Embroidery, Updates

Staying Sane & Stitching

Ok, ok… staying home is starting to get to me. I miss going out, I miss friends, I miss having a cup of coffee on a patio. Yes, I can see friends through Zoom and have a Cafe Au lait on my own porch, but after five months, it’s just not the same.

I have project after project to keep me occupied and flexing my creative muscles, but wow, what I’d give for a vacation. A beach sounds good right about now. (By all means, send me suggestions that are safe.) But alas, in Central Texas it’s slim pickin’s for beach options.

On the Upside

With all of the rain we’ve gotten the last week, I’ve had a little more time inside embroider which I find quite relaxing. I’ve brought out an old pattern from the archive. This is one of my favorites and my current garden has brought plenty of inspiration to start stitching this! “Eat your veggies” the age old mom saying at the majority of dinner tables, except ours! If you need an “eat your veggies” towel, you can purchase one in the shop.

Embroidery, Updates

Bluebonnets in Texas Towel

I feel like it’s been a minute since I last posted about what has been going on in the embroidery department. Needless to say, despite starting up a farm, canning, and refinishing furniture, I’m still stitching away. I’m upping the inventory in the Texas Towel Collection.

Texas Towel Collection

I’ve been slowly adding to the Texas Towel Collection. A couple of years ago, I designed these Bluebonnet in Texas towels and tested them out at the La Vallita Starving Artist Show. They flew out of my booth! I was completely sold out on the first day of the two-day event.

I’m looking forward to having the listed in the shop soon. You know, after I do a complete revamp that I’ve started this past weekend. If you cannot wait until the shop is up and running again, go ahead and contact me. I can get one shipped out to you!

12 Day of Crafting, Embroidery, Updates

The Lone Star Towel

A couple months ago I had posted a blog about all the things I was going to do during the Covid-19 lockdown, well… I’m on my way to completing that list and then some. Between moving, starting a farm, refinishing furniture, and thoroughly enjoying my life, I am still managing to get in some embroidery time.

IMG_3241Texas Towels

The most popular towel that I make is the Texas Towel. You know, the one with the outline of Texas with a heart where Austin is… yea, that one! Well, I have never experienced as much state pride anywhere as I have in Texas. I thought it would only be appropriate to continue to feed the beast so to speak. I’ve stitched up “The Lone Star State” Towel. It’s already in the shop ready to make it’s way to your kitchen.

Stay tuned because I have more Texas-themed towels in the works with bluebonnets, flowers, and more.

 

Embroidery, Story

King of the Grill

Father’s Day is just around the corner. Due to 2,000 miles between us and Covid-19, hopping on a plane to see my Dad isn’t quite an option this year. So I’ve started putting together a package to ship to him next week. It will include Zero bars, Texas-style hot sauces, and a new spice rub!

Story of the Spice Rub

Just about two years ago I met my partner who is born and raised in Texas. He certainly knows his way around the grill and smoker. The first time he cooked for me he busted out his smoker and made me some smoked pork. I remember the seasoning was out of this world, smokey, flavorful with a little bit of spice. Over the past two years, we’ve talked about building a homestead and made a laundry list of things we could start making together. This all-purpose spice rub is the first on the list. It’s simple with big flavor because everything is bigger in Texas.

Recommended Pairings

The all-purpose rub can be used for, well, all purposes from chicken to pork to beef. I’ve even used it on portabello mushrooms and it certainly holds up. What I will recommend pairing our Texas Style Spice Rub with is either a pig or cow towel. (Chicken will be coming soon!)

If you’re interested in a spice rub and towel pairing, head on over to the shop and get your order in!

12 Day of Crafting, Embroidery, Updates

Keeping It Crafty

I thought about naming this blog post “Keeping it Crafty During COVID19” but honestly, I think I’m a little burnt out on seeing it COVID-19 in my newsfeed.  While I’m fully aware that this won’t be over anytime soon, I’ve got my ways of coping that don’t involve being glued to a computer screen.  For me, I do best when I stay busy.

I’m using this social distancing and self-isolation as a time to get work done, self reflect and really tackle that “someday I’ll do this” to-do list that I have been putting off for… forever.

This past weekend in the life of a crafter:

  1. Organized my craft shelf
  2. Prepped 20+ towels for embroidery
  3. Revived the “Can’t Touch This” Cactus Pattern
  4. Began embroidering a new patter: “The Lone Star State” Towel

Upcoming Projects:

  • Redoing taxes from previous years (yea, I know I’m torturing myself, but it’ll be worth it)
  • Doing this year’s taxes
  • Overhauling madebylauralee.com (if it’s the last thing I do, damn it!)
  • Somehow connecting with a few remaining Kickstarter Contributors that have not responded to any emails, updates, etc. to get them their incentives so I can sleep at night!

Other things I’ve been working on are making sure I keep my days are as structured as possible. For example, from 6 am to 7am, I enjoy my coffee, from 7-8 am I go for a walk and stretch, 9 am-3 PM it’s time for work.  I’m also making it a goal to reach out to one person that I haven’t spoken to in a while and actually call them!

These next few weeks will certainly be different, but we will get through!  Happy Self-Isolation, y’all!

 

DIY, Fermenting, Food, Recipes, Updates

Fermentation Friday

I think it’s been a whirlwind of a week, just the last few days even. As you may have read on my last blog post or the made by laura lee newsletter, I am suspending food production for the next few weeks.  For the time being, I will not be experimenting with fermented foods either.

It breaks my heart.  Really.  Why am I not experimenting as well as not selling?

I feel like holding off is the best-case scenario on selling jams, jellies, and sauerkrauts are the safest thing possible.  Despite being clean and sanitary beyond normal expectations, I’m a small business and I want to do what’s best for my customers, my own health, and the bigger picture. As far as playing with fermented foods, it’s too dang hard to get my hands on large amounts of produce to ferment.  The stores have been baren and farmers’ markets canceled.

So, let’s take a moment to celebrate all the beautiful and delicious veggies that I have been able to transform into probiotic filled food! Sauerkrauts, kimchis, and ginger, oh my! Below is the list with links you can revisit.  Thank you so much for your interest in this and I’m looking forward to when I can get back to it!  Until then… what should the next Friday blog be? I like this whole themed thing!

If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact me.

DIY, Fermenting, Food, Recipes

Fermentation Friday

It’s my favorite day of the week, Fermentation Friday. Seriously, I can’t tell you how much I look forward to sharing the most recent fermented creation I’ve made. Seeing as I love kimchi, I decided to go with a green bean kimchi.  The recipe is based on Kirsten Shockey’s from her Fiery Ferments book.  I’ve altered it slightly, and think I will continue to do so as I tweak the recipe to my liking. Mainly, concentrating on making it spicier as this was particularly mild.

Green Bean Kimchi

  • 1 pound green beans, chopped into 1″ sections
  • 1 bunch green onions, chopped into 1/4 inch pieces
  • 7 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 4 TBSP fresh ginger, minced
  • 2 TBSP fish sauce (or soy sauce for vegan/vegetarian)
  • 1 pound red jalapenos, coarsely chopped and deseeded
  • 1.5 teaspoons sea salt
  • 1/2 TBSP red chili flakes (optional)
  1. In a large mixing bowl, combine green beans, green onions, garlic, garlic, and salt
  2. Place jalapenos in a blender, blend until a puree or paste
  3. Add pepper mash to green bean mixture
  4. Add in fish sauce to the pepper green bean mixture and mix well
  5. Transfer all items to a quart-sized mason jar.  Pack contents down to be submerged in the brine
  6. Let sit in a cool, dark place for 10-14 days. Check daily to make sure there are no air bubbles and resubmerge green beans in the brine, as necessary.

Note: if you’re wary of anything spicy, do not fear.  The brilliant red is deceiving.  This is mild in flavor. In fact, it tastes like a sour pickle. 

If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact me.

DIY, Fermenting, Food, Recipes

Fermentation Friday

Good morning, my apologies for posting a little later than normal, I’ve been pretty busy this morning trying to raise money for ATX Kids Club, a local nonprofit that promotes education through adventure-based learning. Today is the I Live Here I Give Here Amplify Austin Day, which is the largest day of giving here in Austin, TX.  If you’re feeling so inclined, by all means, feel free to donate here.  No amount is too small.

Now, let’s get down to fermented business…

The day has finally come and I am over the moon to share with you that my first batch of kimchi was a success! Not only a success but the best batch of fermented goodness I’ve made thus far.  In fact, I think I’ve eaten a third of it already, with a little help of course.  I will most definitely be making another batch of this soon in a matter of days.

Kimchi

  • 2 heads of Napa Cabbage, quartered and chopped in 2″ pieces
  • 2 bunches green onions/scallions, chopped into 1/2″ pieces
  • 1-2 daikon radish, shredded
  • 5 tablespoons ginger, minced
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 tablespoons of sea salt
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 6 tablespoons fish sauce (if vegan or vegetarian, just use water and replace with an extra tablespoon of sea salt)
  • 10 tablespoons Korean red pepper flakes (gochugaru)
  1. After chopping cabbage, mix with sea salt to let sweat while prepping all other ingredients.
  2. In a large bowl, then mix all other ingredients and transfer to fermentation crock.
  3. Press mixture down and place weights on top.
  4. Set in a cool, dark place for 1-5 days.  (I did the full 5 days)
  5. Make sure to check and turn the kimchi daily with clean hands or utensils.

Note: if you’re wary of anything spicy, do not fear.  The brilliant red is deceiving.  This is mild in flavor with no zing at all. 

If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact me.

DIY, Fermenting, Food, Recipes

Fermentation Friday

I’ve been on a ginger kick lately.  It could be the cold weather and fighting this cold. Personally, I think it’s the awesome flavor.  You can’t beat the sweet, earthy, and spicy flavor of ginger. While slightly labor intensive, this recipe for fermented ginger is super easy.  Peeling and slicing the ginger is the hardest part. Once it’s ready, this fermented ginger is great in stir-fries or steamed rice, and definitely perfect for sushi.

Fermented Ginger

  • 1 pound of ginger, peeled and sliced
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  1. Slice ginger as thin as thin possible.
  2. In a large bowl, mix the sliced ginger and salt, tossing to make sure every piece is covered.
  3. Transfer salt ginger mixture to jar.
  4. Use a ziplock bag filled with water to weigh down and cover ginger salt mixture.
  5. Set in a cool, dark place for 7-14 days.  (I always go with ten).
  6. Make sure to check on ginger and make sure that it stays submerged in brine.  You may have to push down.

If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact me.

 

 

Garden, Story, Updates

Mother Earth News Recap

Good morning, happy Monday! I hope y’all had a wonderful weekend.  I’m slowly on the mend, just feeling really running down, but at least my cough has subsided.  As I’m coming back around to feeling better, I realized I hadn’t shared too much about the Mother Earth News Conference that I was so excited about.

While Belton isn’t exactly a the thriving metropolis that you dream about spending a weekend away in, it sure had it’s gems. Saturday morning before the conference, we discovered a charming little coffee shop, Arusha Coffee, where we spent the bulk of time caffeinating when not at the conference.  Ample time was also spent day dreaming about future homestead plans, the idea for another new book, and more.

I digress…. the conference though was fun and educational.  Not all the speakers were as captivating as others, here are the highlights:

Texas Food Laws – there has been a major update on some of the Texas Cottage Laws for food makers like myself and I am happy to announce that I will be able to start selling some of my fermented goodies very soon.

Homestead Air B&B – while I don’t have a homestead geared up for a bed and breakfast, it’s nice to know that there are easy options out there when I am ready to go.

Other workshops and lectures I attended were Ladies in Homesteading, Growing Mushrooms, Homesteading Laws in Texas, Gardening in Small Spaces, and Companion Gardening, just to name a few. I’m looking forward to next years conference already!