Sunday, December 14, 2008

Very few potatoes were harmed

When I heard on NPR that some wrapping paper is not recyclable and little of it actually gets recycled, we decided to make our own wrapping paper with a "Recycle me!" statement.

We got Eliza's Big Brothers Big Sisters buddy involved, and potato-printed up several sheets of the stuff.

All it took was butcher paper, poster paints, some sharp objects, and a few big potatoes. We are very pleased with the results! It kept us busy for the afternoon, no one got bored, and the mess wasn't even all that bad.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Rugby gear

I arranged a barter with a Mount Holyoke Rugby player - She acquired me a dining hall tray, and I promised to knit her something rugby related. I didn't think a rugby ball would work, and a rugby shirt seemed a bit excessive in exchange for a tray. Rugby doesn't require much in the way of gear, since there are no pads or anything, but all players must wear mouthguards, so I put together a mouthguard cozy. I crocheted the edge with chains for buttonholes, and I found some buttons from the Value Village days in Maryland. It looks very cute, and will hopefully do its part in preventing concussions!

Sunday, November 09, 2008

bag bag (bag bag?)

I finally got sick of the plastic bags flooding onto the kitchen floor and trying to eat the cats. So I made a bag bag. It was wicked easy! I should have done it earlier. I took a rectangle of fabric, sewed it into a big old tube, put some elastic bands in each end, added a door handle hanger, and voila! It looks like something my mom bought in France years ago, and it makes me feel very European and tidy.

But the best part is that they're so easy that I'm thinking of making them for the aunts and uncles for the holidays. Since I have 4 aunt-uncle sets, I'll probably have to throw them in a plastic bag or something so the cats don't scatter them all over my apartment. Then I'll have bag bags in a bag bag bag. Even better, to get them to LA where my family is Christmasing, they'll go in my suitcase, which will magically be transformed into - you guessed it - a bag bag bag bag!

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Green Tomato Gazpacho

My CSA farm just opened for U-Pick! Because of the heavy rains this spring, they only really have flowers right now, but I walked around to check out where all of the veggies are this year. There were a few green tomatoes lying on the ground in the tomato rows, and it seemed sad to leave them to rot. I thought about making fried green tomatoes, but I don't think I've ever been successful at that, and I wasn't that excited about frying in warm weather. As I was thinking about green tomatoes, I recalled a green tomato gazpacho from my time at The Food Project. I couldn't remember exactly what went into the gazpacho we made (I think it was 9 years ago - probably nearly to the day, since it had to be green tomato season), but I do remember loving it, and I figured I'd give it a try. I'm pretty happy with the way mine came out - it has a cool fresh acidic taste that was perfect for a warm and humid summer night. Most of the ingredients are local: the tomatoes from the Hampshire CSA, the garlic from the garden I watch, the peppers and scallions from the Northampton farmers' market. The flowers in the photo came from the CSA, too!

Green Gazpacho (serves two)
2 green tomatoes
1 green Cuban/cubanelle pepper
2 scallions
2 cloves garlic
large handful green grapes (about 20 grapes?)
1/2 green apple
juice from 1/2 lime
1/4 c. red wine vinegar
1/4 c. olive oil
diced hot pepper, salt and ground black pepper to taste
1 tsp sugar (optional/to taste)

Chop up all of the ingredients. You could probably use a food processor. I just put a cutting board down in front of the Red Sox game and diced away. Combine everything. My grapes weren't very sweet, so I added a tiny bit of sugar. Stir. Chill for at least an hour. I served it with an attempted recreation of an Indian bread that I saw a friend from India make, but any hunk of bread would probably work.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Fruity Baby

I've knit fruity baby hats a thousand times. It's kind of exciting not to have to carry around a pattern and have it look good anyway, though! This is for the son my group's departing intern. He's due on Halloween - could you guess? She promises baby-in-hat pictures. I don't have a baby to try it on right now, so it's currently being modeled by my furniture.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Look what I made!

The turtle, not the baby. I made it months ago and just found this picture! Mmmm, turtle.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

New in Blue

Some friends were moving and needed to get rid of this chair. It's very comfy and rocks, but the slipcover was stained and the off-white color wasn't great for my room and showed cat hair easily. A jar of blue dye seems to have solved the problem! I thought that dying would be much more complicated than it was, but you can do it in a bucket with cold water if you are dying plant-based fabrics (there was no tag on the slipcover, my guess was cotton or cotton blend).

You do need a lot of salt to help the dye get into the fabric and soda ash to fix it. Places that sell the dye should also sell the soda ash. In the end, the project cost about $15 (and the chair was free!) My dye job isn't perfect. There are a lot of color variations, but I kind of like it that way. I'm not sure if the problem is - maybe my fabric wasn't actually cotton or had a lot of something else blended in? Maybe I didn't stir enough. Maybe I didn't fix it for long enough. In any event, I'm much happier with my chair!