Thursday, June 30, 2011

Gifts from the Garden, Atomic Horseradish Sauce




My friend Jeff has many talents. A great artist, master gardener, he is also a talented cook. I always enjoy fresh from the garden gifts, don't you?

According to Greek mythology, the Delphic Oracle told Apollo that the horseradish was worth its weight in gold. It has long been used in Europe as a condiment. The origin of the name is unclear because ironically, it is poisonous to horses.

Today I learned how easy it is to make your own fresh and pungent horseradish sauce. If you don't arleady have horseradish root growing, it's easy to grow. Buy some root at the grocery store and soak it for 2 days in water. Cut it up into pieces 1 1/” to 2' long, and plant it with the wider end up. Sandy soil is best with at least ½ day of sun. Now you will have to wait 2 years before you can harvest your roots.

You will see big leaves, about 3 feet tall, then it's time to dig your roots. Save the crown where the root meets the leaves, these can be re-planted and will grow more roots for you. Wash the roots well and scrape off the outer layer with a sharp knife. You may have some harder parts of the skin which you will have to cut out. Cut the roots into pieces that will pulverize in your blender or food processor.
Jeff likes to use equal parts cider vinegar and vodka. You must put the cut pieces into the vinegar immediately to preserve it's pungency and white color.  The cider vinegar is has health benefits, the vodka helps kills any bacteria that may be lingering. You can also add a bit of salt if you like. As you are pulverizing, also add water as needed to liquify the mixture.

This wonderful pungent mixture will keep for about a month in your refrigerator in a tightly sealed container. If you are adding it to a cooked sauce, wait until the very end, and do not cook it more than 20 minutes. Jeff finds if you cook it any longer than 20 minutes it starts to lose it's zip.

What an easy and wonderful gift from your garden to your friends..... Don't forget to make a cool label for the jar!

video

Friday, April 15, 2011

How to spend your tax refund, part 1

Maybe you received your refund, maybe you are waiting. But why not spend it on things that will help you save money all year?
If you are getting a big refund, go buy a Prius. I did several years ago. This is my second one. They are fun to drive and hey, let's face it, we will not be seeing $2 gasoline probably ever again.  Have questions? spend some time on PriusChat and see what owners all over the world have to say.

Not ready for a new car?

Ok, how about a travel mug? You can get a free coffee on April 22 at Starbucks with your travel mug. And you also get a discount everyday. Here's a great mug from Lennymud . And if you are having a bad day, it's inspiring too!


 Maybe your grocery store gives you a discount for bringing your own bags. Here's a versatile one I found  on Etsy from Seahorsedesigns. Hand crocheted from 100% cotton, it's washable and of course, very handy!

Of course, we always want to buy something for ourself with that refund, right? You know me, I'm a jewelry junkie, so I am always looking. I happen to love these earrings from peacesofindigo made with eco silver.  Many precious metals are reclaimed, so that there is little waste over the years. Silver happens to be very popular right now.

Be happy, go shopping!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Inspirations

Spring is just around the corner. We've been teased with a few 70 degree days.  It;s time for renewal and assessing directions.  I've been engaged by a book. I can't really say I'm reading it, because it's not the kind of book you sit down and read from cover to cover. "How to be an Explorer of the World" by Keri Smith is c collection of ideas and exercises to give your creativity a kick in the pants.
I often wonder why I have so many things. They is a tray at my workbench of beads and metal parts. And I have other things which may not be significant, like sea pebbles or acorns. But this is all food for the creative process. Keri writes: " The Indo European root of the word 'art' is 'to arrange' or 'fit together' (join).  In this light, art can be pared down to its most simplistic form. We begin by collecting, the playing with the materials or objects."

I've been fascinated by the lamp work beads by artist Ellen Dooley.  I really enjoy pairing her beads with other materials, gemstones and pearls and of course sterling silver.  This blue beads in this necklace were my first purchase , and it took me months before the right combination struck my eye.  These earrings have just a hint of spring.   The colors really pop when you take a close look. You know where to find me, exploring the world!  And I'm asking, what inspires you?

Saturday, February 05, 2011

Thinking of Spring!

This is the worst winter I have seen since I moved back to New Jersey in the 80's. It's been cold, so there are piles of snow everywhere!  And all the towns are crying poverty, so snow removal has been abysmal.
This was the scene from my window on Wednesday, lucky me, I stayed home.
I've been working on some jewelry for spring, can you guess what I am making?

It should be in my shop very soon! Stay tuned!