When we headed out early Saturday morning I wasn’t sure what to expect from the Blanco, Lavender Festival. This was the festival’s sixth year, so compared to my hometown’s annual festival the Shrimporee which has grown incredibly each year, this one was fairly new. When we arrived we drove past the town square and decided to make for the Lavender farms first since the news predicted a hot day and we knew the girls’ would be in ‘better moods”, while it was still cool. As we drove into the first farm we weren’t really sure what to do, but were quickly greeted by a nice lady who gave us the “how-to.”
“Walk down the way, folow the path, snip the amount of lavender you want and we charge $5.00 a bundle.” Then she turned to my youngest and said, “the further you walk in the deeper the purple.”
So yes, we walked the complete field to find the exact shade Pip’s heart desired. A small piece of purlpe heaven in the middle of Hill Country is hwat we found. The color, the smell and the scenery was breathtaking. Rows and rows of purple blooms, all while bees bounced from flower to flower. I felt we were incredibly lucky, most of the crowd were at the town square so we were happily left to explore the field in all its beauty alone. No rushing, no one pushing, we were alone -and patiently looked for our perfect bunch of lavender.
The plan was to visit all three farms- hubby and I always plan big, forgetting we have kids–so all three farms were not visited due to tired, tiny feet and extreme heat.
Hubby holding our perfect bunch, pips approved of the shade so we left happily…
After visiting the farm, we drove to the Town Square to do a little shopping and have a bite for lunch. I quickly found the visitors stand where they were selling their festival cookbook and ready to use dried lavender. I purchased two of each, one for me of course and the other set for one of my lucky readers….shall we use the lavender in something sweet? Lavender infused cream cheese stuffed into strawberries make for the perfect after dinner treat. Enjoy and read below for your chance to win a Blanco Lavender Festival gift pack.
Lavender-Cream Cheese Stuffed Strawberries
makes 20 strawberries
from The Local Flavor of Lavender
20 whole large strawberries, hulled
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup Lavender Powdered Sugar (recipe follows)
1/3 cup sliced almonds or chopped pecans (toasted if preferred)
Cut a thin slice off the bottom of each strawberry to stand it upright.
Place berries, cut side down, on a serving platter. Carefully slice berries with a criss cross cut, cutting almost to, but not through, the bottoms.
Open the berries (at criss cross cut) just slightly, taking care not to break them. Set aside.
In a mixing bowl, beat together cream cheese and lavender sugar until combined, but still stiff.
Using a teaspoon or pastry bag with decorative tip, fill the strawberries with the cream cheese mixture.
Sprinkle nuts on top of the stuffed strawberries.
Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.
Lavender Powdered Sugar
from The Local Flavor of Lavender
makes 1 cup
1 cup confectioners’ sugar
1/2 tbsp dried culinary lavender buds
In a spice grinder, pulse 2 tbsp of confectioners’ sugar with lavender buds until finely ground.
Transfer to a bowl and stir in remaining sugar. Put mixture in a jar, cover tightly, and let it stand for at least 5 days before using to allow the lavender to infuse into the sugar.
A Blanco Lavender Festival giveaway–~~GIVEAWAY ENDED~~~
–celebrating local festivals, cooking with lavender, and my 100th post…yeah!!
What you will receive…..The Local Flavor of Lavender Coobook, which features 70 lavender inspired recipes from local chefs and caterers from Blanco, Texas.
Recipes include…..Lavender Cream, Lavender Sangria Poached Pears, Lavender Scones, Duck two ways with Lavender-Ginger-Orange glaze…just to name a few.
You will also recieve a 1-oz tin of Culinary Lavender from Blanco. Pictured below, I have been cooking with this lavender all week and all recipes only require 1 tsp to 1tbsp of lavender, so will you have plenty to enjoy the whole year.
Comment below and your entered, tweet for a extra chance (please let me know in your comment) Open to everyone..Enjoy!! Giveaway ends Friday.