Thursday, September 17, 2009

Rhubarb, Blueberry, and Mango Cobbler

Rhubarb is an interesting fruit. You can't really eat it raw and it is hard to stomach without a bit of sugar. Recently, I have been in the mood for rhubarb. This is strange considering, I had not had a steady dose of it since I was a child. My Mom used to make rhubarb jam and pies and they were quite delicious. Since then it has rarely touched my plate. Not because I don't like it, but more so because people do not seem to cook with it much.

After a recent wedding shower for my sister-in-law we had a piece of rhubarb around. How does one get rhubarb from a shower, you might ask? Well, we played a game where we had people guess the produce. Most people thought it was celery. My sister-in-law said I could not play because I had an advantage being vegetarian. It only seems fair because I would have won the game. I know my produce! (Also, I was co-host of the shower and I do not think the hosts are supposed to play.)

When we came home, John and I did not know what to do with it. So, one night while John was out doing something with his Duke cronies, I decided to use the rhubarb. I searched our cookbooks and then the internet for vegan rhubarb recipes. I lucked out when I came to a recipe on RecipeZaar for vegan rhubarb cobbler. I have not had many cobblers, but from what I remember, they were yummy.

I looked around our cupboards to see what we had that matched the recipe. Right away, I noticed that I did not have enough rhubarb. Luckily, I still had frozen blueberries from my when we picked organic blueberries in Hillsborough (Beth, you would be proud. I am posting about how I am using the berries!) I also located a mango that was ripe to be eaten. I know this combo is strange, but trust me. It worked. We were also short on soymilk. I was in luck again, we had So Delicious, Unsweetened Coconut Milk. We had tried it on a recommendation from a friend. I am not sure I would buy the unsweetened again.

Now that I had what I needed, I began the preparation. The recipe was easy and the aroma filled our place with a sweet and delicious smell. The taste was even better than the smell! This dessert was a winner. The top was so moist and would make a great dessert biscuit or perhaps for a shortcake. My bowl of blueberry, rhubarb, mango goodness was gone in minutes. When John came home he had a bowl and shared the sentiment toward the gooey, warm dessert.

Just thinking about it is making me hungry. I think I will have to make this again.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

My First Etsy Sale!!

I joined Esty in April of 2008 hoping to start my own store. I waited a while and shopped around, buying gifts for others. It was not until early 2009 that I finally had enough products to open a store.

Since then, I have had some activity on my site (I can only tell when people "heart" my store or products), but no purchases. I joined the EstyVeg team as a way to promote myself and to be a part of a group that have similar views. I have been showcased several times in EtsyVeg blog and am glad to be associated with a group of like minded artisans.

One of the first products that I created for my store was a harvest apple decorative pillow. The pillow started out as two place mats that I recieved from a friend who was who no longer wanted the mats. As soon as I saw them, I envisioned a decorative pillow with embellishments. To make the pillow personalized, I added red buttons for the apples and brown yarn to stitch the wording that was already on the pillow. The wording read "Among the trees are always apples + leaves." I also used the brown yarn to stitch brown lines around the inside design of the pillow.

The varying shades of red buttons that made up the apples on the trees came from my collection of buttons. I inherited this collection of buttons from my grandmother (and probably some from my mother) years ago. I was compelled to save the buttons because I knew I could find a use. I just could not throw them out! Every time I get a garmet with an extra button, I add it to my collection in hopes that I will find the perfect use for it.

The stitching used around the border and in the wording was completed with yarn from an old project. It is hard to buy small quantities of one color of yarn, so I was forced to buy a whole bundle for a small project. I have found many uses for the yarn and still have NOT run out of it!

As always, the materials in this product, and all that I create, are vegan. The fabric of the place mats is a cotton blend and the pillow is stuffed with a polyester fiberfill left over from other pillows projects.

I am excited for the buyer to recieve this pillow as I had a lot of fun creating it and hope that it will bring her joy. I am in my element when I make things for people. It does not matter if they are simple, detailed, extravegent, or ordinary, I just like to create.