Lovely lavender has long been known as a calming and medicinal herb when used in aromatherapy, potpourris and soaps. In decidedly different fashion, the Olympia region’s local artisans work with Evergreen Valley Lavender Farm to bring this lovable herb to the table. Sourcing a fresh culinary crop from the farm ensures bright and complex flavors for cocktails, sweets and savories. Here are three local spots to sample the farm’s current crop:
- Known for its Food Network fame on Cupcake Wars, Miss Moffett’s Mystical Cupcakes serves up Lavender Lemon Cupcakes. This seasonal treat is filled with lemon curd, lemon and lavender whipped cream cheese frosting with lavender bud garnish to top it off. Offered as an ongoing Saturday special, this might be the sweetest way to sample local lavender.
- Try your luck at Red Wind Casino and polish off a day at the black jack table or a three-course seafood extravaganza with a lavender panna cotta. This savory treat is served with a tuile cookie, native wild plum syrup and seasonal berries.
- Ricardo’s Kitchen offers an amazing space for indoor and fireside patio dining. This creative kitchen is using Evergreen Valley Lavender in its Lavender 75 craft cocktail, a sparkling sipper that blends house lavender syrup, fresh lemon juice, sparkling wine and gin for a refreshing respite from a long day. Chef and owner Rick Nelsen was kind enough to share his recipe:
Ricardo's Lavender 75
5 ounces of House Lavender Syrup (Infuse a basic simple syrup with fresh lavender)
5 ounces of Fresh Lemon Juice
1 ounce of Bellewood Apple Gin
Top with choice of Brut Champagne and garnish with fresh lavender—say cheers!
Those looking to go straight to the source can visit Evergreen Valley Lavender Farm, open Thursday to Sunday (10 a.m. – 4 p.m.), now through August. Relax in the fields, bring home organic lavender (fresh, dried and culinary), premium-quality essential oils and sprays, and handmade gifts from local artisans. Sample all the area has to offer and make a weekend of exploring more local artisans and businesses on the Thurston Bountiful Byway. Choose where to drink, dine and stay at experienceolympia.com or connect on Facebook, Twitter (@Experience_Oly) and Instagram (@ExperienceOly).
Mark the Calendar
Yelm UFO Festival, July 28-30
From UFO enthusiasts to skeptics, there will be fun for all ages and beliefs! Get lost in the Area 51 kids zone, enjoy cosmic live music and much more. Try some alien beer from Fish Brewing or listen to the symposium speakers at the Triad Theater. The festival is free and tickets for symposium speakers can be found at yelmufofest.com
Pacific Northwest Mushroom Festival, July 29-30
Join the fungi fun at the 10th annual foodie gathering. This year, local Chefs Ryan Ross and Amadeus—both of Food Network fame—will provide cooking demonstrations, alongside a variety of other chefs, culinary and mushroom experts. Don’t miss educational topics like “Tasty or Toxic” in the speaker panel, farm tours at Ostrom’s Mushroom Farm, fungi delicacies from local restaurants at the “Shroom Feast” and a Glow Run on Friday. Admission is $5. More information at pnwmushroomfest.org.
Olympia Brew Fest, Saturday, Aug. 5, 2017
Sip brews on the waterfront at Port Plaza, with more than 30 hand-picked, northwest breweries to sample from. Advanced tickets are $25 and proceeds from the festival benefit the Thurston County Chamber Foundation Small Business Development (Incubator) Program.
Tumwater Artesian Brewfest, Aug. 19, 2017
Celebrate the roots of Washington’s brewing industry and sample 40+ craft beers–including the original Olympia Beer on tap–as well as local wine and artisan cider at this large scale backyard party. Enjoy lawn games, live music and food vendors in the shadow of the original Olympia Brewery building near Tumwater Falls at the Tumwater Valley Golf Course Driving Range. Pre-sale tickets are $25, which includes five tastings and a mug. Military and designated driver discounts are available.