It’s Summer, which means time for iced sun tea and fresh strawberries!
Sun tea is so fun to make and utilizes that glorious sunshine we in Oregon dream about all winter long. The ingredients are limited only to your imagination! Making sun tea is a great way to create a delicious, healthy softdrink that you have complete control over: no sugar or chemicals required! Here’s my basic ‘recipe’ for making sun tea:
- Grab a half gallon mason jar OR a sun tea jar with a spigot at the bottom
- Toss in 3-5 tea bags. I prefer caffeinated Tetley British Blend, but you could choose any of your favorite teas. Loose teas would also work: just tie them up in a bit of cheese cloth!
- Optional herbs make for a truly refreshing tea: chocolate mint, peppermint, stevia, lemonbalm, borage Experiment to find your favorite combo!
- Dress it up! I served my suntea in a pint sized mason jar with a few drops of liquid stevia, some ice cubes and frozen strawberries with one of Ball’s new sip and straw lids and design series red band I can see a whole picnic using these adorable and affordable jars as functional decor.
So refreshing on a hot day!
PS, don’t miss Can It Forward Day this weekend! International Can-It-Forward Day will be broadcast live online at FreshPreserving.com from 11AM – 4PM EST from the new state-of-the-art Jarden Home Brands headquarters in Fishers, Indiana. The webcast will have an integrated chat function where viewers can submit their home canning questions to be answered in real time. New this year, there will also be an exciting celebrity mason jar auction unveiled during the webcast! I’ll have the webcast posted in a fresh blog post on Saturday morning along with a giveaway for my special readers! Don’t miss out
Do you like iced tea in the summer? What are your favorite tea/herb/fruit blends when serving iced sun tea?
Fava beans: delicious and nutritious… or perhaps you think of them solely as a cover crop for fixing nitrogen in your garden? You may also be one of the unlucky ones who has to shop in a grocery store vs a farmer’s market or your own backyard and aren’t familiar with favas at all, other than finding them dried or perhaps canned. Favas like cool weather and are a really awesome cover crop. They are a gorgeous and large plant with beautiful, early flowers great for the pollinators. They’re easy to grow, so add a few to your garden next spring (like February). They fill the soil with nitrogen ready for the next plant, create a ton of biomass that can be decomposed back into the garden, compost heap or fed to livestock, plus they give us beans!
My first experience eating favas, however was NOT a good one. i tried to taste one raw, like a snap pea. NOPE! Favas have a thin husk around each bean, inside the outer wrapper. It is bitter and nasty! Because of this you’ll see many recipes calling for that little ‘shell’ to be blanched off. Pain.In.The.Rear. Don’t do that: you really don’t have to. Sauteeing those beans in some hot oil (bacon grease!) crisps that shell up and tastes delicious! As long as you cook them, that shell will de-bitter. It might still be a bit chewy, but i think you can handle that. For the purpose of THIS recipe, i blended the whole thing enough that those shells just disappeared.
I harvested all my last fava beans this weekend and put the greens in the compost or used them as mulch around the tomatoes. Since i have an abundance, I’ve been adding favas to lots of stir fries and pasta dishes lately and wanted to try something a little different. Enter “fummus” a recipe suggested to me by a local farmer friend as an alternative spread using what we have growing in our own gardens.
- 2 cups fresh favas (just the beans, discard the pods)
- 1 large onion, chopped
- Several cloves garlic plus handful garlic scapes if you have them
- Dash lemon juice
- Olive oil/ optional sesame oil / optional tahini if you like that sort of thing
Chop the onion and sautee in a liberal amount of olive oil plus pinch of salt. Add some sesame oil if you want that sesame flavor. Cook until good and soft and browning. You may wish to add some liquid to the pan as you go. Put in food processor.
Chop the garlic and scapes and sautee in some more olive oil with the fava beans. Stir enough that the garlic doesn’t burn. Cook until favas brown and are soft. Taste one to test doneness. I added liquid a few times and covered the pan with the lid to steam some as well as saute. Put in food processor.
Add a splash of lemon juice to the food processor and begin blending. Add additional liquid or oil (and tahini if using) if it seems too thick. Process for kind of a while until the Fummus is quite smooth.
Serve with pita or tortilla chips or as a sandwich spread! Delicious and packed with protein.
Do you cook with favas? What’s your favorite preparation?
I just love the Black Sheep Gathering in Eugene. It’s a wonderful showcase of local fiber arts talent, there are many wonderful fiber and yarn vendors and i get to run into all my fiber-dork friends. There’s also a fiber arts showcase that i have entered every year since learning this crazy craft of felting. My art has improved leaps and bounds since that first felted Pocket years ago and i’m proud to say i earned a blue ribbon and lots of votes for People’s Choice this year!
* I won another prize as well, but my friend who picked up my piece can’t recall what it was. Call me nonplussed about that! >:(
I’m also excited to announce that i was juried into the upcoming “Dog Show” in Sisters, Oregon at the Sisters Art Works gallery which will be hung July 24 – September 23, 2015. I plan on deconstructing this mobile and making 3 new mobiles to display and hopefully sell to raise money for Furry Friends. If you’re in the Bend/Sisters area i hope you’ll come and see me at the artist reception on the 24th from 4-7 pm.
Since the inception of Fiber Friends, when my love of Corgis fueled the melding of my illustration style and love for fiber arts, i have been passionate about giving back to the community that has been so supportive of my chosen craft. Pocket, my Pembroke Welsh Corgi is a big reason why Fiber Friends has become a viable career, not just a fun hobby. She is my ambassador, muse and break time entertainment and lucky for me, folks on the internet like her too. Those of us in the ‘corgi community’ and animal lovers in general share a bond. We care for animals the way they should be cared for: like part of our families. Not all animals are as lucky as Pocket. Not all have a loving home and some need a helping hand. I feel it only just that i should funnel some of the support i receive from my ‘fans’ to those unfortunate pets in the world at large.
For the first several years in business as Fiber Friends, i donated a dollar from every sale to Corgi Pals. Corgi Pals has sadly since unfounded but there are plenty of other worthy causes. For those of you active in the Corgi community in particular, you may be familiar with these faces:
Benny and Biggie Corgipants were a source of joy to many on Facebook and beyond. With their clever jokes and fearless spirits, these little dogs meant a lot to strangers all over the world, but they meant even more to their human mama. She has had to say goodbye to each of them and it was my pleasure to create a little Fiber Friends family in their honor for her to hold and cry over, and remember her beloved lads. And now, it is my priviledge to hold a fundraiser in their honor.
Here’s to you, Benny and Biggie Corgipants! You have since frapped on to the Rainbow Bridge but you’re still doing good down here. Pocket and I hereby pledge to donate 5% of every sale made on our website, www.FiberFriendsOnline.com to the Corgi Connection of Kansas, one of your favorite organizations helping foster and re-home Corgis in need of homes.
Now is a great time to order gifts in time for Christmas and know that your dollars are helping Corgis in need while you invest in fine art you’ll cherish for years to come (i know, it’s early to think about the holidays – but my waiting list is pushing 4-5 months!). I have plenty of in-stock cuties in my shop, custom listings for ordering your own pet’s portrait, and plenty of add-ons to make your Fiber Friends even more special.
So, let’s hear it for the pets we love and raise some funds for those still searching for their special family!
We appreciate your support!
- Miranda & Pocket