Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Week One of the Veggies

I picked up my first CSA box this afternoon. The newsletter tells me that the first couple of weeks are greens-heavy and on the small side. Here's what I got!

Newsletter also tells me that those green things are arugula, swiss chard, kale, and lettuce. Anyone care to identify which is which for me?

I'm planning on trying a few recipes over the next couple of days - - I'll share any good finds with you!

Monday, April 7, 2008

Consumer Supported Agriculture

I am excited that I will have a new blogging topic here soon - and perhaps one that will keep me updating this thing on a fairly regular basis.

I have purchased a half-share in a local farm's Consumer-Supportd-Agriculture (CSA) crop.

Beginning on April 30th I will receive a box full of seasonal veggies and some fruit for the next 18 weeks. So, I'm going to have to get a bit creative to cook up all these veggies. I have about resolved to not buy meat after what I have in my freezer is gone and do my best to do a vegetarian summer. I think it'll be a bit of an adventure to try to cook in a whole new way!

This is an audience partiipation post - - if you have a favorite recipe involving any of the vegetables listed on the right which have a check in the "S" columns - please share!

Likewise - I'll share tasty recipes I discover over this vegetarian summer.

A number of these vegetables I recognize as being "southern" vegetables - - but though I grew up in the south my mother is from Michigan and I'm rather unfamiliar with what one does with such things as collard greens and the like. When they serve collard greens in the school cafeteria they look like a bowl full of lawn mulch collected after a heavy rain. I'm sure there are more appetizing ways of presenting them though that make me actually want to ingest the things.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Rainy Saturday Project

I've been looking for mini lamp shades for my chandelier for months. If I find some I love they're anywhere from $10-$20 each. That's a bit out of my price range when I need five of them.

Last night I was wandering through the fabric section of Hobby Lobby and spied some "self-adhesive" chandelier shades. What a novel idea! So I went looking for some fabric and ribbon and trim and such. The lady working in the fabric department helped me out - - and I came away with all the materials for about $40. I actually bought enough for six shades because I thought that's how much I needed - only to come home and discover it's just five. The actual materials I used to create the five shades is probably about $30. Not bad at all!

So I bought

*tan/cream colored faux-texture fabric. It looks kind so like wrinkled parchment paper close up.
*Some green beading. Wit it put together now I wish I had bought the longer beading that I had liked as well - but it was twice the price, and what I have certainly works.
*purple ribbon for the top trim. In retrospect, the ribbon needed to be a bit thinner in order to lay flat along the top rim of the shade - - but most people aren't tall enough to closely examine the top rim of the shade - so I'm just going to leave it alone!

And - of course - pictures.


The shades came with a pattern - you just trace and then wrap the fabric around the shade. I used a hot glue gun to adhere the seam and to fold under on the top and bottom.

Next - I glued the purple ribbon around the top, again - it could really use a thinner ribbon.

Then, I glued the beads around the bottom. The lady at Hobby Lobby tells me most people don't let the "ribbon" part of the beading show in their projects. I tried it the other way - but I really prefer the green trim at the bottom in addition to the beads.

Put them on the chandelier, and voila!

Not my favorite or most dramatic make-over project - but I like them. One thing I didn't expect but I think is my favorite result is the way it changes the lighting in the dining room - it makes it so much softer!

Now I'm off to obsessively try to straighten all those little lamp shades and hope that I don't break any bulbs in the process.