Monday, May 14, 2012

Farm Charm

Last week, on a beautiful sunny day, we drove out into the country.

Fields of wild goldenrod flashed by as we neared our destination:  Stream Cliff Farm.

Stream Cliff Farm is Indiana's oldest herb farm, a beautiful old homestead surrounded by gardens.  You can purchase flowers, herbs, and vegetables, browse the garden notions shop, or have a nibble at the small tea room.  Classes are taught at Stream Cliff Farm, everything from cooking with herbs to watercolor painting to making a proper container garden.

They have a lot of practice.  Charming containers were everywhere, full of all sorts of nodding flowers.

Ahhh...I love dahlias.

Window boxes of all sorts of greenery...

...and flowers.

There were winding paths through the gardens.

I got a lot of ideas for my future garden.  I love the restful, overgrown green growth, punctuated by bright flowers.

Who needs a lawn?

Hostas are great for shade areas.  They come in every shade of green and even spike up flowers at certain times of the year.

In a small pond bordering one of the paths, little frogs sang.  Lots of flowers grew in the boggy soil.  These yellow flag irises are great for ponds.  They grow right in the water!

Birds flitted above us, unseen.  These little birdhouses were so charming and clearly provided a nice home!

Next to the old homestead was an open square full of flowers for sale.  While Todd took a little break...

...I enjoyed the view!  I liked looking at the flowers, too.  :) 

Tall alliums, which bloom in both the spring and the fall...

Tables of herbs, with a few dahlias tucked in...

Clematis vines climbed on trellises everywhere! 

Green of my favorites.

Lots of pretty cottage garden flowers like foxgloves, too.

Baskets sat on low stone walls.  It was all so beautiful.

We saw animals, too.  Goats, and chickens, and roosters!

We wandered through the various greenhouses.

I didn't mean to buy anything, but I just couldn't resist!

I bought lemon verbena, lady's mantle, nicotiana, and lupine. 

After shopping, we ate at the tiny tea room next to the greenhouses.  Many of the dishes were made with fruits and vegetables grown on the farm.  I had a lemon square with lavender buds in the pastry dough.  Todd had a thick slab of hummingbird cake with an edible flower embellishment.

It was just perfect.

Speaking of perfect, I stumbled across a recipe recently that is pretty close to it!  I love pancakes, but don't usually take the time to make them.  I wouldn't want to buy a store mix, so I usually just go without pancakes.  But I found a great recipe that allows you to pre-mix and freeze the bulk of your pancake ingredients, and just add a little milk and yogurt when you're ready to eat them.  Suffice it to say, I've had pancakes three nights this week!

Healthy Pancakes
Modified from Eggs on Sunday
Makes 80 small-ish pancakes

4 cups of whole wheat flour
1 cup of white flour
3 1/2 cups of old-fashioned oatmeal
3 tablespoons honey
3 tablespoons baking powder
1 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon baking soda
1 cup vegetable oil

Combine your dry ingredients in a stand mixer and gradually pour in the honey and oil while the mixer is running.  When it's fully incorporated, you can seal it up and put it in your freezer.

To make 8 medium-sized pancakes:
1 cup of pancake mix
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup plain yogurt
1 egg

Mix everything up and cook on your griddle!  I frequently halve this recipe to make 4 small pancakes by mixing up 1/2 cup of pancake mix, 1/4 cup of milk, 1/4 cup of yogurt, and no egg.  The pancakes are so flavorful and full of healthy grains.  No preservatives here!

With this recipe, you're just 5 minutes away from healthy pancakes.  I really hope you try this recipe soon!

Have a great week!

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