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Ground Breaking

Reuse, recycle, reduce. We hear these ideas all the time and I tend to think they are good ones. It comes in especially great when someone gives me an old kiln.  That is exactly what happened when the electric kiln that we used for cone 6 glaze firing gave up the ghost at Callanwolde. It’s a good size kiln, much bigger than my electric kiln but I’m not interested in rewiring this one. You may remember I did that with my electric kiln when I installed the kiln sitter (you can read about that here) which I got from another free kiln.

My plan for this kiln is to make it a reduction kiln since that is the look I like best for my pots. I am even considering adding a stoke hole so I can feed some small piece of wood into the kiln for some ash and wood effects.

Before I can start converting it into a gas kiln I need to build a kiln shed. My current kiln room is fine for the electric kiln but it’s too crowded to add flame to the mix. I’m designing a simple lean-to type shed that will have a m…

Meatless Monday - Moroccan Style Sweet Potato Salad

Sweet potatoes are in season! Actually, many root vegetables are in season right now but they don’t all need to be made into soups or used in casseroles. You can still have a fresh tasting salad with this recipe. Although this is a pretty hardy salad and could be a meal on it’s own, it would be even hardier with some cooked millet added. That would stretch the recipe also so if you’re serving it to guests or bringing it to a pot luck this is a great option.

The recipe calls for mozzarella cheese, you can leave this out to make it vegan. You might want to substitute a vegan cheese or just omit it all together, I’m sure this dish would work well without it.

Moroccan Style Sweet Potato Salad by Future Relics Gallery
Moroccan Style Sweet Potato Salad


Date Vinaigrette:
2 pitted dates, soaked in hot water for about 5 minutes
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon dijon mustard
1/2 inch fresh ginger, peeled and grated
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/8 teaspoon chili flakes
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon

reserved date soaking water

Salad Ingredients:
1 1/2 lbs sweet potatoes, scrubbed and peeled (if desired)
2 medium carrots, peeled and diced into small pieces
2 bell peppers, seeded and diced into 3/4 inch pieces
1/2 cup cherry or grape tomatoes, cut in half
1/2 small red onion, sliced thin
8 oz mozzarella cheese, diced
1/2-1 cup cooked chickpeas
big handful of cilantro leaves, rough chopped
1 healthy sprig of mint, leaves chopped
1/4 cup shelled pistachios, chopped


Make the dressing: combine the soaked dates (reserving the water), olive oil, lemon juice, dijon mustard, chopped ginger, ground coriander, chili flakes, cinnamon, salt, and pepper in a blender. Blend on high, stopping to scrape down the sides as necessary. Add a couple spoonfuls of the date soaking water to get the blade moving, when necessary. You want it totally pureed and almost creamy.  Check the vinaigrette for seasoning, adjust, and set aside.

Place the sweet potatoes in a large pot and cover them with cold water. Place the pot over medium heat and bring to a boil. Simmer the sweet potatoes until they’re nice and tender, about 20 minutes. Drain the sweet potatoes and place them in an ice bath to cool them down quickly.

Once the sweet potatoes are cool enough to handle, cut them into 1 inch-ish pieces–kind of like how you would for a potato salad. Place cut sweet potatoes in a large bowl along with the diced carrots, bell peppers, cherry tomatoes, red onion slices, chickpeas, cilantro, and mint. Season all of the vegetables with lots of salt and pepper. Add the date vinaigrette to the bowl and toss the vegetables and chickpeas to coat. Sprinkle the chopped pistachios on top and serve.

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


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