Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Quirky Lamp - my favorite piece from Ceramics II


I finally got around to finishing the wiring on one of my pieces from my ceramics class last semester. Thanks to my mum for the nudge and some of the parts!

The assignment was to combine two wheel thrown pieces into a unified piece. This is one of mine and it turned into my favorite piece of the semester!

This quirky little guy can finally go up to my studio and help me with writing letters. Pixar may have the upper hand on animated lamps with character, but I must say, I'd rather have this guy.


Saturday, June 18, 2011

Worms! (or: More fun things you can get in the mail!)


We got worms! In the mail! Vermiculture, or worm-farming (for compost or bait) has piqued my interest for some time. We had an electric indoor composter for the first year or so we lived here in our house and slowly killed it as it was not the right composting method for our family. Since learning about worm composting I am excited to be able to harness these blessings for our gardens and plants.

Worm poop, or "castings" are a natural fertilizer that will not burn plants, even when applied directly, unlike most commercial fertilizers. Also, they don't smell! The more I learn, the more I am excited about all the benefits! Plus it's kind of cool to have a big bin of worms. 


Thursday, June 16, 2011



Garlic scapes are one of my favorite things. One of the delights of growing ones own garlic is getting to walk out into the yard and pick scapes yourself!

Here they are escaping! (haha! get it? didja? didja?) 

I love how wild they are! And how delicious!


Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Earl Grey Ice Cream - mmmm!


A few years ago I had Earl Grey ice cream and have been in deep smit ever since. It has also been a few years since I've seen it again. Then I had a brilliant idea: I make things. I could make my own!


1qt half and half (4c, use whole milk if you don't want it as rich)
4 egg yolks (egg whites are excellent for making meringues)
1/3c sugar (I used an unrefined but use what you have)
2t vanilla extract (I used my homemade)
4 Earl Grey Teabags


1.) Heat half and half with the teabags slowly in a saucepan to the scalding point (just prior to boiling) and turn burner off.

2.) Allow to steep/cool for about 20 minutes.

While you're waiting is a perfect time to make meringues! For the 4 egg whites I used 2T maple sugar and 1t vanilla extract. It's also good to have someone to lick out the bowl for you (optional).

3.) In a separate (clean) bowl mix yolks, sugar and vanilla.

4.) When the milk tea has steeped whisk it slowly into the egg yolk mixture, slowly bringing the egg yolks up to temperature. You want to blend the egg yolks without cooking them.

5.) Return blended mixture to saucepan and cook on a medium low temp until it starts to thicken which is a few minutes.

6.) Cool completely - I allowed it to cool on the counter and then left it in the fridge overnight.

7.) Use Ice Cream Maker per manufacturer instructions.

 8.) Serve and enjoy!


Saturday, June 11, 2011

Twig Trellises and a Chick Field Trip


My mother's gardens have always inspired me and she has always encouraged me in my own experiences with gardening. Before I even started kindergarten I had a little circle garden at the side of the house. This led to my first prize petunias at the county fair. My luck with annuals coming back continues to this day!

More recently, my mother built some trellises for her raised beds out of sticks from their woods and I fell in love! We only have a tiny strip of land on our property that really gets much of any sun and so naturally this is where I placed my raised beds old and new.

To catch all the possible sun, I decided to build my own stick trellises to stand at the back of the beds. Thanks to my mum for the inspiration and the sticks!

I have pickling cucumbers (shown right), red morning glories, and small asian melons itching to climb.Perhaps another year I will try green beans and snap peas as well.

While I was building, the chicks got to take a field trip. After their initial fear of something new, they decided it was pretty great to be chicks and set about some serious chicken business.


Sunday, June 5, 2011

Hortopita - Spanikopita's delicious cousin


Many people have heard of Spanikopita or spinach pie, which is a Greek dish mainly made with phyllo dough, spinach, and feta cheese. Fewer have heard of the much more common hortopita or greens pie. The Greek word "horta" literally translates as "grass" but means any number of edible wild greens such as kale, chard, dandelion greens, etc.

Having gotten a splendid brick of feta on a recent grocery trip, I was excited to try. I headed out to the lawn and picked a couple cups of dandelion greens to add to chopped chard and leeks and a layer of butter puff pastry.

The end was a scrumptious and nutritious mealtime treat. My dear husband gave it a twenty out of ten.


Thursday, June 2, 2011

We got chicks!


After months of waiting, our chicks finally arrived! We missed the call at 4:50 but heard the call at 7am. 

We quickly set up the homemade tub brooder (inspired by this post) with food, water, and the heat lamp. We plugged in the light to  "pre-heat" and off I went!

Here is a video taken by Jesse Stanley of their first few moments in the house:

Thanks Jesse!