

For lower fat recipe:
Substitute 1% milk for whole milk, whole milk for half and half and evaporated skim milk for whipping cream.  Higher fat dairy products - such as whipping cream- create a smooth, rich and creamy dessert.  Lower fat dairy products create a lighter dessert with a slightly different, less smooth texture.

** My note:  Maple View Farms ice cream had little bits of the lavender florets still in the ice cream.  I like it that way.  I grind my lavender pretty finely in a coffee grinder before I cook with it.

 Bon appétit, Annie et la lavande!

**Maple View ice cream still has small pieces of florets in it and I really liked it that way


14cyang (AKA ncacswimmer or "Cath") said...

Wow. So pretty Madame! Those pictures are beautiful!

The Sabbatical Chef said...

Merci, mademoiselle! I think pictures are always prettier when you are having fun!!
Enjoying summer yet?