Mosey on through a lavender field and almost immediately the intoxicating aroma will settle your spirit and is sure to relax. What’s not to love about lavender? Its varietal blooms create the most fantastic bouquets along with a pure essential oil that infuses into and compliments just about anything. Besides aroma therapy, one of our favorite ways to use lavender is in the kitchen. Savory and sweet, lavender is versatile in its uses. Having uncovered an old-fashioned ice cream maker + a surplus of goats milk + hens busy laying farm eggs + a homegrown field of lavender = a gallon of Lavender Honey Goats Milk Ice Cream (recipe below). On a hot Summer’s day, it is a welcome treat. Even in a dessert, lavender retains its relaxing and therapeutic properties, making this lavender ice cream our favorite “go to” after working hard and harvesting in the High Desert sun.
Lavender thrives in the High Desert of Oregon due to arid conditions. Because of its Mediterranean origins, lavender loves a blazing hot sun and dry soil. Surprisingly, infertile and free-draining soils are ideal for a healthy lavender field. Varieties of lavender abound, there are 45 different species and 450 varieties within those species. Some main contenders are French, English and Spanish Lavender. Lavender grows best in the United States zones 5-8. While most varieties favor a hot, dry climate, Spanish Lavender does well in hot, humid climates making it a good choice for the American South. When picking out lavender plants, choose a local farm in your area, if possible. They can provide valuable information about best varieties, soil amendments and what to expect when growing lavender in your part of the world. Our local farm is Tumalo Lavender, a wonderful resource for all things lavender, in Central Oregon.
One of the most popular essential oils to infuse in skincare products, culinary creations and diffusers is Lavender oil. When it’s copper distilled lavender essential oil retains its purest form. Applying this dynamite healer directly to your skin is the quickest pathway to receiving its therapeutic properties. Inhalation through the air or directly from your essential oil bottle is another option. Put into a diffusor, it will clean the air in your home or office space thanks to its antibacterial nature. It can have a calming and uplifting effect on your mood as well. Again, what’s not to love about lavender?!
CHECK OUT our beautiful varieties of lavender and how we hung bouquets to dry in an old rustic shed and even made chamomile/lavender farm tea!
Lavender Honey Goats Milk Ice Cream!!!
8 c fresh Goats milk
8 c heavy whipping cream
8 egg yolks
3 c sugar
1 t xanthan gum (easy to find at the supermarket)
3/4 cup local honey
2 Tbls vanilla extract
1 1/2 c dried lavender buds
Combine sugar and xanthan gum, whisk well to combine.
Add goats milk, heavy cream and sugar mixture to a large saucepan. Whisk well to combine.
Beat egg yolks in a separate bowl until light yellow and foamy.
Set heat to medium. Stir mixture often until sugar is incorporated. Make sure NOT to simmer!
Slowly add a 1/4 of the hot milk/cream/sugar to beaten egg yolks in a thin stream while vigorously whisking. Then add that back to the original mixture.
Cook over medium heat for another five minutes, stirring often. Make sure not to simmer!
Remove from heat, add vanilla, and chill overnight in your refrigerator. Place the container that you will store your finished ice cream in the freezer to chill overnight (ensures the ice cream does not begin to melt when it’s first placed in the container).
Lavender Honey Syrup:
Combine 2 1/4 cups water and 3/4 cup honey in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, remove from heat, and add dried lavender buds to the saucepan. Cover with a lid, and let sit overnight.
Combine Custard Base and Lavender syrup thoroughly.
Add to your ice cream machine, and follow instructions manual.
When your ice cream starts to look like a thick milkshake, it’s time to freeze!
Transfer to your chilled container, and freeze for at least 6 hours or overnight.