Project Name: French Potato Salad (Non-Dairy & Vegan)
Brief Description: At the end of every school year the Scene Shop Manager & I put on an "All Shops Party" for the employees of the Costume, Scenic & Electrics Shops. Ours was yesterday, and David asked if I could make a non-dairy, Jennie-friendly potato salad. Since I've missed potato salad since becoming lactose intolerant, I was excited to take on the challenge, but didn't want to simply rely on a ton of veganized versions of things like mayo, which I don't care for anyways. I knew there were mustard based versions out there, so I went in search of recipes. This is a combination of a few different recipes I found from Martha Stewart, and it was delicious! Please note the potatoes were steamed, causing a physical change, and the vinegar used in the recipe is an ingredient used by alchemists for centuries.
Project Picture:French Potato Salad
2.5 lbs small waxy potatoes, like fingerling, honey gold, ruby sensation, etc. (See notes*)
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
3 T stone ground mustard (See notes**)
2 T golden
balsamic vinegar (or sherry or champagne vinegar, something NOT red)
1 small shallot, minced
2 green onions, sliced on the bias
3-4 T. fresh chopped parsley
1-2 tsp. dried chives
fresh ground pepper
Slice your potatoes into evenly sized pieces. To cook you may either boil them in a pot of generously salted water for 15 minutes (until they are tender), or do what I did and steam them in the microwave. I use the Ziplock steamer bags, which get the potatoes tender, but not mushy or water-logged. One full bag takes 7 minutes in the microwave. I did this in two batches, reusing the same bag.
In a small bowl or glass measuring cup, whisk together the olive oil, mustard, vinegar, shallots, green onions, parsley & chives. Season with kosher or sea salt, and freshly ground pepper. Pour some dressing over the potatoes, and toss to coat. Chill for an hour or so, and add more dressing if needed. (Potatoes will absorb some.)Notes:
For the potatoes I mixed Golden Fingerling & Ruby Sensation. Go for something good here as it's the backbone of the recipe. You need waxy, not starchy potatoes in this recipe.
For the mustard, go for something good here as it's the flavor-heart of the recipe. This doesn't have to mean expensive. I bought a jar of Kroger "Private Selections" brand fancy stone ground mustard for about $2. The flavor is amazing.
For the dressing: I didn't use quite all of my dressing at once, as I didn't want the potatoes drowned in it. After an hour or two of chilling, check it. The potatoes will have absorbed some, and you may need to pour on a pinch more. If you have extra, it is amazing with French bread dipped in it.Class: Herbology
Project Name: My Magical Corset
Brief Description: I had intended to post this *after* posting my History of Magic project, but alas, that one is still 2 steps away from being completed, even though it was started a month beforehand. This is a 19th Century corset that I constructed during the workshop I taught last weekend. Corsets, and you either know, or imagine, take a great deal of care to make well. I have made many corsets over the years, and they are always an in-depth, nearly week-long process. I learned this new "1 Day Corset" technique, developed by costumer Jeff Lieder, at a master class in March. He takes the Laughing Moon Merchantile corset pattern
, which normally takes me about 3 days to complete, and cuts down the build time to 1 - 1.5 days. I did nearly all of this in 8 hours, while teaching 7 undergrad students at the same time. I did spend a few hours the next day finishing it, with the help of Craftster Ex_Gratia
, who did the fitting for me, since you can't fit a corset on yourself.
It is made of coutil, a special fabric used in corsetry, with a batik fashion-fabric over it. There is a busk for letting yourself out of it quickly. It is about 1" too tall for me, but fits well anyways. I'll try to get a picture of me in it soon!
Project Picture:Challenge: Detention - March
Project Name: Supernatural Charm Bracelet
Brief Description: This bracelet has been in the works for ages. It's a custom request from a client who wanted a bracelet based on the show Supernatural. I have only seen the first 3 episodes, so I had to work off a list of charm ideas from her. It's been in the planning stages since February, and has been worked on, off and on, since March. I'm thrilled to have it done and off my table! The charms include a pistol, teddy bear, Impala, slice of pie, moose, cassette tape, skull, angel wing, pentagram, shovel, bee, computer, hell hound, police badge, Ouija board, book, and cell phone.
Project Picture:Challenge: Detention - April
Project Name: "Sisters" Study of Ancient Runes Bracelet
Brief Description: Last autumn I made a Study of Ancient Runes Bracelet
for pinkleo in the Back to Hogwarts Swap. I used semi precious stone beads on it, and included both her favorite colors and favorite stones. What I didn't tell her at the time, was that I had started two bracelets, and always intended them to be "sisters". Similar, but not identical, versions of the same idea. Something to connect us to one another across a few thousand miles when we aren't on the internet. Something to let her know I'm there, even when I can't be.
It has been sitting on my work table for over 6 months now, and I finally got around to putting the beads on it! It includes the same rune charms for Happiness, Humanity, Inner Peace, Courage, Victory, Knowledge, Lifeforce, Luck, Strength, and Success. The beads however are a mix of jade to guard against accidents and misfortune, aventurine to fortify individuality and increase enthusiasm, turquoise for friendship, banded agate for strength and protection from stress, imperial jasper for grounding one to the earth, amethyst for healing and to bring sweet dreams, and dyed river shell for enhancing intuition and sensitivity and promoting cooperation within groups. So there you are pinks, now we both have a version!
Project Picture:Challenge: Detention - May
Project Name: Horror Movie Charm Bracelet
Brief Description: This bracelet is a graduation gift for one of my students. Kasey is the sweetest of sweethearts. She is kind, funny, loving, and thoughtful. She also just so happens to be cute as cute can be, with lovely blonde hair and big blue eyes and a warm smile. Oddly enough though, this sweet girl wants to make Horror movies for a living. She's a Theatre major in my department, with a Film minor, and just loves bloody gorey movies. In fact, her first movie that she bought was It, was she was 4. She also hunts ghosts in old houses, and bought herself some ghost hunting gear. I just know that once she breaks into the film industry, she'll be the director who shows up on set with 4 dozen brownies for the cast & crew, as well as a few extra buckets of stage blood, "just in case". So, for Kasey I've made a Horror Film Director Bracelet. The charms include a film clap board, deamons, cemetery gate, film reel, creepy child's handprint, crossbow, movie ticket, zombie foot, human heart, wicker man, kitchen knife, directors chair, and words like "paranormal investigator", "I <3 Horror", "Zombie Hunter", and "Redrum". I can't wait to give it to her at our department banquet on Tuesday night!
And just so everyone can tell that there really were to *separate* red/black/grey bracelets, here's a thumbnail of all of the bracelets on my little table.