Not Martha

Yesterday I attempted to make marshmallow flowers using this marshmallow for piping recipe. I was spectacularily unsuccessful. I did some on parchment paper which had powdered sugar sprinkled on it, and some on clean parchment paper. I was going for 3″ or smaller flowers, so the stuff piped over the powdered sugar wouldn’t release itself from the tip of the pastry bag, and the stuff over the clean parchment is likely stuck there forever.

I have very little experience with piping, and even that was of the squeeze it out of the corner of a ziplock bag type. I got about two flowers, a handful of squiggles, and some worm shapes before the mixture set and refused to be piped anymore. I’m sure if I were piping heavier shapes, like the bunnies and chicks the recipe is meant for, I would have had more luck. Oh well. Pictures later if I don’t eat everything first.

· comments [0] · 01-19-2004 · categories:uncategorized ·

This pancake recipe at Bella Online is a keeper:

  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/8 tsp. salt
  • 1 T. sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup milk,
  • 1/4 cup sour cream

    Blend dry ingredients together. Stir in remaining ingredients.

· comments [0] · 01-17-2004 · categories:uncategorized ·

I Buy DIY has reorganized, they have added categories (check out how many entries there are under handbags, it’s like heaven), and they are going to have features and profiles soon. Note to the the fine people of Canada, for each entry in I Buy DIY they list if that business ships to Canada, and even international. And of course, check out the listings for stores and events, go on, get over there.

· comments [0] · 01-16-2004 · categories:uncategorized ·

These itty-bitty single serving soaps made by Nirah and displayed over at Craftster are adorable! So is Mollydoll’s Scooter pouch. And these Pacman cuffs made using the cuff pattern from the Stitch ‘n Bitch book are too – Rox also posted the pattern she used for the characters.

· comments [0] · 01-14-2004 · categories:uncategorized ·

One of those sites which falls into the category of one which I check obsessively but do not talk about enough is Reprodepot Fabrics. They ship very fast and I love everything they have — fabrics, buttons, patches, ribbon, stuff to wear, stuff for the home, and patterns (including the Amy Butler Country Living stuff, which has some great patterns for bags). They also carry oilcloth, and keep that sushi fabric in stock. So, if you have not yet, I insist that you take a look.

Some stuff which catches my eye:

· comments [0] · 01-13-2004 · categories:uncategorized ·

Good fences make good neighbors. New decks being built 20″ from your kitchen window which will block out some light, and give you a view of the crotches of those people who are enjoying their new deck do not make good neighbors.

Neither does the superloud mitre saw really close to the coffee maker at 8 a.m.

However, we are renting the house just for this year, and the owner doesn’t mind about the all too close deck, so there is nothing we can really be upset over.

· comments [0] · 01-13-2004 · categories:uncategorized ·

There was a huge full page ad for Ginger Altoids in one of the free weekly newspapers here, yay! Maybe they’ll be available everywhere soon. (I still have a dozen tins in my freezer.)

The game here at the Altoids Strips site is a fun little time waster.

· comments [0] · 01-12-2004 · categories:uncategorized ·

Stuff for you to listen to: when being crafty meets public radio.

Invisible Ink Radio – a story by Sara Bir about working in the Martha Stewart test kitchens. Listen here, the link is taken out of it’s frame, but for your information it’s the September 28th, 2003 “Pledge Drive, with my Peops and Martha” show.

This American Life – a story about one woman’s addiction to scrapbooking, you can listen from this page, it’s the July 25th, 2003 show titled “Later That Same Day”, Act Two: Scrapbook.

· comments [0] · 01-9-2004 · categories:uncategorized ·

Link from the comments – Tiny Trapeze Confections makes the most adorable candies and marshmallows, everything is made by hand in small batches, and all the ingredients are organic. [Thanks Rachel!]

· comments [0] · 01-9-2004 · categories:uncategorized ·

After a few holiday gifts of chocolate spaced a few weeks apart I have proof that eating chocolate gives me pimples. I’m so pleased.

· comments [0] · 01-8-2004 · categories:uncategorized ·

A few months ago I mentioned that the teahouse near me, Tea Kuan Yin1, had “monkey picked tea” on the menu. A while after that I was listening to archives of The Splendid Table and thier tea expert Bill Waddington2 spoke about tea lore3, including monkey picked tea. According to him tea merchants has tricked English buyers that the best tea was that which was hand picked by monkeys, but it was completely made up. He said that tea merchants still sell tea using this descriptor and “don’t deny the rumors”. Doing a Google search for monkey picked tea turns up a variety of stories, ranging from

“These well cared for monkeys are famous in their native China and are specially trained by their owners to pick rare, wild tea plants in inaccessible places, such as cliff faces.”


“Legend has it that monkeys were trained by monks to collect the leaves from the branches of the wild tea trees growing on steep mountainsides. Our monkey-picked tea was picked and processed by masterful human hands using techniques at least two centuries old.”

and this description, specifically about Ti Kuan Yin so now we know where my teahouse takes it’s name

“When first discovered, this tea was growing wild on the cliffs of the Wuji mountains and very difficult to harvest. Local monks trained monkeys to climb the cliffs and pick the tender leaves. Although today the plants have been replanted for easier harvest…”

Anyone know anything more about monkey picked tea? Does the name actually refer to a flush? Has anyone tried it?

1 They have free wireless, I love them.

2 Here is his recipe for Chai, and you can check out lots of tea information on the show.

3 To listen to the segment go to this page, find the January 19th show “Another Look At Coffee”, the segment begins at 23.10.

· comments [0] · 01-7-2004 · categories:uncategorized ·

It’s snowing here, snow! This is actually the second time it snowed, big wet fluffy flakes, the ones perfect for building into snowmen, came down a few nights ago. But this snow hit the city just before morning rush hour and I suspect everyone is lingering in the morning hoping the streets will be too dangerous to get to work. I’ll have to make more marshmallows. I desperatly missed snow (and weather in general) while I was living in California so right now I’m as happy as can be. Last night I even participated in some Panic Grocery Shopping, of the We Don’t Remember That Snow Melts so we’re going to buy every can of chicken noodle soup on the shelves variety. I miss that, because it usually signals that there will be snuggling down of some sort the next day.

I took some pictures of the snowflake marshmallows, click here to see in a pop up window. I’m finding the key to my photo taking success in California really was my big south facing window. Here in overcast Seattle I cannot seem to take a decent picture at all.

· comments [0] · 01-6-2004 · categories:uncategorized ·