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June 16, 2013

Fabric Flower Craft

I tried a fun new craft, making flowers for pins or embellishments from silky fabrics.  This activity is not quite suited to my 4-H kids, since it involves an open flame, but it's quick and beginner-level easy. 

Use tulle, satin, and other high nylon fabrics. Cut rough flower shapes, using care to make them large enough as the flame causes them to shrink.  Ours were about 4-6 inches across before we finished them.  Use a candle flame to carefully finish off and shrivel the edges.  The burning will prevent them from raveling.  Stack multiple layers to make a flower; ours took about 7-10 layers each.  Textures and colors will create great effect.  Sew a quick whip stitch to hold all the layers together, and consider using a bead or button in the center of the flower. 

We attached a pin back to these, but I thought it would be great with a clip-on earring backing as a shoe clip, or sewn to a purse.  They're also great for gift bags.  Where would you use these?  Have you ever made these before?  Please leave a comment on the blog.

Rum Hard Sauce for Bread Pudding

Okay, I cheated and made the bread pudding from a mix....but the Rum Sauce was not included.  I liked the sauce recipe enough to keep it, so wanted to add it to my blog's index. Fast, easy, simple, butter and brown sugar.  Oh and rum.  You won't be sorry.

Rum Sauce

1 Tbsp Butter
2 tsp. Cornstarch
1/3 c. Brown Sugar
3/4 c. Milk
1 Tbsp. White or Dark Rum

1.  Melt butter in a small saucepan over medium heat.
2.  Mix together the sugar and cornstarch, and stir into the butter.
3.  Pour in milk.  Cook stirring frequently until the mixture begins to boil.
4.  Continue cooking until thick, stirring constantly.
5.  Remove from heat, and stir in rum.  Serve warm.

June 6, 2013

Little Free Library for Glendale Community's Culinary Department

I just finished my first college course in fifteen years!  I took Culinary 111, Fundamentals of Professional Cooking I, at the local Glendale Community College.  I was surprisingly impressed with the Glendale Campus.  The culinary department has its own building, but it is more of a temporary structure and a new building is being constructed next year.  

The small space they're in now does have an entryway with a couple of side tables, and I thought it was a perfect place for something they surprisingly didn't have--a place for students to trade cookbooks and fiction devoted to what we're studying.  So I took it upon myself to create a "Little Free Library" of sorts.  The basic idea is a sort of box, usually about 2x3 feet, where one can take a book and leave a book.  My original idea was to get some sort of children's play stove and convert it to hold books, but my student budget limited me.  Since this library is to be indoors, a stack of books on a table is not unreasonable, so the minimum necessary was a sign.  What I came up with is simple and clean, meant to be stood on a plate stand next to the books.  I used bright eye-catching colors and painted a bit of a border to make it less plain, and accented the intention that this collection is to be for the department. The frontal photo I took didn't really show the border, and the angled shot distorted the text, so I've posted both.

It's the end of the semester, so this library won't be set up till the start of the new term.  I can't wait to see what else is contributed, and who might learn or try something new from something they picked up off our pile!  I'll be looking for its home when the culinary department moves to the new building too.  I'm hoping the next time I visit I'll find cookbooks, memoirs of restaurant occupations, biographies of famous chefs, kitchen gardening books, and stuff I haven't even thought of....and that the bookplates have lists of students that have read and returned.

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