Posts Tagged 'Local food'

Four Things I’m Digging

1. Multi Pens

Okay, so maybe I’m not as ecstatic about multi pens as The Pen Addict, but they’re damn convenient for my new job. I owned the Style Fit a while ago and really enjoyed it, but apparently not enough to prevent losing it sometime during the move across the country.

I ordered the Uni Signo MF3 and the Uni Jetstream 4+1 from Jetpens. The Jetstream was an attempt to branch out from gel ink, but after having played around with it a bit, it’s just not living up to my expectations. Plus, the barrel is enormous.

I was so tempted to buy a Zebra Sharbo X, but I have yet to invent a good justification for spending that much money…

2. Glazing With Acrylics

Acrylics, you say? As in, those mediocre craft-quality paints from high school art class? Oil paints for a poor artist?

…Yes, I mean those. And I am a poor artist, so I decided to paint in acrylic when I needed to fill a lonely blank spot on our apartment wall.

It turned out to be a totally pleasurable experiment. Maybe because acrylics aren’t as “serious” as oils, I was able to have a little more fun with them. I had painted with oils for my AP art portfolio in high school (and damaged my health in the process by turning my bedroom into a turpentine-fume bubble… but that’s another story).

The idea when glazing with acrylics is basically the same as glazing with oils, but it dries in a fraction of the time. Click on the image to the left to view a close-up detail section.

I finished this piece in one day, and I’m moderately happy with it. It’s no masterpiece, but I was able to experiment with a lot of different methods which I want to explore more in the future. The green stripe across the top was a last-minute addition, and I think it really completed the piece.

3. How Pretty Art Supplies Are

Yeah, you heard me: I’m digging my own art supplies. This is such a failing of mine– to see my art supplies as works of art in themselves, rather than as tools for making art. Although both views have their merits, there is also a crucial distinction between them: seeing art supplies as just beautiful turns you into a consumer, while seeing art supplies as tools for making art turns you into a producer. And I don’t want to be a consumer! I wanna produce. Produce beautiful things, that is.

I was reading about DIY watercolor palettes last night, and several different articles warned that you might spend more time creating your palette than actually using it. Oh, sigh, alright.

So, despite how much I enjoy the sunlight glinting through the bristles of my Robert Simmons Sapphire brushes, my goal for next week is to create a piece of art outside of the apartment every day.

4. Cherry Season

I especially love cherry season when they are free from my friend’s back yard. These sour cherries are better for baking than munching, so I’ve been experimenting with cherry tarts and crisps, all with great success. My friend’s family, though, is making cherry vodka –which also happens to be reason #11 that local foods are badass.

Urban Window Farming

I was tipped off to this from Tiny Choices, a great blog about the big effect of small decisions.

So Window Farming is a way to grow your own food in small spaces, when you don’t have land. And not only this is friggin’ cool, but these are some of the most beautiful windows I’ve ever seen:

"Britta's Windowfarm - Outside View" from Flickr

Women in Agriculture

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Click to read

“Elf Hats,” My Sister Calls Them

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I love baby tomatoes! They look like they’re wearing hats.

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An “about to be” tomato

Summer in Fujicolor

What has my life been lately– a few low-internet, high-humidity months:

Blessed. Privileged. Hard work.

Saturated in history and dirt.

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A Roll of Film Developed

These were taken a couple weeks ago at the farm. The large contraption that appears in several of the images is an industrial water pump (or, at least, the hose)– a project that took up several days for me and my farming partner.

I made those!

Jamie. That's actually a river, twenty feet below.

Julie

unripe

In conclusion,

I love Virginia, especially Virginia farmland.

Rural culture is undervalued, and under attack.

Nonetheless, heirloom tomatoes are still shockingly delicious.

When growing food, one often also grows healthy in the heart.

Strawberry Rhubarb Crisps

Much more exciting things have been happening, but I only have a little time this evening so I’ll post about the simple things– like seasonal desserts! Rhubarb season coincides with strawberry season; thus, the strawberry-rhubarb phenomenon. Although we’ve gotten used to having strawberries year-round at the supermarket, rhubarb is still generally considered a seasonal crop.

I’m not a fancy chef, so I cooked up the student DIY-version using a cupcake tin and some old pastry dough that a friend had wrapped up and given me to save in the freezer.

Rhubarb 14

I’m not gonna lie– even homemade pastries use a heap of sugar.

In the Filling:

  • sliced rhubarb stalks
  • sliced strawberries (half the amount of rhubarb)
  • About a cup to 1.5 cups sugar
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch

Let the mixture sit in the bowl until it gets, um, “sludgy”

Rhubarb 10Spread the table with flour, cover your pastry dough with the flour, and pat into cupcake tins.

Rhubarb 9Action shot

Rhubarb 8I didn’t get a picture of them covered, but make sure to cover them with another layer of the dough, and then pinch the sides with a fork or something.

Then, put them in a preheated oven (375 degrees) and check on them every five minutes until they turn golden.

Rhubarb 5At some point, they’ll start vomiting up their fruit filling, but don’t worry! That makes them delicious.

Rhubarb 2Done! One for each guest, and one for the chef.

Rhubarb 3Lick the fruit lava spill. Consume crisp/muffin thing. Enjoy summer food.



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