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261  Growing Mushrooms at Home in Exterior Decorating / Yard Art / Gardening: Completed Projects by MissingWillow on: June 22, 2012 11:02:02 AM
We've had shiitake mushroom logs for a few years now.  Once you get through the initial process of introducing the spores to your logs, they pretty much take care of themselves.  We purchased plug spores and drilled lots of holes in 3-4 foot lengths of dead white oak logs.  The spore plugs were inserted in the holes and then sealed with melted beeswax.  It took a year to get our first crop.

We keep the logs up off of the ground in a shady place by our back door where we can keep an eye on them.  My husband built them a swing of sorts under a bradford pear tree.

Once we notice the mushrooms sprouting, it takes about a week until they're ready to harvest.  These photos were taken a day apart across a few days to show how fast they grow.

This is our spring crop, we're expecting another in the fall.  They're a huge hit at our farmer's market and make a wonderful addition to risotto! 
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262  Re: Novelty Fabric Fat Quarter Swap Gallery in The Swap Gallery by MissingWillow on: June 13, 2012 06:59:58 PM
I received from Quaggy as well, I love these (especially the bees)!  The owls are fantastic, the pink matches a bunch of things I already have and the spider went right into my Halloween stash drawer.  Thank you so much, Quaggy!

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263  Re: Novelty Fabric Fat Quarter Swap Gallery in The Swap Gallery by MissingWillow on: June 11, 2012 11:13:21 AM
I finally sent today.  Woo hoo!  And now for my photos...  Here are my beauties from Bobomom -

And from CraftyMamaBee ...

I love them all, thank you!  Is it too early to be sewing stuff for Halloween??
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264  Re: Garden 2012 in Exterior Decorating / Yard Art / Gardening: Discussion and Questions by MissingWillow on: June 09, 2012 01:28:54 PM
Here's this morning's harvest...  peas, carrots, a leek, late asparagus and some shallots.  We also pulled up our garlic beds today, the heads will hang in the shade for a few weeks. 

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265  A Sweet Harvest in Exterior Decorating / Yard Art / Gardening: Completed Projects by MissingWillow on: June 09, 2012 12:21:06 PM
We just completed our spring honey harvest.  The bees have been visiting our vegetable garden, flowers, tulip poplar trees, wild blackberries, orchard and clover. 

We extract honey from the hive frames in our kitchen.  Here's a frame with the beeswax capping sliced off to prepare it for going into the extractor.

The extractor is the large white container, it holds two frames at a time.  The crank causes the frames to spin inside the container and the honey flings out by centrifugal force and drips down to the bottom. 

We strain the honey into a 3 gallon bucket.  From there it gets ladled into jars.

A few of our frames had brood in it, here's a baby bee emerging.

The entire process took us about 8 hours, from removing frames from our two hives through cleanup.  Not a bad day's work!  I took 12 quarts to our small farmer's market yesterday, they sold out pretty fast. 
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266  Pimento Cheese in Recipes and Cooking Tips by MissingWillow on: June 05, 2012 09:26:10 AM
Pimento cheese is a southern staple and pretty simple stuff.  I grew up on it, so did my husband.  I don't buy it at the grocery store because I make it myself.  I always serve it on saltine crackers cuz it isn't fancy.

It's got just 5 ingredients; 8 oz. of sharp cheddar cheese,  3 Tbsp. of Duke's mayo, 2 oz. of drained jarred pimentos, 2 good splashes of worcestershire sauce and hot pepper flakes to taste.   Oh, and salt & pepper. 

I start by cubing the cheese before putting it in my mini food processor.

I process the cheese to break the cubes into crumbles then in go the rest of the ingredients.  The red pepper flakes are from our garden.  They're a super hot mixture of ghost, habanero, Joe's round and red caribbean peppers.  If I was going to use store bought flakes, I'd add about 1/4 teaspoon.

Give it a whirl in your food processor and it's done!

I met two documentary filmmakers at a cookout last weekend who recently completed a short film titled 'Pimento Cheese, Please!'  I took a batch and it was very well received (they took home the leftovers).  It makes a great appetizer and is usually even better the day after you make it. 

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267  Mushroom House Pincushion in Completed Projects by MissingWillow on: June 02, 2012 04:28:30 AM
For the sewing accessories swap, I made thisbirdsabsurd a mushroom house pincushion in a cup based on something she had on her wist. 

This project really tested my limited embroidery skills!   Cheesy

Here's an in-process shot.

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268  Re: Sewing Accessories Swap GALLERY! in The Swap Gallery by MissingWillow on: May 31, 2012 01:48:25 PM
Our mail lady just delivered me the most wonderful package from thisbirdsabsurd!  She definitely spoiled me.   Grin  I had a sewing machine caddy/mat on my wish list.  She made me one in a day of the dead theme.  It's got pockets along the front so I can always have the things I'm forever looking for at hand! 

Continuing with the theme, a DoD skull pincushion that she made out of poly clay.  Can you believe that??  There's also a decorated measuring tape that's going to be tucked into one of those caddy pockets, the most gorgeous pair of scissors with a skull charm, pins and thread.

Here's a rear view of the pincushion and the flip side of the measuring tape.  She also sent me some gorgeous fabric and 100% wool felt (drool!).

A side view of the skull.  LOVE this!

And a terribly backlit photo of everything together.  Thank you so much, Jen, I LOVE everything you sent!
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269  Spring Harvest in Exterior Decorating / Yard Art / Gardening: Completed Projects by MissingWillow on: May 17, 2012 07:03:43 AM
Here's this morning's harvest; asparagus, carrots and garlic scapes.  Scapes are the flower stalks of garlic plants and they're delicious grilled with a little olive oil, salt and pepper.  Smiley 

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270  Re: 50 Projects 2012--Join here and post your lists ! in Craftalongs by MissingWillow on: May 15, 2012 11:24:00 AM
I've been pretty quiet with posting because I've been sewing up a storm.  I was lucky enough to be chosen as a Master Craftster and the series just got posted.  Here are my finished pieces.  The tote bag, tea towel and dish draining mat are all for me.   Smiley

Business Card Holders  http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=408609.0

Sweet Tote Bag  http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=408610.0

Portable Sewing Kit  http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=408608.0

Fruit Fabric Tea Towel  http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=408606.0

Dish Draining Mat  http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=408607.0
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