Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Playin' Around

Been messing about a bit lately!

My big experiment has been trying to reproduce the Ukrainian method of milk-firing pottery. I started with a fired pot, mainly red in color, and I gave it a few baths with whole milk. Then I stuck it in my oven, turned it up all the way (550°F in my case,) and let it bake for about an hour.

The baking period caused the milk to turn dark brown and permanently fuse to the pot! I'll be trying for a more even collection of the milk in the decorative grooves next time, because the darker lines definitely look prettier!
Once the pot cooled, I gave it a coat of beeswax/olive oil mixture and put it back into the warm oven to soak in for a few minutes. I think it turned out rather pretty!

My other goof-off project has been garden markers. I've been feeling extremely uninspired in the wheel-throwing department, so I took an evening to cut and stamp these silly things out.

I took the bisqued markers home from the studio and painted a brown/black slip over the stamped-in letters. Let it dry, and then took a wet sponge and SCRUBBED THE SNOT OUT OF IT!!! Seriously, though - it took a lot of scrubbing, especially on the letters that have interior spaces, like A and B. So the slip stayed in the deep crevices, but washed off of the upper surface. They just need a final firing and they can go out in the garden....if I ever get the dang thing planted.

I also brought some more Julienne Tomatoes mugs home from the studio this week.

Tom took 8 of them to display for sale in the restaurant, and I kept 4 to list in my etsy shop.

He said he would've loved to have more to hand out for coffee orders in the café, but they just don't hold up well to restaurant dishwashing.... or, more specifically, young in-a-hurry dishwashers.

Carrie told me she's seen him just upend full bus tubs of dishes into the sink. No wonder they all broke!

So, for now, they'll just be for sale. People take better care of their own things.

I've also been playing around with food! Yes, yes, more of this AIP stuff. My latest has been nori rolls. Kind of like sushi sans rice. These here are crab rolls and were rather bland. And skinny, because I forgot I had avocado to put in them.

Basically, I used thin slices of cucumber (made with a vegetable peeler) in place of rice. Next time, I'll be sure to add a salty ingredient like umeboshi paste or something, so they don't taste so bland.
I also tried making nori rolls out of sandwich fillings, which worked GREAT! The ones I had yesterday had a base layer of thin sliced turkey, with kalamata olive spread, bacon, avocado, and clover sprouts. They were quite delicious, and two rolls filled me up.

And my final bit of AIP tomfoolery - CANDY!
Ok, it's not really candy. At least, nobody but people deprived of real candy for long periods of time would consider it candy. Or good. But me? I LIKE IT.
These are carob candies (right) and carob coconut clusters (left), and they're STUPID simple to make. And yes, I got the final word that carob is fine for AIP because it is not the carob beans but the carob POD that is ground up to make the carob powder.
Anyway, here's the recipe:
1/2 c. Coconut oil
1/2 c. Carob powder
Melt them together on low heat, spoon into chocolate molds, and freeze.
Stir enough shredded coconut into the leftovers to make it not runny, and scoop out into waxed paper and freeze.

To me, they taste quite sweet and rich, and have been amply satisfying my sweet tooth.
Emily says the molded candies look like crayons. And taste like crayons. Only worse.
Ian said that the coconut clusters assaulted his taste buds, and his tongue was horribly offended.


- Stell

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