Sunday, August 15, 2010

Pickle love



One might think that because I have been known to make my own bread, cheese, and lots of other yummy creations (like these, and this, and this!) that I would also have tried canning. Though I would love to have a bounty of homemade jams, lemon curd, and veggies stored up for winter, the truth is that canning intimidates me.

Because of this inner conflict (it sounds much worse than it is!), I was thrilled to find this recipe for homemade pickles in Real Simple magazine. The ingredients were all easy to come by (I think I already had everything except pickling cucumbers) and they take only 1 day to pickle, thus providing the almost instant gratification I usually get with cooking/baking.

I did modify the recipe by subbing regular white vinegar for white wine vinegar and used chopped dill weed instead of seed. I also reused the brine for a second (and third) batch of pickles, since we devoured these in a couple days (I topped the jar off with a splash more vinegar both times).

I plan to try repeating this process with carrots, beets, and brussels sprouts soon!

What about you? Do you can or pickle? Want to?

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Still lives

A couple weeks ago, two little girls came asking for an art project. Really? Does it get any better than that?

Neither of them had ever done a still life before, so I began by finding a few different examples online. I really wanted them to see that they didn't have to be representational. I think it's so important that kids understand there is no doing it "wrong" with art.

A simple set-up and some oil pastels were all that was needed. Their work, of course, was amazing! And I love that they both added in apples even though there wasn't one in the still life. Creative license at work!



Chiara's still life

Anna's first still life
You'll notice Anna went back to her stage name, Lavender, to sign her work!