Sunday, November 30, 2014

Mendenhall Plantation Jamestown NC

I recently meet a friend at city lake park in High point North Carolina its a wonderful park with a play area and a lake and in the summer it has a vintage steam train and a carousel for the kids. Across the street there's a wonderful old house and museum. I noticed it was open so the wee man and I popped over it was great and we were the only folks there so got a private tour with the man who runs it. The house dates back to 1811 and was built by a British quaker family. The home, another house that was a doctors surgery and medical school, barn, tannery and a store across the street was a local marketplace. A place to barter and trade items and develop crafts in fact the family were resourceful and skilled. The museum has fascinating history and nice grounds friendly staff and is well worth a visit. 

Monday, November 17, 2014

Acorn Squash Risotto

I made an acorn squash risotto recently although personally not my favorite risotto, I have now made a few.

I feel using seasonal squash and pumpkin is fun this time of year. I just adore risotto its a wonderful one pot meal and really a blank canvass to add new ingredients to.


  • one acorn squash
  • two cups of vegetable stock
  • 4 cloves of garlic chopped
  • 1/2 red onion chopped
  • 1/4 cup of white wine
  • 2 cups of water
  • one cup of Arborio Rice
  • a little freshly grated parmesan cheese 


  1. cut the acorn squash in half, remove the seeds and bake in a little water at 400 F for 30 minutes until soft, cut into cubes 
  2. saute the onion and garlic in olive oil, with a little wine
  3. add the acorn squash and stir
  4. add rice and stir keep stirring the rice as the water evaporates then add another cup, stir then add the final cup this takes about 30-45 min, add some parmesan never the end and some to garnish 

Hope your week is of to a good start, I live in Winston Salem North Carolina close to the village of Clemmons last night I was googling the history of Clemmons and came to learn that is was founded in the late 1800's by Peter Clemmons who had a stagecoach company.  One of these is housed in the Clemmons village hall. The Hattie Butner purchased in 1872 is a splendid carriage named after his wife it was used to take folks to Asheville. So if your ever in this area, pop into the village hall the staff are more than happy to show you a wonderful piece of local history :-)

What have you discovered recently?

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Thursday, November 13, 2014

Hauser Creek Lavender Farm

A while ago I noticed some facebook friends visiting a lavender farm, I was curious so asked for the name, then I sent the owner of Hauser Creek Lavender farm a message to see when we could visit, the farm has a couple of open houses one in the summer around harvest time and one in the fall. 

We recently visited the fall open house. Its a beautiful farm in between Mocksville and Lewisville NC close to where I live. It makes a fun Sunday afternoon trip and has nice walking trails through the woods. The family inherited the land and started growing lavender in fact there are only two places growing it in the State. Its a work in progress and a passion and speaking to them its not all that easy to grow here. The farm, has pretty barns and an old farm house made to look like it would maybe 80-100 years ago. The kids enjoyed looking around. The day we visited we were allowed to pick flowers and take them home that was a treat the owner Alethea Segal is an avid gardener and the gardens are a delight.

The farm sells soaps, dried lavender, and culinary lavender perfect for gifts.  During the peak of harvest they also sell at The piedmont triad farmers market in Greensboro. 

 The old farm house 
our wee guy showing the cat his flowers :-) 

 Inside the old farm house 

 lavender goodies 

our daughter with her flowers :-)

It's a lovely place to visit, they also rent it out for weddings, if your looking for a scenic drive and a fun farm visit consider putting one of their open houses on your calendar.

Hauser Creek Farm 

Address: Hauser Creek Farm  898 Spillman Road  Mocksville, NC 27028
Phone: 336.706.3235

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Saturday, November 8, 2014

Albanian Baked Eggplant

I learnt this simple and flavorful eggplant dish from a sweet Albanian lady I meet at a local community garden dinner. The coordinator kindly invited me I had visited a couple of times as a master gardener but didn't really know how to help. I find it easier in the school gardens. I fondly remember her garden and her pride in it, gardening connected her with how she grew up and her homeland. I follow Nate of Yomadic on twitter and facebook and really enjoy his blog and sense of adventure. He has explored Eastern Europe and many places off the beaten path. Here is one highlighting how beautiful Albania is and maybe we need to put in on our travel list. 

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Thai Basil Lemonade

Lemonade is really a summer drink but why not enjoy it all year, in fact winter is citrus season. We enjoy winter citrus especially Meyer lemons from California and honeybells from Florida. We still have a little fresh basil in the garden but I am not sure for how much longer but you can find it in grocery stores and Thai basil in your local Asian store. Our wee man helped me make this simply love involving the kids in the kitchen.


  • 2 lemons, squeezed
  • sugar to taste about 2 tablespoons 
  • one cup of water 
  • a few crushed Thai basil leaves 
  • a handful of ice

  1. juice the lemons, mix with sugar, water and basil
  2. pour over ice 
  3. enjoy 

Whatever the season we can create sunshine in the kitchen and wear a smile 

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