Monday, May 24, 2010

What's for Dinner? Fresh picked Green Beans and Vegetarian Moussaka!

These green beans are the first of the year from our vegetable garden. If you've ever tasted green beans picked and immediately snapped and cooked, you'll know what I mean when I say they are like no others. They actually remind me of fresh asparagus (which we enjoyed earlier in the season.) Here are a few photos of them just crisply snapped.

I used oriental eggplant from last summer's harvest that I had frozen to make this vegetarian moussaka. Instead of meat I used Morningstar Farms crumbles, mixed with eggplant, onions, wine, spices, etc. We love the creamy white layer that tops off this dish. A little salt and whipped butter and these green beans were to die for. The moussaka was perfectly spiced and so tasty. Growing and cooking with our own vegetables is a little more work, but oh so worth it!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Natural Materials for Basketry

I love variety in my work, and using unusual natural materials is one way to shake things up a bit!

My shop now features a few naturals that I grow using organic methods. Below are a few examples of baskets made with bleached Hibiscus fiber. It's a wonderful, versatile fiber that can be used natural, bleached or dyed.

I've also listed Miscanthus grass, which is great for coiling, rim treatment and embellishment. Visit my shop and check them out:

This wild and wooly twined basket features bleached hibiscus bark accents and peeled and natural akebia. The beads are actually seeds.

This one was started with a hibiscus center and features a hibiscus rim. It also has pine needles miscanthus and kudzu!