There’s been a lot of joyousness this week, it seems like:
My favourite colour of green is bursting out everywhere lately. Everything is exploading to life! It makes me feel almost tipsy with anticipation!
My walk to the metro every morning on my way to work takes me past this yard… I love the ornate, orange painted railing! I love the magnolia!
I made a new batch of salve recently, something that I’ve been doing for the past year or so. If you use and like the family of Burt’s bees products, I highly suggest that you give a go at making your own. Salve, balm, and all those similar concoctions of oils and waxes and butters are incredibly easy to make, and most satisfying. There a lots of recipes and instructions available online – I roughly based mine on the ones here. This recipe smells divine, and feels lovely on the skin – I added more cocoa butter and essential oils than last time.
Beeswax and cocoa butter melting in the double boiler. Salve setting in tins.
I gave one tin a pretty hand drawn label, a gift for the parents of mr. quilt recipient. They’d been using a similar product on his diaper rash and various new-born skin ailments and were running out… but at 16$ a tin I was outraged on their behalf, so sent this along to them. The tin is recycled… as is the paper for the label. I estimate that the cost of all the ingredients for this amount (minus whatever my time might be worth) was about 50 cents, max.
It’s a bit funny, really. It’s things things that I’ve made like this that make me think, “wow, that was so easy, and this product [garment, bag, etc.] is really great! I should make and sell this!” But then, inevitably, I recant on that. Because honestly, making things to sell doesn’t excite me. That’s not why I make things. I make things because it gives me joy and satisfaction to learn a new skill and produce a product that I enjoy, or need. And it gives me so much pleasure to be able to share the skills and knowledge that i have, that I can’t, and don’t want to, measure that in dollars. Maybe I could sell this sort of thing (although actually, a quick look at etsy for salves shows that the market is saturated with this sort of product, so it probably wouldn’t be worth the effort anyway). But making more than what I can use myself and gift to my loved ones just doesn’t give me the same satisfaction. Profit just doesn’t motivate me. I know, of course, that some cash is required in this world, at least until I can barter for rent, hydro, travel, health expenses, and all the other things I need to survive. There are some compromises I need to make to successfully participate in this world — this is why I work for someone else, bringing home a paycheck to pay for those things. But I don’t feel like i need much more than that, honestly, because my “hobbies” are economic, too, producing the luxuries of life that I might otherwise spend money on. And i like it that way. Anyway… this line of thinking clearly deserves a lengthy post of it’s own. Maybe at a later date I’ll have my partner in crime co-host a discussion on this topic, since the thesis she just finished writing deals largely with alternative ways of working that aren’t recognized or valued by capitalism. Would that be interesting to you, oh esteemed readership?
Ok, back to the photos.
We had the pleasure of our first dinner in the parc the other day – a highly anticipated summer tradition here – a birthday sushi feast for one of our closest friends. We’re lucky to live mere steps from one of the largest parcs in the city – it’s so close that it feels just like an enormous back yard, and we don’t have to do a thing to maintain it! But wait! Can you tell what is sneaky about this picture?
No, i’m teasing, I know that you can’t. Here is a close up for you.
Have you figured it out yet? That is not sushi. It’s cupcakes!
Brownies topped with icing and slices of fruit! The “pickled ginger” is thin slices of apple, dyed with a bit of food colouring. The “wasabi” is tinted icing, that was flavoured with powdered ginger and ginger juice to make it spicy.
I’ve made this sort of thing before, but I think this was the easiest and most successful so far. The dark brownie base gives the effect of nori on the un-iced sides of the cake, eliminating the need for the separate dark chocolate ‘nori’ that I made last time, which I then had to wrap around the individual pieces of cake.
Too bad about all the sticky sugar mess, though.
Hmmm, delicious! My favourite part was how the “wasabi” and “pickled ginger” behaved in this setting just like there savoury counterparts do when accompanying a real sushi meal. The spicy wasabi icing paired very nicely with the chocolate cake, we put little dabs of it on our sushi peices just like you would with the real thing (it was especially delicious with the pear topped peices! woah.) Ditto the sliced apple ‘ginger’- it was a nice refreshing and palate cleansing bite between the rich sweet peices of cake.
We ate it all. A whole recipe of brownies. Yes, there were tummy aches. It was worth it.
Here’s to spring and friends and yummy things to eat! Ta for now!