Thursday, March 20, 2014
Late last summer I captured this photo of a dragonfly resting on my hand. Technically speaking, it's not a perfect photo, but I love it anyway. I had been pondering for a long while about making some of my photos into postcards, and chose this one to give it a try. I am happy with how they turned out and have just listed them in my shop!
I kept the backside simple so there's plenty of room for writing your message. The card stock is a nice 220lb weight and the photo has a beautiful sheen to it. Look for them here.
Oh, and Happy Spring to you all!
Sunday, March 16, 2014
Tuesday, March 11, 2014
Sometimes I'm a bit slow on the draw. Case in point: salt preserved lemons. I heard about these a long while back, and considering how simple they are to put together, you'd think I'd have made them by now. Well, the other day when I saw beautiful Meyer lemons at the store, I knew the time had come.
From what I gather, this method of preserving lemons is traditional to Morocco where they are called l'hamd marakad, which translates to "sleeping lemons." In French they are citrons confits. By whatever name you choose, they are used as a condiment alongside all sorts of dishes, and as a tangy, salty ingredient in others. I just know they're going to find their way onto the plate when we make Indian meals like dal, where they'd offer a twangy kick much like traditional mango or lime pickle. I could also see them adding a serious boost of flavor to hummus.
The method for making these is simple and requires only three things: a clean jar with an airtight lid, kosher or sea salt and lemons. Start by giving your lemons a good scrub, especially if they are not organic. Cut off both the stem and pointy end, then cut the lemon in half. Next, cut the halves into quarters, but not all the way through, so they are still connected. Sprinkle a thin layer of salt in the bottom of your jar and drop in the first half-lemon, peel side down.
Sprinkle a generous layer of salt over the top of the lemon, and then with a muddler pack the lemon down into the jar, squeezing out as much juice as you can. Continue adding each half in this way, salting between each layer. When you've added every last one, top off the jar with another layer of salt and a final press with the muddler. Ideally the juice should reach to top of the uppermost lemon.
Now is when they live up to their name "sleeping lemons." They need to sit for 3 to 4 weeks until their rinds become soft enough to cut easily with a fork. Here is the part where you'll have to use your own judgement. Traditionally, salt preserved lemons are allowed to sit in a cupboard the entire time, with only an occasional shake to disturb their rest. Once they have reached the perfect state of softness, they are refrigerated where they will keep for six months or longer. More conservative folks like to refrigerate their lemons after a short 3-day run in the cupboard. Me, I'm going to live dangerously and let my lemons have a good long sleep on the shelf. I've made a lot of kimchi in my day and haven't killed anyone yet, so I'm going to take my chances!
I can't wait to try these and am already dreaming of ways to use them. Has anyone else out there made these before? What are your favorite ways to use them?
p.s. I made mine with this sea salt.
Monday, March 3, 2014
A while back I knit a hat pattern that included bobbles. (For you non-knitters, bobbles are the round bumps you see on the hat above.) The thing was that I found making bobbles really annoying. It was one of those tasks that I just couldn't seem to get comfortable with, my tongue kind of sticking out to the side as I made them, exhaling each time I finished one to realize I'd been holding my breath. So, to try and find the love for bobbles, I decided to knit a hat covered in them. And, it worked! I can't believe I'm saying this, but now I actually think they're kind of fun to make. Another surprise was when I realized the hat bears a bit of a resemblance to a sea anemone!
This bobbly hat is now available in the handmade section of the shop.
p.s. I've also recently joined instagram. Click the icon on the right to follow me there!
p.p.s. Wes Anderson's Grand Budapest Hotel opens this week! Trailer here.