It’s a well-known fact that I love Enchanted Acres, the pumpkin patch.  I sing their praise each fall over their strawberry jam and caramel apple sundaes! Plus, the owner Shannon is such a great person that it makes it easy to be a cheerleader!  This past weekend, Shannon invited me to come out and participate in one of her workshops, Farm to Table Herbs & Butters.  This awesome workshop was taught by Mary Lovstad of Farm Girl Cook’n and Farm Girl Weddings!

I’ve known Mary for several years as we are both members of the North Iowa Bloggers.  I also know she is an incredibly talented cook, but her knowledge of herbs during this workshop blew me away!  I’m not one to cook with fresh herbs. I don’t grow any, I don’t have access to many, and to be honest they have always scared me! Thankfully, with Mary’s help, I’m feeling more confident than ever!

Cooking With Herbs

The workshop included Mary putting together bouquets of fresh herbs with us!  Not only did we get bouquets of fresh herbs to take home with us, but Mary also taught us about the herbs, what foods to use it with and how to use it!  Plus, she shared with us how to take them home and dry them for future use!  Then, we got to make some goodies with them!

We put together three “take homes”, which I thought was the best part about the class!  Not only did I learn about the herbs, but I also get to take them home to actually cook with!  So, what did we make?!  We started with Herb Butters!  Mary instructed us how to select our herbs, remove the leaves, and chop them!  I selected lemon thyme, chives, and a little rosemary for my butter!  (Check out how the full recipe to make the butter, HERE!)

Next up was “Saving Summer in a Jar!”  This was super easy!  First we selected our herbs (for me it was sage, rosemary, lemon thyme, pepper, and a little lemon zest)!  I didn’t use a ton of herbs as I wanted this to be a finishing salt!  Once I had all my herbs chopped, I added them to salt!  (Check out the whole process HERE!)

Last up was an “Orange Herb Turkey Brine Mix“!  I don’t cook tukey’s!  Honestly, it’s because I don’t host Thanksgiving as we go to our parents homes for the holidays!  But, I do cook lots of whole chickens as we get them from my dad’s farm!  I know this will be perfect for brining a chicken!  I’ve never brined a chicken before roasting it before, so I’m SUPER excited to try it!  This brine mix smells AMAZING!

Around The Patch

Of course, while I enjoyed the Cooking With Herb workshop, I loved wandering around the pumpkin patch as well!  I love seeing all the pumpkins lined up, the fall decor inside and out, and of course the market in the big red barn is warm, welcoming, and smells delicious!

I enjoyed my traditional caramel apple sundae as their caramel sauce is like none other!  For me, it’s a “must have”!  I even convinced Donna of www.donnahup.com to try one!!

I also picked up a few things (strawberry jam and a fun piece of wall-art)!  There were so many things that I loved, but alas, I restrained myself from purchasing them all!

I’ve been to several workshops out at Enchanted Acres, but this one was by far my favorite!  It was useful, applicable to my life, and so much fun!  I hope that Shannon brings Mary back for more workshops in the future as I’m sure to be an attendee!

If you haven’t made it out to the pumpkin patch yet, there is still time to do so!  I’ll be back out there Sunday October 29th from 1-3 with samples of my French Onion Meatballs as part of her Pork-Tober Fest celebration!  I hope you’ll join us!

Thank you to Shannon of Enchanted Acres for hosting me to facilitate this post.  All opinions are 100% honest and my own!  For more details, please see the Disclosure tab! 

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