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Monday, June 30, 2014

Meatless Monday - Quinoa Burgers and Spiced Fries

Summer is officially here, that means cookouts.  Lots of veggies are wonderful when cooked on the grill.  I love a nice thick slice of Vidalia onion slightly charred over charcoal.  It's really delicious.  What are your favorite grilled vegetables?

Since the fourth of July tends to mean a back yard bar-b-que with friends I thought it would be a great time to give you a recipe for Quinoa burgers.  These can be cooked ahead of time.  I make a bunch and freeze them.  They can later be defrosted, tossed on a hot grill for a few minutes then enjoyed.  They also reheat very nicely in the microwave when you're not having a cookout.

Since French Fries are a great complement to burgers I'm including a tasty recipe for spiced fries that you bake in the oven.  It's like a two for one deal this week.  Who says you don't get your money's worth on this free blog? Hehe.

Quinoa Burger and Spiced Fries

For the burgers:

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup uncooked quinoa
  • 2 cups water
  • 5 eggs, whisked
  • 1/3 cup Parmesan cheese
  • 3 large scallions, sliced thin
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup steamed kale, chopped
  • 1 cup Planko bread crumbs 
  • 1 - 2 teaspoons olive oil

Directions:

Rinse the quinoa thoroughly and place the grains in a medium sauce pan with 2 cups of water. Bring the water to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Cook until quinoa is tender and has absorbed the liquid, about 20 minutes. Let it cool.  This can be done a day or two ahead and stored in the refrigerator.

In a large bowl, combine the cooked quinoa, eggs, Parmesan, scallions, garlic, salt, steamed kale, and breadcrumbs. Let it sit for a few minutes to absorb the liquid. The batter should be moist, but not runny. They may be crumbly but will hold together well after being cooked. Form patties 1/4 cup each, use a 1/4 cup measuring cup to help keep the patties together.  Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-low heat. Drop the patties into the skillet then flatten with a spatula, cook the patties for 8-10 minutes on each side, or until browned and golden.

For the Spiced Fries:

Ingredients:

  • 3 russet potatoes {about 24 oz. total} peeled and cut lengthwise into even pieces
  • 5 Tbsp. olive oil, divided
  • 3/4 tsp. salt, or to taste
  • 1/4 tsp. black pepper, plus more to taste
  • 1 - 2 tsp. spice blend

Directions:

Place potatoes in a medium cooking pot, cover with water and heat on the stove until boiling.  Once the water boils reduce heat to simmer.  Cook for about 10 minutes until potatoes just start to soften.  While the potatoes are cooking mix 2-3 complementary dry spices together in a small bowl.  Create different spice blends to complement different meals (e.g. Asian spices, Mexican spices, Indian Spices).  When the potatoes are done drain and dry them then coat them with 1 Tbsp of the olive oil.

Thoroughly coat a baking sheet with oil then sprinkle with salt, pepper and the spice blend.  Place the potatoes on the baking sheet in a single layer, bake for 10-15 minutes at 375°F until they start to brown.  Flip the potatoes with a spatula taking care to keep them in a single layer.  Bake for another 10-15 minutes until they are crisp and golden.


Check out the gallery page - Future Relics Gallery by Lori Buff

Friday, June 27, 2014

10 Reasons to Have a Dinner Party

It seem that people have stopped going to dinner parties or even inviting people over to share a meal. It seems that much of the time we just meet our friends at a restaurant and hope they'll split the check.  Trust me, I like to go out to eat as much as the next person but I also like to entertain.  I love impromptu get togethers like when I realize I've made way too much food and just call a friend to help enjoy it.  I also like planing a party, the planing the menu, figuring out what to make and what Janet is going to bake for dessert (she's awesome at that).  It just builds excitement.  One of my best Thanksgiving memories was the year we hosted a pot luck.  About a dozen of us combined our efforts to make a feast.  We had so much fabulous food that we almost didn't have room for the people.  But we managed and we had such a great time.

No matter if it's a pot luck, a picnic, cookout, or formal dinner, they are always a lot of fun.  I love introducing new friends to each other and a dinner party is a great way to do it.  So here are a few reasons I've complied for you to have a dinner party.

Pot Luck Dinner by Future Relics Gallery
Pot Luck Dinner

1. You want to spend some time with your friends without feeling rushed in a restaurant.  Face it, nobody should be rushing you to give up the table in your own home.  Even if they don't rush you in a restaurant, you know the wait staff is paid mostly on tips and it's only kind to give up the table when you're done.

2.  You found a great new recipe you'd like to share with your friends.  If you haven't really found that recipe yet, check out Meatless Mondays on this blog or check out Pinterest for links to lots, and lots of recipes.

3.  You have a beautiful piece of hand crafted pottery that should be shared with friends/family.  This is a pottery blog, you knew I'd use pottery as an excuse.

4. Your garden is in bloom and looks gorgeous.  Why not enjoy the pretty flowers with your friends, you put a lot into making that garden look great.  Extra points if your garden has edibles that you can share with your friends/family.

5. You've cleaned your house.  Okay, so maybe you keep your house pretty clean all the time, still, why not invite the neighbors over when the house is looking good.

6. You just got a new puppy.  No?  Well go get one and socialize it with a couple guests coming to visit.  Of course please adopt responsibly, like from your local shelter or rescue organization.

7.  Your friends are great cooks and you get to enjoy their food at a pot luck.

8.  You have new neighbors and you want to welcome them to the neighborhood.  What better way to get to know your new neighbors than by spending a little time with them, besides it's a nice thing to do, especially when someone is trying to feel at home in a new home.

9.  The weather is perfect for ___________ (fill in the blank. Examples "a cook out," "fresh baked bread," "homemade soup," "a salad"

10. It's the weekend!

What reasons would you add to the list?  Let's start a movement.  Commit to having people over for dinner a few times this year.  You'll all enjoy it.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

I Like Big Bowls and I Cannot Lie

Some potters joke "If you can't make it good make it big and if you can't make it big make it blue."  I make fairly large, blue bowls.  What does that say about me, haha.

Handmade Blue and Green serving bowl by Future Relics Pottery
Blue and Green Serving Bowl


All kidding aside, large pots are very impressive.  It takes a good bit of talent to make one and have it live through the firings without breaking.  Especially if you're doing something like wood firing and face it, many large pots can only fit into a large kiln.  Sometimes that means wood firing and that's pretty risky.  Mine are never that big, yet.

Teal, Burgundy and Cream Serving Bowl by Lori Buff
Teal, Burgundy and Cream Serving Bowl

We really do need big bowls in our lives.  Maybe not giant ones but bowls large enough to use as serving bowls when your family and friends gather for meals.  Maybe the bowl will hold pasta, or maybe it will hold pop corn.  In any case, a generous bowl is very nice to have for those occasions.

Hand Crafted Blue and Green Carved Serving Bowl by Future Relics Pottery
Blue and Green Carved Serving Bowl

They also make great fruit bowls.  It's more attractive to have your delicious, fresh fruit displayed in a   large, hand crafted bowl than just hidden away in a refrigerator drawer.  I don't know about you but I'm also far more likely to eat the fruit if it's out and easily accessible.  If I have to go searching for a snack something unhealthy may be seen and eaten while the healthy fruit is forgotten.  It's sad, it's not smart but that's what I do.

One day I'd like to make the sinks for my house, it's a pretty good dream.  This guy could throw a
swimming pool.  Enjoy.



This potter is Jeff Blandford and the video is pretty fun.

Check out the gallery page - Future Relics Gallery by Lori Buff

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Morning Pages

Several years ago a good friend asked if I'd be interested in joining an Artists Way group that she was initiating.  These are groups of people that get together each week after reading a chapter and doing the exorcizes in the book "The Artists Way" by Julia Cameron.  The idea is that it gets you thinking and moving when your feeling creatively blocked.  She had lead these groups in the past but had stopped for a few years and now wanted to brush up her skills and refresh herself on the book.  This was at a point in my life where the pottery gig was seeing lots and lots of growth so I didn't really think it pertained to me but I was still happy to participate.

Okay, maybe "happy to participate" is a bit of a stretch.  I was happy to get together with my friends and discuss what kind of creative things we'd experienced but I didn't always feel like doing the exercises Ms. Cameron suggested.  One of the things she suggested was to get up in the morning and write three pages in a journal.  What a cracked out idea!  I can hardly think three syllables in the morning let alone write them.  I did struggle to overcome my resistance and after the group finished the book I even continued writing my morning pages everyday.  Yes, I broke a few of the rules.  I started writing after my morning shower and only required myself to write one page.  I must say, it's nice to start the day quietly sitting on the deck with a mug of coffee, a dog, and my thoughts.

Pottery Mug by Lori Buff
Pottery Mug

At some point I stopped writing them.  I don't remember why but I suspect it has to do with a trip out of town or something.  The habit was broken and I just forgot about doing the writing.  But now I'm thinking about it again.  I seem to be at a point where I am struggling with finding ideas to write about here and struggling with creating new designs for my pottery.

So tomorrow morning I'll be out on the deck with my coffee and my journal.  Let's see if that gets the creative juices flowing again.

What do you do to keep creatively sharp?

Check out the gallery page - Future Relics Gallery by Lori Buff

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Wally Asselbergs Visit

A few weeks ago my friend and fellow potter Wally Asselberghs contacted me.  He was flying from Belgium where he lives to Phoenix where his girl friend and workshop partner Sue Morse lives.  He was going to have an over-night lay over in Atlanta and wanted to come visit.  Of course I was thrilled.  I haven't seen Wally since he had a long layover several years ago.  We threw a party.

The next day we went over to Mudfire to visit the gallery and studio.  Wally is very interested in doing a workshop there.  It's been a few years since he was last there and he's come up with several new techniques for naked raku that sound really interesting and exciting.  I've seen the results and they are beautiful.  I'll let you know when that is scheduled.

Physic Garden by Molly Hatch
After that we still had time so we visited the High Museum of Art to see potter, Molly Hatch's Physic Garden installation.  While we were there exploring the art we stumbled upon this room that had English pottery from the 18th and early 19th century.


Here's Wally with one of his favorite teapots from the exhibit.  Yes, it's that little black and white one in front.  Of course a man that is an expert in naked raku would like that one, besides it was really great. Sadly, the museum didn't have much info on the piece, just that it was salt fired and probably from Straffordshire, England.

It was a great weekend, I hope to do it again sometime soon.

Check out the gallery page - Future Relics Gallery by Lori Buff

Monday, June 23, 2014

Meatless Monday - Moroccan Spiced Quinoa Salad

Summer's here and that means salads.  Some people can eat a mixed greens salad every day, and good for them, you can add variety to those salads very easily.  I happen to be the type that likes a lot more variety than a typical green salad can offer, especially if I'm making it the main part of the meal and even having leftovers of that salad for lunch.

I also like having grains in my salad.  They help make if feel more complete and filling.  Quinoa is one of my favorite grains because of it's great flavor and texture.  I've also read that it is a complete protein which is nice when you're not eating meat.  If you're on a gluten free diet you'll want to read the package, not all quinoa is gluten free but it is available.

This salad can be served warm or chilled.  If you're going to take it to a pot luck or picnic, coat the avocado with some lemon juice so it keeps it's color.  The extra lemon flavor will be great with this dish.


Moroccan Spiced Quinoa Salad by Future Relics Pottery
Moroccan Spiced Quinoa Salad

Ingredients:

2 zucchini, halved and cut in thin slices
7 TBS olive oil, divided
1 clove garlic, minced
pinch of sea salt
1 1/2 cup quinoa
1 TBS cinnamon
1 lemon
1 bunch mint leaves, chopped
1 bunch cilantro, chopped
3 tbsp chopped dates
2 avocados, cut into 1 inch squares
4 small spring onions, chopped
1 cup almonds, divided in half, roasted and salted

Directions:

Cook the quinoa according to the package instructions and add one TBS cinnamon to the water. When it’s done cooking, rinse and set aside to cool off.

Roast the zucchini slices on a bbq, in a grill pan or in the oven on an oiled cookie sheet.  Roast for a few minutes, turn them over with a spatula and roast for a few more minutes.  Put them in a bowl, add the garlic and salt, drizzle olive oil over them, toss and set aside.

Squeeze the juice from the lemon and add 5 TBS of olive oil into the quinoa. Add the mint, cilantro and dates. Toss well. Now add the marinated vegetables, avocado, spring onions, and the roasted almonds.  Lightly toss and serve.

Other Stuff:

Organic Quinoa info

Check out the gallery page - Future Relics Gallery by Lori Buff

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Variegated Pottery

Last winter Michael Kline visited Penland to show us a few ways he creates variegated pots.  I have made some in the past and loved the results in salt and soda firings so I figured I'd make a few to put into the wood kiln we fired a few weeks ago.

I tried Michael's way where you throw a thick cylinder. You make it just like you would when you are first throwing your pot but before you start shaping add the second clay.  This is done by taking a loop tool and cutting vertical grooves into the cylinder.  You'll likely want to cut these groves the same distance apart all around the piece but it might be interesting to try just doing them on one side.  After the grooves are cut you push coils of the different colored clay into them.  I used Highwater's Phoenix and Orangestone clays because they are very different colors, I like them both in atmospheric firings, they have the same shrink rate, and I had them on hand.  I'm sure you could do the same thing by wedging mason stains into your clay body.  I might be inclined to use a really white clay for that but, again, it might be interesting in a colored clay too.

Once you're done pushing the coils into the cylinder you can finish throwing the pot.  Yes, it might not feel like a perfectly smooth surface but if you just work with it and control it as much as you can it will be fine.  You may have some unevenness at the top, just cut it off with your needle tool and compress the rim.

Pottery Pitcher with two clay bodies by Future Relics Gallery
Variegated Pitcher

I'm glad this pitcher made it through the firing.  It was in the front row at the top so it got a nice glaze from the ash.  The only other glaze on it is a shino liner.

Check out the gallery page - Future Relics Gallery by Lori Buff

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

The Good and Bad of Wood Firing

We unloaded the wood kiln this past weekend.  Unloading any kiln has often been compared to Christmas.  You know how it is.  You feel joyful anticipation, you can't wait to see what's inside that package.  Sometimes it's that beautiful thing you've been hoping for and dreaming about, some times it's a fuzzy pink bunny suit.

When you open an anagama kiln you might get both and everything in between.  This firing was no exception.  Do you want the good news first or the bad news first?

I'll start with the bad, it's nice to end on a happy note.  We suspect this pile of broken pots was due to a problem with the clay causing cristobalite inversion.  Only the pliĆ© of broken pots you see here are all make with either Highwater Phoenix or Aurora which are very similar clay bodies.  We both had failures and success with this clay so it's hard to say with complete certainty.  Although I may be inclined to try some Laguna Bmix Wood for the next firing.

Cristobalite Inversion by Future Relics Gallery
Crack Pots

I did get a few nice pieces like this hanging candle ring.

Hanging pottery candle holder by Future Relics Pottery
Hanging Candle Ring

This kitchen crock came out looking pretty nice too, its got more coppery glaze on the other side but this side got photographed when it came out of the kiln.

Anagama Fired Utensile Holder by Lori Buff
Kitchen Crock




Check out the gallery page - Future Relics Gallery by Lori Buff

Monday, June 16, 2014

Meatless Monday - Cashew and Cauliflower Curry

This vegan curry is wonderfully delicious and fragrant.  It's one of those dishes that you want to enjoy with multiple senses.  It's also a recipe that can be easily altered.  You could add tofu to boost the protein, serve it on a bed of rice to make it go further and not loose a drop of the delicious sauce.  You can even add or substitute most of the veggies to make a different dish depending on what vegetables are in season.  Take a stroll around your local farmer's market to choose what you're going to include in this dish.

Oh, and did I mention it's quick and easy to make?  Yup, perfect for a Monday or any day.

Some people don't like how the fragrance of curry can linger long after the meal is finished and the dishes are washed and put away.  It's easy to remove this, and many other unwanted odors.  All you do is put a little white vinegar in a shallow, open container like a ramekin, and set it out in the room.  As the vinegar evaporates it also removes odors and in no time your kitchen has a neutral scent.  Easy.

Cashew and Cauliflower Curry by Future Relics Pottery
Cashew and Cauliflower Curry

Ingredients:

1 cup whole coconut milk
1 - 2 tablespoons curry powder
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 large red onion, chopped
1 medium garlic clove, chopped
1 cup green beans, cut into 1-inch segments
1 1/2 cups cauliflower, cut into tiny florets
1/3 cup cashews, toasted
a handful of cilantro, loosely chopped

Directions:

Bring half of the coconut milk to a simmer in a large skillet or pot over medium-high heat. Whisk in the curry powder and salt, working out any clumps. Stir in the chopped red onion and garlic and cook for about one minute.

Stir in the remaining coconut milk, at this point add tofu if you're using it. Cook down the liquid for a couple minutes before adding the green beans and cauliflower.

Cover and simmer for a minute or two - you want the cauliflower and green beans to be just slightly cooked but still colorful and crunchy. Remove the pot from heat and stir in the cashews. Taste and adjust the seasoning (salt / curry powder) if needed. Serve with a bit of cilantro topping each bowl. Serves

Makes 2-3 servings.
 
Check out the gallery page - Future Relics Gallery by Lori Buff

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Google Helpouts

A couple weeks ago I was invited to join Google Helpouts.  When Google does something it tends to be a pretty cool idea.  Helpouts are no exception.  The way it works is that you get to spend time via webcam with an expert in a particular field.  If you want to learn how to play something on the guitar or having difficulties with your computer or if you  or even have a healthcare issue, there is most likely a Helpout instructor for you on the site.  Some are free, some are paid, it's all up to the instructor.

As with everything on the internet I had to create a profile that touches on my experience and what I can teach.  I also had to make a one minute video of myself.  That is really, hard.  I literally took me hours of filming, not to mention scripting, editing and cleaning the studio in preparation. All of that had to be sent to Google for approval, than I had to fix whatever they thought needed fixing then sent back for approval and now, it's finally live.  Yay.


Now let's see what happens.  If you, or anyone you know would like to try a lesson with me I am giving everyone the first lesson for free.  Just click on the Helpout's logo on the right, directly under the email sign up form.

Wood Fired Dragon Yunomi by Future Relics Pottery
Wood Fired Dragon Yunomi

Speaking of helping out, don't forget that I'm trying to raise some funds for a couple of potters who lost their home, studio, and pets in a fire.  I'm donating 50% of the proceeds from this month's Etsy sales directly to them.  I will be posting new pots in the store each week so keep checking back and remember, your purchase is doing a lot of good.

Check out the gallery page - Future Relics Gallery by Lori Buff

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

All Sorts of Red

You may remember my previous post about loading potter Rodger Jamison's wood kiln.  Of course we didn't just load it, firing takes a few days so everyone takes shifts stoking the fire trying to get the heat to rise.  It's a lot of fun because the fire is exciting and between stokes you get to visit and chat with other potters.  I don't think I've ever been part of a firing team where a few visitors didn't stop by.  it's loads of fun.  We drank a bunch of water and snacked on some cookies that Janet made.

Rodger Jamison's Wood kiln by Future Relics Pottery
Rodger Jamison's Kiln
 I got there around 6pm, it was pretty quiet, just a bunch of potters sitting around chatting and watching the fire grow.  Rodger's wife set up a large fan to help keep us cool, it was a welcome friend.

Stoking the anagram kiln by Future Relics Pottery
Stoking the Anagama
 We raised the temperature in the kiln over 200 degrees fahrenheit in six hours.  By midnight it was over 2000 degrees.  Someone should have brought marshmallows to roast.

It stormed there and at home but Rodger's place is very wooded so I didn't see the sunset.  However, back in Atlanta we had the most red sunset that anyone can recall having seen ever.  A double rainbow was seen over the city and photographed extensively.  It was truly awesome.

Janet took this picture through a big oak tree in our yard.

Red Sky at Sunset Atlanta

They say "Red sky at night, sailors delight."  Those sailors must have been ecstatic.

Other Stuff:

21 Red Sky pictures - Atlanta Magazine

Double Rainbows over Atlanta - NPR

Check out the gallery page - Future Relics Gallery by Lori Buff

Monday, June 9, 2014

Meatless Monday - Fried Avocado Tacos with Roasted Red Peppers

Yes, this sounds far more delicious than healthy but sometimes it's okay to go that route.  Besides, the experts tell us that these veggies are really good for us and delicious so maybe it all balances out.  The arugula adds a little peppery spice.  It's not supposed to be really hot but you will get a hint of spice.

The thing is, these are so delicious you might want to eat them a lot.  You've been warned.

Fried Avocado Tacos with Roasted Red Peppers by Future Relics Pottery
Fried Avocado Tacos with Roasted Red Peppers


Ingredients:

For the Avocado Tacos

2-3 red, orange and/or yellow peppers, sliced and seeded
2 ripe but firm Avocados
1 egg
¼ cup milk
½ cup flour
1 cup panko bread crumbs
½ teaspoon cayenne
½ teaspoon chili powder
½ teaspoon kosher salt
4 cups canola oil
8-10 4-inch tortillas
½ cup cotija cheese (or feta)
1cup arugula leaves
½ cup thinly sliced cherry or chopped tomatoes
Serrano cream sauce (recipe follows)
cilantro leaves for garnish

For the Serrano Cream Sauce
1 serrano chile pepper, seeded and ribs removed
½ cup cilantro leaves
½ teaspoon crushed garlic
2 green onions, roughly chopped
1 cup sour cream
juice of 2 limes
1 tablespoon water
pinch of sea salt


Instructions:

For the Serrano Cream Sauce Add serrano pepper, cilantro, garlic, and green onions to a food processor or blender and pulse until finely chopped. Add remaining ingredients and blend. Add sea salt or more lime juice to taste.  You can make this in advance and refrigerate.

Heat a heavy frying pan (cast iron would be best)using a high heat, drop in the pepper slices, let them start to blacken, about 2 minutes), turn and blacked the other side.  Remove from heat and set aside.

Blackening Red Peppers by Future Relics Gallery
Blackening the Peppers

In a shallow bowl whisk flour with cayenne, chili powder and salt. In another shallow bowl, mix egg with milk. In another shallow bowl add panko bread crumbs.

Cut Avocados in half, remove pits and slice halved avocados into 4 equal slices. With a large spoon, scoop out whole slices from the avocado peel. Set slices aside.

In the frying pan, bring canola oil up to 350 degrees according to a deep fry or candy thermometer attached to the side of pan. Prepare a large plate with paper towels for draining avocados. One by one, dip avocado slices into flour mixture, then egg mixture, then in panko crumbs. Add avocado slices to hot oil and fry in small batches until golden brown, about 1 to 1 ½ minutes. Remove from oil with a slotted spoon or tongs and drain on the plate you prepared with paper towels.

Frying the avocado by Lori Buff
Frying the Avocado

Spread a few arugula leaves in the center of each tortilla. then add 2-3 pepper slices and 2-3 fried avocado slices. Top with tomatoes, cotija cheese and Serrano cream sauce. Garnish with cilantro leaves and serve immediately.

Check out the gallery page - Future Relics Gallery by Lori Buff

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Fundraising For Potters

Late last week I learned that some friends in the pottery community Mike Sherrer and Triny Cline, had a fire at their house.  They lost everything, their home, their studio, even their pets.  I can't imagine how devastated they must be.

I understand that insurance and CERF+ will help but that doesn't cover everything.  Friends from the Georgia Clay Counsel have offered their studio so Mike and Triny can continue working.  Other people have offered clothing and furniture.  And other's are trying to collect funds.

Juicer for fundraiser by Lori Buff
Citrus Juicer
I've decided to donate 50% of the proceeds of my June Etsy sales to them.  So if you've been considering buying something from my Etsy store please seriously consider getting it this month as someone who really needs it will benefit.

If you don't see something you want just keep checking back, I'll be posting new pots all month, or ask for something.  I'll make it if I don't already have one ready.

Check out the gallery page - Future Relics Gallery by Lori Buff

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

A Little Cream and Sugar

Every morning when I first wake up I tell the dogs to fix my coffee.  I've spent a lot of time training them how to do this but they never seem to catch on to the trick.  They don't even get out of bed.  It may be because my coffee making routine is a bit involved for a dog.  I find it so easy I can do it with my eyes closed, and often do.

I fix the coffee in the coffee maker the night before.  It's one of those that brews at a certain time that you set.  What a nice feature.  When I walk into the kitchen the coffee is already made.  I then pour some cream into a little creamer pitcher and heat it in the microwave for 30 seconds.  After it's warm I froth it with a hand held Areolatte.  I've been doing this for years, ever since we went to Italy and were served cappuccino with breakfast every morning.  I put a spoon full of sugar into my coffee then add this frothed cream and head back to the bed.  I can sip my coffee in bed while dozing and listening to NPR.

Since I use a hand crafted pottery sugar bowl and creamer every morning I thought I should also make some for other people to enjoy so I made this set.

Cream and Sugar set by Future Relics Gallery
Cream and Sugar Set
 I glazed it with this root beer colored glaze and added some specks of white glaze for interest.  They pulled a little in the kiln which gives this fluid impression.

Cream and Sugar set by Lori Buff
Under the Lid
The knob of the lid is flat and textured to match the tops of the butter keepers I make.  You can set the lid on the knob so the inside shows.  This inspired me to glaze the inside of the lid a celadon green just for fun.  I think it's a nice little surprise.

This set is listed in my Etsy store.

Check out the gallery page - Future Relics Gallery by Lori Buff

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Wood Kiln Loading with Roger Jamison

This weekend Roger Jamison and friends started loading his big anagama kiln.  Thankfully, I was invited to put some pots in the kiln, naturally I also wanted to help load.  It's part of the community that makes wood firing.

When I got there I found several rows of long tables loaded with pots waiting to be loaded.  It looked like a lot of pots but he wanted to pack the kiln rather tightly to avoid air pockets in the kiln.  These apparently trap heat and make for a very uneven firing.  It's better to have the pieces close together so the flame, heat, and ash can wrap around the pots and kiss them with color.

When I got there the kiln was empty, you can really see how big it is.  Roger built it with a door in the side which is brilliant.

Inside Roger Jamison's wood kiln
Jamison Anagama Kiln
The kiln started to fill up.  This is stack a few rows back from the very back but not yet up to the door.  See how tight the pots are loaded.  He also wanted covered jars, closed forms, and pots with small openings at the top since they run a risk of having stuff fall on them from the ceiling.  These bit that fall can look nice on the outside of a pot but you don't want them inside a mug or bowl.
Back stack of Roger Jamison's anagama kiln
Rear Stack
 This vase is really huge but it fits in perfectly with the two large serving bowls on the rim.  I can't wait to see what these look like, and they are not even mine.
Giant vase and serving bowls in wood kiln
Large Vase and Platters

Roger is very, very methodical about loading the kiln.  This meant loading was slow but he also planed to do it over several days so their is no rush.  I suspect the pots are going to come out looking beautiful.  I'll go back down there later in the week to feed the fire.  Stay tuned.

Check out the gallery page - Future Relics Gallery by Lori Buff

Monday, June 2, 2014

Meatless Monday - North African Spiced Veggies and Rice

This is another one of those recipes where you can vary the vegetables you use according to what is in season.  The vegetables will be brighter and more festive if they are cooked lightly and not overcooked.  I used a mixture of red, orange, and yellow peppers to increase the color explosion of this recipe.  Although this recipe does use a few different spices it is not hot, but you can make it that way by adding more chili's if you'd like.  The freshness of the vegetables actually softens the heat of the spices as does the rice. Experiment, have fun, and enjoy.

North African Spiced Veggies and Rice by Future Relics Gallery
North African Spiced Veggies and Rice

Ingredients:


  • 3 TBS extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1 teaspoon sriracha sauce or similar hot sauce
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 cup cherry or grape tomatoes
  • 1 small red chili pepper, cored, seeded and finely chopped
  • 1 cup hot water
  • 3 sweet peppers, corded, seeded, and cut into strips
  • 1 medium zucchini, trimmed, and cut into 1/2 inch 1/2 moons
  • 1 medium summer squash, trimmed and cut into 1/2 inch 1/2 moons
  • 1 1/2 cups rice
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper

Directions:

Start by cooking the rice per the package instructions.

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet or dutch oven.  Cook the garlic and onion for about 2 minutes.  Add the sriracha sauce, spices, tomatoes, chili, and water and stir well.  Bring the mixture to a boil then reduce the heat to simmer for 20 minutes.

Add the sweet peppers, zucchini, and squash and cook until the vegetables are done to your liking, usually 10 - 15 minutes.  Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.

Place a scoop of rice in the center of a bowl and ladle the stew on top of it.

Makes about 4 servings.

Bowl and yunomi by Lori Buff

Check out the gallery page - Future Relics Gallery by Lori Buff