24 August 2013

The Moose Curry Experience Goes Camping, Part II: Find Local Food

Maybe your camping holiday is so long you can't bring enough food with you for the whole trip.  Or maybe you just didn't have time to do your meal planning ahead.  Or maybe you wish you'd brought something different.  Or maybe you're saving so much money by camping instead of staying in B&B's or hotels, that you can budget for meals out.  Regardless, you are likely away from home thus not familiar with the local food resources.

The artisan bread from The Bonavista Social Club is baked daily in a large wood-fired oven; the only commercial oven of it's kind in Newfoundland.

Eating Out

We resist the temptation to stick safely to recognizable franchises: if we were so inclined, that is food we can eat at home so there's no point choosing it when travelling.  (But don't think we're above it or too good for it; more than one road trip has begun with a yellow cardboard box of assorted donut holes.)  Part of a place and the experience of that place is the food.  If you don't know where to eat, ask the locals (the camp ground staff, the people working at the gas station).  Ask other tourists you run into where they've eaten.  Do some research ahead of time.  And trust your instincts: the name of a place, the look of their sign and other advertising all give you a sense of what to expect.  And if you don't know what to expect, don't create expectations it can't live up to.

We think we saw the characteristic 45-degree
angled blow of sperm whales from the north
trail at Spillars Cove.
As mentioned in Part I, we were camped in the middle of the Bonavista Peninsula. Home of the original fishermen's union, officially (but controversially) the landing place of John Cabot, a very critical region in the history of the sealing industry. Rural Newfoundland.  Before moving to out here 11 years ago, the only travel book we could find in the whole of the Toronto library system was one called Come Near At Your Peril, a book which told us that Rural Newfoundland restaurants were uninspired at best.  Oh, not necessarily so, Mr. O'Flaherty.  (To be fair to O'Flaherty, I believe he was, in part, managing expectations; additionally, a lot has changed here in the nearly 20 years since the book was published.)

This particular holiday was a return trip to the Bonavista area, having enjoyed ourselves so much last year we just wanted to go back.  The appeal is simple: puffins nesting near-shore in Elliston and Spillars Cove, fantastic coastal hiking trails throughout the peninsula, and critically, it's possible to get a very good cup of coffee.  Admittedly, the first time we drove out there, we didn't know about the puffins or the possibility of spotting sperm whales from shore... we had been perusing the Eastern Newfoundland Geotourism Map and noticed there were at least a few coffee shops and restaurants that looked like the kind of place we like to eat.  The Bonavista Peninsula is an exciting place these days for local, seasonal, hand-crafted food... if we had a greater disposable income, we might not have cooked any of our own meals; or we might have timed our trip to coincide with the garlic festival in Upper Amherst Cove or Roots, Rants, and Roars in Elliston.  With the budget we do have, however, we could manage a couple of lunches out.

On the drive up to Lockston Path Provincial Park, we needed lunch.  From experience, we know to stop for lunch... putting it off because "there's not that much further to go" usually results in low blood sugar leading to aggravation and impatience while setting up camp, because you're hardly going to pull up to the camp site and eat before you put your tents up, right?  To avoid adding to the usual frustration of setting up camp, we stopped for lunch.  Stopped properly and ate a meal sitting at a table in a restaurant.  Megan's is on the Trans-Canada highway near Arnold's Cove on the isthmus between the Avalon Peninsula and the rest of the island of Newfoundland.  As you get close, a sign warns you that the best fish and chips in the world are coming up.  It was a bit of a mauzy day, so fish and chips sounded just about right.  Megan's is exactly what you would expect from looking at the sign: it's a proper old-fashioned roadside diner, the kind of place time forgot, the kind of place that does not have a website to link to.  This is the real deal.  Casual friendly service, charming retro food presentation, and their own tartar and coleslaw to accompany fish and chips that are indeed worth stopping for.

One of the real gems of the Bonavista Peninsula is Two Whales Coffee Shop in Port Rexton, found in a charismatic old house easily seen from a distance (a relief when you aren't familiar with the area).  Very good coffee.  Very very good lattes. Attentive, neighbourly service without being intrusive.  It's also very close to the camp ground so rather convenient for an afternoon coffee and slice of cake on the way back from the day's adventures.  Well-spiced, nutty and moist carrot cake that, if the sign didn't actually point it out, we would never have known it was gluten-free. (As it turns out, it wasn't gluten free!  Our mistake... that said, the gluten-filled carrot cake was great.)

Two Whales Coffee Shop is one of the reasons we go to the Bonavista Peninsula on vacation.  The coffee is fantastic, the food is delightful, the service is excellent, and the parking lot does not frighten the dogs.
Last year and this, we found ourselves salivating over the posted lunch menu, so finally planned a day around being in the area mid-day.  Skipping the extraordinarily busy Skerwink Trail (our dogs are rural dogs, and they-- and let's face it, Fefe too-- would be overwhelmed by walking amongst crowds of people), we took the beautiful Fox Island Trail across the harbour in Champney's West.  Then lunch at Two Whales.  We, of course, failed to bring a camera in with us thus you will have to trust us to report that food looked fantastic.  We were initially a bit disappointed to hear they were out of green tomato chutney but the blueberry chutney, undoubtedly hand made, served in the ploughman's panini was exactly right.  The red bean soup tasted of spicy wholesome goodness, but the accompanying cheesy soda bread may have been the best part.  (On further thought, the best part might be that the coffee arrived at our table in a french press, exactly how we'd make it ourselves.)  We swapped plates half way through and were both so full that we had to take our lemon drizzle cake and tunisian orange cake to go.  Something else worth mentioning:  it seemed the crowds from the Skerwink trail arrived all at once shortly after we got there.  The staff at Two Whales handled the overcrowding beautifully, finding chairs for the outdoor table, offering take out as an option... we never once felt crowded or rushed despite the busy-ness of the place.


Because camping is generally conducted in the summer months, there is usually the opportunity to buy vegetables, fruits and preserves from roadside stands.  Ask around about small groceries or bakeries that sell local products. We brought most of the groceries we needed for the length of the trip but made a point of not bringing enough bread.  If you are ever in the area, run out of bread on purpose as an excuse to go to the Bonavista Social Club.  And okay, their menu looks great too, and we can vouch for the fabulousness of their rhubarb lemonade, so you don't need to only go for the bread.  One of our dogs, however, is too neurotic to leave in their across-the-street-and-down-the-hill-a-bit parking lot (oh, that loud noise that sounds like a donkey is trapped in our car?  nothing to worry about, it's just the dog thinking she's been abandoned) so we've not had the luxury of stopping in for a meal.  We did, however, buy bread which was still warm when we broke into it for our lunch picnic.

The Bonavista Social Club in Upper Amherst Cove grows much of their own produce; their wood-fired oven bread is well worth the trip.  If you are headed home that day, buy enough to stock your freezer.
The Bonavista Social Club bakes all their bread in view of the dining area, in a great big wood-fired oven.  The sourdough is both soft and crusty, just like you want it.  The other breads are also tangy, suggestive of sourdoughs or other mature starters used in baking.  We bought too much bread to actually get through while it was still fresh (though their bread accompanied most of our meals over a couple days), so I can tell you this other thing for free: when we returned home, the Bonavista Social Club multigrain bread starred in the best garlicky croutons I ever made.


A short note on foraging opportunities.  We brought all our relevant field guides and had a lot of good intentions to pick up a bit of this or that to add to our planned meals.  We were too busy looking at puffins to remember to collect things to bring back to the campsite.  Strangely, however, the Bonavista Peninsula seems to be covered in scotch lovage... also abundant seaside plantain, beach pea and roseroot as well as the occasional sea rocket plant.  We were pretty good at snacking on wild berries; we were there just in time to catch the peak of the raspberries, but also took advantage of some late bakeapples and early blueberries.  A bit of fresh sun-warmed fruit is the icing on the cake when you're on a great trail.

Incidentally, the Bonavista Peninsula is covered with edible seaside plants.  Clockwise from, left:  Scotch lovage and seaside plantain surround a bit of remote installation art found near Keels.  Puffins and gulls nesting on an island nearshore at Elliston, are inadvertently tending lovage, plantain and roseroot.  The Bonavista Peninsula apparently produces massive amounts of lovage; this photo may also be from Keels, but we really did see lovage everywhere.  Sea rocket was found sparsely, but on several pebble beaches.

20 August 2013

Ode to Chanterelles

There is almost nothing in the world better than the smell of chanterelles.  So how best to eat them?  Let them be chanterelles and serve with a good risotto in the supporting role.

The gold colour of chanterelles pops against the moss of the forest floor; once you've found your first patch, you are likely to spot another cluster while harvesting some from the first.

Risotto with Chanterelles

Ingredients for the risotto dish, including (top) wild-
harvested chanterelles, (middle) garlic from the garden
and wild-picked juniper berries, and (bottom) the all
important dry vermouth.
serves 4

for the risotto

3 c. chicken stock + 1 c. water
1 bay leaf (optional)
3 tbsp olive oil
3 slices proscuitto, cut crosswise into thin strips
3 wild juniper berries, slightly crushed (or substitute commercial juniper berries)
1 c. arborio rice
3/4 c. dry vermouth
1 c. (loose), apprx. 30 g, grated sovrano cheese (or other hard white italian cheese, though something with a strong flavour like asiago might compete too strongly with the chanterelles)

for the mushrooms

1 tbsp olive oil
450 g fresh chanterelles, brushed clean, trimmed of bruises, and torn into bite-sized pieces
1 clove garlic, minced

You may have heard risotto is tricky or difficult or a meal best ordered in a restaurant because you could never do it right.  Put all of that out of your head.  Risotto requires some patience, but is otherwise very simple.

In a saucepan, combine chicken stock and water (if you didn't use a bay leaf when making your chicken stock, add one to the pot).  Bring to a boil then reduce heat to just above a simmer.  Put oil for mushrooms in a cast iron skillet, place on a cold burner.

In a large, heavy bottomed saucepan or dutch oven, heat olive oil on med-high (err slightly toward med).  Add proscuitto and juniper berries; sautee until ham is just crispy.  Add the arborio rice and stir until all the oil is absorbed.  Add vermouth and stir until all the liquid is abosorbed.  Add hot broth, a ladle at a time, stirring between additions until all the liquid is absorbed.

When the rice begins to take on a creamy consistency and the individual grains look very plump start testing your rice for done-ness. It should taste cooked and be mostly soft with a slight bite left to it.  If it hurts your teeth to chew, it isn't done, but stop cooking before it loses all it's resistance.  Keep adding broth and stirring it in until the rice is done.  

Turn the heat on to the higher end of med-high under your mushroom skillet.  Remove risotto from heat, quickly stir in the cheese, cover and let rest until the mushrooms are done.

Put the mushrooms into the heated oil and don't touch them until they have released their liquid and most of the liquid has evaporated.  Feel free to stand with your face above the pan inhaling the incredible aroma of the mushrooms.  For safety, I might suggest you use your hands to waft the scent toward you.  Either way, use the don't-interfere-with-the-mushrooms time to bask in incredible fragrance of the chanterelles.  Add garlic, stir the mushrooms to turn them and finish cooking.  They're done when all the liquid is gone and garlic smells cooked (but not burnt).

Very possibly caribougrrl's favourite meal.  Fefe Noir is not a big fan of rice, but even she enjoys this risotto.
Serve sauteed mushrooms over risotto.  Carefully remove the juniper berries from the risotto when serving, or, for a more casual atmosphere, advise your guests to avoid them.


Collecting Chanterelles

When we were still fairly new in Newfoundland, Fefe was fortunate to have a friend who came from a long line of chanterelle-gatherers.  Our first taste of these mushrooms came as a very generous gift from Mme. Fun-Gal. 

Many of us have grown up being terrified by wild mushrooms.  Don't eat that, it might be poisonous!  If you don't know what you're doing, mushrooms can kill you!  And though that's true, it's also fear-mongering.  Find someone who does know what they're doing, and beg them to teach you.  Agree to be blindfolded on the way to their mushrooming spots if necessary.  And here's why:  although you probably think (and technically you are right about this) that you can live happily without wild mushrooms, you may not know how much happier wild mushrooms will make you.  Especially the chanterelle.  Oh, the chanterelle. 

In the interest of full disclosure, my wild mushroom experience is currently limited to morels and chanterelles.  And morels are delicious.  But chanterelles are spellbinding.  Probably because of their close association with living trees, they have a fragrance and taste of the woods... not earthy grounded stuff, the subtle smell and taste of the sun-warmed air of the forest.  Less poetically, the smell has also been described in field guides as similar to apricot or apricot pits.

Most guides and websites I've looked at suggest chanterelles are one of the best mushrooms for novice mushroom-hunters.  Before you start searching, check if there are dangerous look-alikes in your area and be sure you know what you are doing (as suggested earlier, if you don't know what you are doing, make a pest of yourself until someone who does agrees to show you).

Chanterelles are always found around living trees, they do not grow from rotting logs.  The stem and cap are continuous, not separated, so the gills stretch from the edges of the underside of the cap down the stem.  (Okay, they aren't true gills, but the gill-like folds.)  Mature chanterelles are trumpet shaped with undulating tops and wavy edges; immature chanterelles are smoother edged and flat-topped.  If you tear a chanterelle, you will be able see that it would shred easily.  If you aren't yet convinced, smell them.

In this part of Newfoundland, we've found them in dense, damp (but not water-saturated) balsam fir-dominated forest stands, starting mid-August-ish for 2-3 weeks.  If you look across the forest floor, the bright golden colour leaps out at your eyes.  You just need to spot one patch and then when you are there, squat down to ground level, chances are good you'll spot another patch, then another.  In what feels like no time at all, you'll have a few pounds worth.

Chanterelles are incredibly charismatic mushrooms.  Note the gills fusing with the stem rather than being contained completely in the cap.
The advice on whether to cut or pull is inconsistent, so we do a bit of both.  We also leave far more behind than we pick.  

Take them home as soon as possible, and let them air dry on paper for a few minutes just to lose any surface moisture.  These will keep for a week (maybe longer; but not in our house) in a brown paper bag in the vegetable drawer of the fridge.  Don't clean them until you use them, and when you do clean them, don't use water.  Remove debris with a soft brush and cut out any bruised or stubbornly dirty spots.

If you are still feeling shy and uncertain about hunting mushrooms, or you just can't get to them, have no fear.  From what I gather by seeing chanterelles for sale locally and perusing the miracle of the internet, you can let someone else do the scary work and (instead of getting them for free plus the sweat on your brow) you can purchase these for $15-45 per pound. Farmers markets and specialty stores are good sources for chanterelles in season.  Specialty shops likely carry them dried or frozen out of season too, but that kind of spoils the fun: part of the enchantment is the brief period of availability and the long stretch of the year where you can only fantasize about next season.

A quick note about wild juniper berries:  Similar to mushrooms, this is a berry you've likely heard over and over again is poisonous, don't eat it.  From what I have read, it seems it can give you some really nasty digestive problems if eaten in great quantities, but it is perfectly safe to use in small quantities.  Like a seasoning for this risotto.  But act with the usual cautions you take, particularly if you are pregnant or your health is compromised or you are a worrier.  For what it's worth, I used some in this risotto, both of us ate it, neither of us became ill.  Assuming you know how to identify juniper, choose the fully mature berries which are dark blue in colour, not the young white or white-ish green ones.

Ode to Chanterelles on Punk Domestics

12 August 2013

The Moose Curry Experience Goes Camping, Part I: Cooking for Yourself

Why needlessly suffer vienna sausages and boxed mac'n'cheese, because you're constrained by a camp stove and a cooler?  Just because you're in the woods doesn't mean you can't eat fabulous food.

Cooking outdoors on a wood fire is one of the greatest pleasures of life.

Despite the fact it never fails to rain when we are on holiday, we go camping year after year.  For one thing, we like camping: we like being outdoors, we like hiking, we like picnics, we like reading books in the mid-day sun... I particularly like feeling as though I don't need to bathe every day (Fefe Noir may have other opinions about this...).  For another thing or two, however, camping is the easiest way for dog owners to vacation and not have to worry what to do about the dogs and an excellent way to get the hell out of town for a while without spending an arm and a leg for the privilege.

If the latter is your best reason for camping (too broke or too cheap for a less rustic option), you probably also aren't eating in restaurants while on your trip.  But don't think for a minute that means you have to eat tinned meat and dehydrated soup every day.

Know Your Equipment and Take Enough Stuff

Top:  The Pantry.  If it fit in the back of the car, I
took it.  Including the cheese grater.  Bottom:  Yes,
we are spoiled car-campers with a picnic shelter.
But we have suffered enough rain-soaked trips
without it, that we have absolutely earned the
right to have one.  Like at home, the dogs like the
kitchen best.
You need to be able to do all your cooking on the equipment you bring.  We always plan to cook a few meals on the fire, but don't rely on it as your only cooking surface: camp fire prohibitions can happen at any time, high winds and rain can make fires difficult to manage for cooking, or you might not have the patience for cooking fires (and frustration is guaranteed to work against you).  We also take a single-burner portable gas stove, so anything we plan to cook on the fire needs to be adaptable to the stove if necessary.

Your equipment and pantry depend on how much space you have and how you are travelling.  We go car camping, so we're limited by car space.  If we did a hike-in trip, we'd have to plan more precisely what to cook and leave excess food behind (also, Fefe would just plain refuse).  We also might have to leave the cheese grater and garlic press at home.  Or get saddle bags for the dogs.  Is it fair to make the dogs carry a lemon juicer if they don't directly benefit from it?  No matter what kitchen triage decisions you need to make, always always always have a good sharp knife and at least one pot for boiling stuff (if for nothing else, it's been our experience that coffee is not optional on camping trips).  Aluminium foil will make your life easier.  And then whatever else you can fit that will make you happy in your outdoor kitchen.  We even brought an egg timer, so take that.

About keeping stuff cold in a cooler:  blocks of ice stay frozen longer than ice cubes (basic surface to volume stuff), so plan ahead and freeze containers of water in the days before you leave.  As an added bonus, these tend to be less drippy than bags of ice.  You might need to buy ice on the road, but at least your first couple of days, when the cooler is at capacity, will be low maintenance.

Prepare Ahead

This is the most important thing I will tell you; the best tip for eating well in the woods:  everything you can do before you leave home is something you don't have to do when you are there.  Plan your meals and build in some flexibility (so late back from you hike that you need to eat IMMEDIATELY, not when the fire is ready?  cold and wet from the rain and you just don't fancy salad nicoise?).  Do as much prep as reasonable before you leave your home.  Plan far enough in advance that you have things frozen to be thawed for cooking; increasing shelf life and, as a bonus, helping keep your cooler cold.  Bring a variety of vegetables, eat the ones that spoil quickly (like lettuce) first, save the ones that last well (like cabbage and bell pepper) for later in the week.  Bring essential flavourings (garlic, onions, vinegars) instead of doing without.  Why not?  Plan on picking up groceries (and ice) or pack non-perishables for the end of the trip.

Top:  The day before departure, we layered sweet
potato tossed in lemon juice and a few drops of oil,
dark leafy greens, sliced red onion, fresh halibut
steaks, a sprig of dill and a pat of butter.  Wrapped in
parchment paper, then aluminium foil and refrigerated
over night, then packed directly against the ice
in the cooler.  Bottom:  After 25 minutes on the coals
of a cooking fire, enjoy a perfectly cooked meal of
fletan en papillote.

The day before we left, we bought some fresh halibut from the fish truck.  That night we prepped halibut wrapped in parchment then in a double layer of aluminium foil: shiny side in on the first layer; shiny side out on the other layer. (In my head I imagine this protects the packet from being too hot on a fire and helps keep the heat in.  This is not a scientific fact, it is complete conjecture.  What is almost certainly scientific fact is that the parchment paper layer means you don't have to be anxious about reactivity of the aluminium foil, or worry about things sticking to the foil, AND you can definitely call it "en papillote" despite the foil.) After you've driven however far you've driven and spent all that time frustrated as you try to remember exactly how all those tents go together, the only thing you have to do for dinner, is build a fire.  Throw the packets on the coals for 25 minutes, and voila, a delectable meal with no fuss.  

We also brought frozen meatballs wrapped in lemon leaves (from the lemon trees Fefe grew at home from seed) that we made a few days earlier.  These were intended for cooking on the fire but had to be pan fried on the stove due to a rather dramatic rain storm.  Due to that same rain storm, we opted to serve them with a tin of dolmadas instead of trying to wash lettuce for a salad.  I was like an impromtu theme night: things wrapped in leaves.  (As a note: do not eat lemon leaves; if you wrap food in citrus leaf, peel the leaf off before eating.  As for grape leaves, that's your green vegetable for the meal.)

The very fabulous meatballs wrapped in lemon leaves (more fabulous if you call them polpettine al limone) can be cooked over a fire or on a grill,or in case of rain, pan fried on the camp stove.

Pre-marinated and frozen lamb was thawed in the cooler and
cooked a few days after we left home. Served with a salad of veg
which likewise last for several days in a cooler.
Lamb marinated for souvlaki and frozen ahead can spend a few days in the cooler before you need to cook it.  Pita bread, which is a good accompaniment lasts reasonably well also and can be revived (if it gets stale) by heating.  The lamb can be pan-fried if necessary, but better on skewers over a fire.  If you follow through with intentions better than we do, collect some wild herbs (like Scotch lovage) to add to your greek-inspired salad.

A packet of spaghetti, a bottle of strained tomatoes, some garlic and a can of clams makes a fantastic low-prep meal using primarily non-perishable ingredients.  Old hard italian cheeses stand up well to cooler storage (as long as you keep them dry).
A late trip meal from non-perishable (and nearly non-perishable) foods.  Spaghetti with clam sauce, served with some
locally-sourced artisan bread (see Part II).  The sauce was cooked on the camp stove then kept warm by the
fire while the pasta was cooked.  If you only brought one pan, I don't know how to help you.

Special Events

If you happen to be camping during, oh, I don't know, maybe someone's birthday, you don't need to drive around unfamiliar places unsuccessfully looking for a bakery in order to provide cake.  And you don't have to skip the cake either.  Hollow out some oranges, mix your dry cake ingredients with your wet ones in a zipper bag, cut the tip of the bag off, fill the oranges 2/3 to 3/4 full of cake batter, wrap well in aluminium foil and toss on the fire for about 25 minutes.  Cake in an orange.  Cake infused with smoky orange goodness.  And if it happens to be your birthday, I believe this counts a fruit serving... right?

Clockwise from left:  Hollowed oranges become the cake pan as well as the source of phenomenal aromatic flavouring.  Mix dry and wet ingredients together in a plastic zipper bag.  Perfectly cooked orange-y cake-y loveliness.


Sea stack at Spillar's Cove.
We tend to do the same thing every day when camping.  Go for a hike, have a picnic lunch, give the dogs a good rest by hanging around the picnic site reading books and bird watching and whale watching.  Maybe hike some more.  Maybe go for a swim.  We are not people to spend time making up sandwiches and salads for lunch, we shove things in our pack and deal with it at lunch time.  So we always take a pocket knife and bring food that you don't need to worry about being unrefrigerated for a few hours even if it's hot out: munching vegetables (carrot, cucumber, bell pepper, etc.), cheese, dry salami, pickled eggs, bread, crackers, dried fruit, nuts, chocolate... not all of it every day, but some variation.  I am writing about this largely as an excuse to post some pictures of the picnic spots from our recent trip to the Bonavista Peninsula.
Overlooking Trinity.  If you notice the large swath of rain in the background, rest assured that it is falling directly over our campsite at Lockston Path Provincial Park.

3 August 2013

Lavender Ice Cream

You will never want vanilla ice cream again.

Lavender Ice Cream

a posie of lavender in flower (5-10g)
2 c. skim milk (for a richer and somewhat softer ice cream, use whole milk; if whole milk makes you panic but skim milk makes you sad, use 1% or 2%... one way or another, this is a hell of a good ice cream)
175 g clover syrup (or use honey)
3 egg yolks (fresh eggs from happy chickens are best)
1 c. whipping cream

Pull flowers from lavender stalks and set aside.

In a heavy-bottomed saucepan, combine milk and remaining lavender (stems and all).  Heat on medium setting, stirring regularly, until bubbles form on the edges of the pan.  Remove from heat and let sit, covered, for about 20 minutes to let the lavender flavour infuse the milk.

Beat clover syrup together with egg yolks in a heat-proof bowl.  Slowly pour milk and lavender into egg mixture, stirring quickly as you go.  Pour this mixture back into the pan and cook, stirring constantly, until the custard is thick enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon.  This takes about 10 minutes over medium (erring slightly on the low side) heat.  If you overcook, the custard will begin to separate.

Pour the custard through a sieve (to remove lavender) into a heat proof bowl, lay waxed paper over the surface of the custard to prevent a skin from forming and let cool to room temperature.  Refrigerate for at least a couple of hours, preferably overnight... you want this as cold as possible without being frozen.

In a large chilled mixing bowl, whip cream until doubled in volume and soft peaks form.  Shift the whipping cream to one side of the bowl, pour the custard into the other side, then fold together.  This does not need to be absolutely thoroughly combined since your ice cream maker will do some of that work for you.  Try to not lose whipped cream volume when combining.  Chill mixture.  Freeze in ice cream maker following manufacturer's instructions.  Fold lavender flowers into ice cream to provide a few flecks of purple colour.

If you don't have an ice cream maker, pour into a freeze-able container, stir in the lavender flowers, and stick in the freezer.  Every hour or so, scrape down the edges and gently fold the frozen part into the rest of the mixture.  Keep doing this until properly frozen.


When I realized this post (ice cream already made, photos already taken) was going to coincide with Food Day Canada, I wondered if we should delay posting. But then I realized, quite serendipitously, all the ingredients here are Canadian.  Assuming you think of the home-Made in Canada syrup as being a Canadian ingredient... so maybe stretching things a bit, but if you used Canadian honey, that would remove the grey area....

Lavender from the garden, syrup made from wild flowers that are walking distance from the house, milk products from Newfoundland dairies.  And the prettiest eggs around, from happy chickens that live a short drive away (some good eggs were purchased from Some Good Market).  If you notice in the photo, we need this ice cream: it's so hot even the eggs are sweating.

my photos on tastespotting