Not Martha

Slow Food is also about local foods and wines and the people that produce them.
It’s about protecting those commodities and artisans from the homogenization of
Target and Starbucks and McDonald’s and and and. . . Look around and recognize
the people and products that are made or grown near you. Here in Santa Cruz I
have Corralitos Sausage Company, a lot of really wonderful farmers, the Santa
Cruz Coffee Roasting Company, among many other things. Look around and see what’s
in your own town, and then when you travel, look for the local food – whether
that means restaurants, farms, wine, or beer. On a road trip, stop at farm
stands, or eat street food.

One of the leaders who revolutionized the way that Americans, especially
Californians, eat is Alice Waters. If you have any money, eat at Chez Panisse.
But alumni of Chez Panisse are everywhere. For a really nice (and more
affordable) outing, take a drive up to Point Reyes and get a picnic from Tomales
Bay Foods. Peggy Smith, the owner, used to work at Chez Panisse. Her partner, Sue
Conley, shares the building. Her company is called Cowgirl Creamery and she makes
delicious cheese from local organic (Strauss) milk. If you come down to Santa
Cruz, eat at Carried Away. Tom & Mima, the owners, met while they were working at
Chez Panisse.

· comments [0] · 08-24-2001 · categories:uncategorized ·

For reading, take a look at the Art of Eating. Edward Behr travels the US and the
world learning and writing about local, artisanal food & drink. He is a wonderful
writer and is extremely well-informed.


· comments [0] · 08-24-2001 · categories:uncategorized ·

Read more about the movement and how it began in this article in The Nation. The movement has it’s own website here. You can read the manifesto, find local chapters, learn about food and wine and checkout events – the first
Slow Food USA Nation Congress was held in California this past July. And you can read what Rose at Opensewer has to say about it. Also to check out – the Oldways Preservation and Exchange Trust (via Rebecca’s Pocket), and the organizations listed here on the Splendid Table website.

· comments [0] · 08-24-2001 · categories:uncategorized ·

I am loving this article on how to make sushi over at Digs Magazine [beware raw fish! beware!] and super smoothies and margarita help

· comments [0] · 08-23-2001 · categories:uncategorized ·

alt.quilting

Some quilting stuff I’ve come across

  • wall hanging quilt with pockets to hang near one’s computer and hold miscellaneous cords and connectors

    [ the person to whom this idea is attributed is on my computer at home which I cannot reach from work, thank you person whose name is at home! apologies! ]

  • Web-safe color chart quilt (for Jacob)
  • found-fabrics quilt
  • quilt made from squares of felted [or fulled] old sweaters
  • t-shirt quilt for all those momento t-shirts you’ll never wear again – instructions over at HGTV
  • Karissa told me about a quilt her family uses to take to the park for picnic – it’s made out of old jeans so the denim holds up the the abuse and washing out of grass stains, suddenly I need one of these!
  • [which brings me to] jeans-pocket quilt for holding stuff in!
  • [which brings me to] this small shirt-pocket quilt over at martha to use for organizing, with assembly instructions
  • and martha also has instructions on making a memory quilt out of old clothing
  • I saw a martha idea somewhere (the magazine?) about making a warm throw or quilt of wool suiting material, it looked very non-girly

got any ideas to add?

· comments [0] · 08-23-2001 · categories:uncategorized ·

Shannon points us to a great quilting resource – quilt.com. It has how to pages, a helpful quilting terms glossary, an illustrated guide to quilt blocks by type and, mercifully, a beginner’s guide as well as links to all sorts of other quilting resources. And lest you think quilting is all work, step-by-step instructions for some mystery quilts [with requisite pun names intact].

· comments [0] · 08-23-2001 · categories:uncategorized ·

Eeeek, I was reading crushworthy’s account of all things related to soapmaking and fighting [aug 21] and I realized I linked to Soapmaking 101 but didn’t explain what was there. So, in an effort not to scare anyone away I present:

What I Know About Soapmaking At Home Don’t Blame Me If I’m Very Wrong

[broken into little posts because of a blogger bug, thank you blogger]

There are generally three ways of making soap. Two are easy and relatively safe the other is the “real” and hardcore way which can end in various forms of tragedy and/or bodily harm.

· comments [0] · 08-22-2001 · categories:uncategorized ·

1. melt and pour – comparable to candlemaking. You melt a base soap – usually a clear glycerin, add color, scent, botanicals or embeds, pour into molds, let cool and you’re done. This is what the Martha By Mail Essential Oils Soap Kit and the Soap Kit are all about. The soaps from places like Bathology and Primal Elements are essentially melt and pour. I’ve been planning on stealing the Bathology idea of putting an itty bottle of sparkly nail polish in a soap, how adorable.

· comments [0] · 08-22-2001 · categories:uncategorized ·

2. handmilled or rebatched – this is when you melt down a finished soap, add scent, oils, milks, teas, botanicals – mold and cool. Milling adds lots of air and smoothness to the soap. Ever heard of French Milled? Mystery solved. Rebatching is milling referring specifically to a batch of cold process soap that for whatever reason didn’t work out – usually if it is too watery or soft and refuses to cure properly. I have heard of the most successful milling being done in old yard sale crock pots. Lots of soapmaking places sell soap noodles for milling purposes. If you want to buy a soap from the store to mill make sure you are buying something pure and fragrance free – lots of bath bars are not soap – they are detergent and will not act the same way as soap. If it is actually soap it will have the word soap on the label. Detergent based bars are not allowed to call themselves soap.

· comments [0] · 08-22-2001 · categories:uncategorized ·

3. cold process – this is the process of adding fats and/or oils to lye and allowing saponification to occur. This needs to sit an cure for days or months and the outcome is somewhat of a mystery. Hard core soapers are cool people. This is the dangerous one, in case you were wondering. Cold process is sometimes shortened to CP so I thought it meant “chemical process” for a long time.

3b. hot process – (as far as I know) is like cold process but the saponification is done in a heated pot which allows the glycerin created in the process to separate out – which is glycerin soap base (I think).

· comments [0] · 08-22-2001 · categories:uncategorized ·

To keep in mind if you are going to try melt and pour or milling – if you are vegan or vegetarian pay close attention to the ingredients list, soaps like Ivory are made using animal fats – tallow is the word used on labels. Glycerin (either the liquid or solid soap base) often contains animal fats – if it is vegetable based it will say so. There are books on all three methods with recipes in bookstores – I’ll probably make up a list a bit later on, there are a lot of books out there. Oh and – this Bathology soap idea – ABC123 would be easily copied using these alphabet molds from Martha. No numbers but you could spell out a message or a name. Soapmaking supplies for melt and pour, and milling can sometimes be found in craft stores (given the recent trendiness (Martha-ness?) of the make it yourself stuff. Otherwise there are a number of online supplies – a few I’m pretty comfortable with: Majestic Mountain Sage, From Nature With Love, Sunfeather Soap company supplies. Also, I did a little review thingy of the Martha By Mail Essential Oils soap kit you can read here and decided if it is worth getting the kit. I have only ever done melt and pour, it’s fun and impresses people!

[ the end ]

· comments [0] · 08-22-2001 · categories:uncategorized ·

Lush has some new products out – ha ha ha “Buffy the Backside Slayer”

· comments [0] · 08-22-2001 · categories:uncategorized ·

I’ll be having houseguests for the next two weeks so plans for new projects are on temporary hold. But, when the dust clears I am planning on buying a sewing machine – a used Singer hopefully – for this quilting block swap thingy I’m going to attempt. I havn’t stitched for three years. Wish me luck. And I can start test the stuff for Halloween, my all time favorite holiday. We should get a week off for Halloween, don’t you think?

· comments [0] · 08-21-2001 · categories:uncategorized ·

cocktail recipes over at crushworthy

· comments [0] · 08-21-2001 · categories:uncategorized ·

Found the instructions for making soap crystals – the page used to have photos, darn.

· comments [0] · 08-20-2001 · categories:uncategorized ·