Wednesday, March 6, 2013

New items up on Etsy

That's right, after months of planning to get earrings back up on to Etsy I finally did it!!! I managed to do it even though the sweet old ewe I am farm sitting for gave me a scare this morning and I have a test this afternoon.
Here they are: new earrings!!
and a visual preview

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

A Belated Valentine


                                                   copyright Sustain-A-Bull productions 2013
I love valentine's day. I realize that it has turned in to a corporate holiday, but I choose to view it as a day to pause and really appreciate people. I like the idea of just being kind to everyone and seeing the interconnections and humanity among people as well as a chance to tell everyone I care about how much I love them. Since I wholeheartedly (pun intended) believe in love I choose to send Valentine's day cards instead of Christmas, or other religious affiliated holiday cards in December. This year my sweetie and I collaborated on the first of a series of images by sustain-a-bull productions.

You may remember from my 2011 post Plaster the city in hearts! (A story in Photos) that someone in Montpelier covers the city in printed hearts. It is one of my favorite things ever. This year I happened to be in town when Eva Sollberger of the video blog Stuck in Vermont (put out by Seven Days) was in town filming the episode "The Valentine Phantom"
The video is awesome, and I am in it! woot!

Enjoy, and spread the love!

Snowy Cozy Winter. cooking on the woodstove and dinner musings

Good Morning. In my neck of the woods we have a steady flurry of snow coming down, a perfect morning to be on a farm cozy inside with a fire. In my normal life this is not an option- lucky for me though- I am farm sitting for some fantastic animals in a cozy house that overlooks the mountains. Bliss. Streaming the folk station out of Boston, WUMB, seals the deal.
On wood stoves. Beautiful, warm, satisfying to build the perfect fire. I have also been looking for ways to use the heat from a wood stove to cook food, cutting back on using a second fuel source for cooking. So far I have experimented with beans. I soaked white beans then put them in  bowl of water on top of the stove to cook. So far they had about 3 hours of active fire and the residual heat overnight. I think they have another 2 hours of fire to go, but I'm excited at the prospect.

Also on food, last night I threw together a fairly easy meal while writing a paper. I didn't necessarily need to have a fast meal, simply one with a fair amount of inactive cooking. My solution was roasted baby eggplants and zucchini with sauteed mushrooms over polenta, pesto chickpeas, and a tomato sauce. In an ideal world I would have added a side of steamed kale, but I was fresh out of leafy greens. I left the stems on the eggplant and zucchini but cut them in to fans up to the stem. Next I drizzled olive oil over them and placed sliced garlic between the fans of the vegetables, and put them in the oven. At some point I sauteed onions and garlic, added vegetable stock and white wine, brought to a boil, stirred in coarse polenta. After about 10 min. of occasional siring the polenta was finished. I sauteed the mushroom quarters in butter, opened canned chickpeas (would have loved fresh cooked, but didn't plan in time) and heated with pesto. Finally I heated some tomato sauce, and dinner was complete.

Finally, I leave you with photos of snowy winter. I am still struck by the beauty of snow and mountains here. Do you see the heart in the first photo? A collaborative piece, I walked the shape- then the puppy dashed across making an "arrow."
Stay warm and cozy!

Monday, February 4, 2013

art shows, sauerkraut, and sitting your ground.

                                  New earring display, earrings and pins for the v-day trunk show
                                         New leather leaf earrings for the AuctioNerinx auction
A cold and windy Monday here in Vermont. This weekend was my first art show in quite some time. My sweetie made me new earring displays that look lovely, and it was great to see some old friends and meet new folk. The show was slow, but a good push to get out of the house, quite the feat on cold, dark days in Vermont. Oh yeah- another highlight- making valentines full of glitter and hearts on heart shaped paper at the art table. Ah the power of glitter (especially not in my house!)
I started a batch of sauerkraut today, excited for it to start its' transformation in to deliciousness.
Finally, happy 100th birthday Rosa Parks! Thanks for being a lifelong activist, humbly following your conscience. Thanks for reminding me how I want to live, and who I want to be.
Check out a really great Democracy Now on Rosa Park's life- a lot of which the mainstream media conveniently never mentions.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013


Happy new year  friends! It has been quite some time since I have posted, though I plan to change that. New year for me = new town, new apartment, new art, new outlook. More to come but for now a sneak peek of new earrings (hand carved) and some contact paper fun.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

woo hoo, 62

 I recently had the pleasure of taking a break from work and normal life to spend a long weekend at home with a lot of my family for my dad's birthday. My mom and I arranged a sneaky feat and I was a surprise for my dad, as was a big party for him. The weekend was perfect. Red buds, vegetables, and flowers in bloom. Other out of town family in town. A long bike ride with my folks, aunts and uncles on our local rail- to- trail path with a pit stop at a brewery. Seeing friends (and their cute babies, and new houses.) Dinner at favorite cafes. And oh yeah- we threw a surprise party! I planned the menu and did the cooking for 60 people. It started with a long trip to my favorite ethnic grocery store, a few more stores, lies to my dad that I was cooking for a friend's engagement party (sorry dad- and sorry I didn't throw you a party, Courtney and Kevin) and eventually the food was prepped and ready to go. The final menu is below in photos!

Uncle Mike, best prep cook ever, assembling tarts.  puff pastry squares filled with caramelized onions, greek cheese and ricotta, and roasted vegetables 
The beautiful cake that my talented friend Lauren Casper made.  If you are in St.Louis check out her food art at  Colleen's Cookies . Not only are they beautiful, they taste great too. And all those flowers and hearts around the edge, yup they are cookies too! 

Dad came home and was surprised! And he loved the cake and baklava 

The spread: puff pastry tarts, chickpea salad, kale salad, pesto pasta salad with pesto from my folks garden, guac, shrimp, vegetable platter with homemade hummus, and yogurt dip, cheese plate (including a Vermont cheese- had to represent, and surprised I can find the grafton cheddar in STL.)  

Tarts in the oven! 

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

feeling spring

Wow, it's so nice that it's starting to feel like spring here. Already there has been more playing outside, more productivity, and more smiles (from everyone.)

Tonight's dinner: Feeling Spring Bowl
Start with coconut oil in a cast iron pan.
 add onions, kale. saute.
 add thin strips of burdock root, daikon radish, and carrots
 add tamari, cumin, cayenne, pepper, black sesame seeds
throw in leftover cooked grain (I chose quinoa) 

put in a bowl, throw on a TON of sauerkraut (A food that I despised growing up, being forced to eat it with polish sausage and pierogi but I have finally learned to love it- and can't get enough. tonight's was a red cabbage and garlic kraut made by my awesome neighbor!) and top with homemade Dal (mine was just red lentils, water, and a few Indian spices.)
thanks for being sunny, nature- I really needed it!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Moore Food

First thing Saturday morning, my boss (the chef, Paul) tells me that we are cooking for a guest lecturer and 7 students on Monday night; he wants to do some special vegan appetizers for the table of 8. As we talk he mentions that the guest is Frances Moore Lappé, and I start gushing. When I was 14 I found my parents' copy of Diet For A Small Planet and started to think about vegetarianism and resources in ways I never had before.  It was a pretty important book to me growing up, and as an adult I appreciate her work with her daughter in  Hopes Edge. My excitement could not be contained, and together we planned 4 appetizers and a dessert to accompany the usual dinner menu. Over the next few days I found myself starting to say "Frances Moore Lappé day!" and suddenly felt like I was directly out of Empire Records counting down till 'Rex Manning Day.' Albeit, it was much more wholesome then Rex Manning Day.

The menu for the evening:
Fried Millet triangles with curried squash (vegan, gluten free)
Hoisin BBQ 'Duck' in lettuce cups (vegan)
Fresh vegetable spring rolls with a thai chili dipping sauce (vegan, gluten free)
local Vermont cheese plate featuring a goat cheese, sheep cheese, and Maplebrook farms fresh mozzarella with basil and reduced balsamic vinegar.

I got to make one of my favorite desserts:
Chocolate coconut tart in a walnut, sesame and date crust with Coconut whipped cream (Vegan, gluten free)

                                                                        Mock Duck
                                                                         Spring roll
                                                                       Chocolate tart

Our Front of the House guru, Mark, set a beautiful table with linen, flowers, water goblets, etc. When I brought the food Lappé asked me about the dessert and we talked about it, walnuts, seeds etc. for a bit. I was bright red the whole time.

I went to the lecture and met her (again) afterwards. I think the most inspiring thing about hearing her speak is that she's genuine and passionate about all the good things she sees happening in the world. The lecture was not earth shattering, or anything I hadn't heard before, but it was a nice reminder that other folks are on the same page. The evening focused on the question 'why are we together creating a world that as individuals we'd never choose.' Much of the points focused on the idea that what needs to happen in order to change the world we live in is a mind shift; switching from a mindset of scarcity to one of abundance (she calls this eco mind.) I would say the best part of the lecture was just watching how excited she got about citing examples and showing slides of all the work in the world that inspires her. I got most excited about seeing friends in the community that I never see enough. All in all it was a great experience, mostly because I was able to geek out about food, and beautifully plate a whole vegetarian meal.

On other food notes, tonight I watched Today's Special a really cute (if cheesy) film about a young Indian man in NYC who is a sous Chef at a fancy pants restaurant, and ends up taking over his Dad's Indian restaurant. It's a bit sexist (the "normal" disparaging remarks about women and wives) but the colors and shots of food and cloth and spices are beautiful. As an added bonus, the main character's mom is played by Madhur Jaffrey- the fabulous cookbook author. She wrote one of my all time favorite cookbooks that I have never owned but checked out from the Library dozens of times,  World-of-the-East vegetarian cooking.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Thanks (November)

Art show in Hometown, USA

Hi. It's been a while. Below, find some stories and photos of the time in between the last set of stories and photos.
I was fortunate enough to spend thanksgiving holiday with a whole lot of my family, friends and new babies I hadn't met yet. There were many wonderful parts of the trip but the highlights included my parents hosting an art show for my brother and I, and a really amazing dinner. I know, of course it breaks down to art and food. My brother makes really beautiful silver jewelery, so the house was taken over with silver, stones, puppets, bibs, wood and leather earrings, and many many people from different times in my life. It was the most fun I have had selling my work.
Show in Burlington, VT with the woodworking wares of LB

The dinner. My folks have great gardens and planted a fall garden this year. In late November they still had red tomatoes on the window sill, broccoli still sprouting, Swiss chard, herbs, spinach, and some veggies I can't even recall. One night on a whim mom and I decided to make homemade pumpkin and ricotta ravioli with a side of a fresh mozzarella and tomato salad featuring tomatoes and basil from the garden... in November. It was so tasty, we even made a sweet ricotta ravioli as dessert.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

new items!!

leather earrings! made from recycled upholstery samples

Jungle puppets! with 'habitat' and hand painted background

detail, half apron
half apron, made for the St. Joseph worker program
An amazing year of service, check out the website

New bibs and burp cloth

happy fall