Sunday, April 22, 2012

oak gall dye

Last week we gathered some friends and dyed some fabric with these gorgeous oak galls that a friend harvested up in Ukiah. Oak galls are growths on oak trees created by interaction of the plant hormones with the chemicals the wasp deposits. The wasps lay their eggs in the newly formed leaf buds and the gall results. The gall is a  contained space for the wasp's larvae to hatch and a food source for the larvae. The dye has been historically used across Europe and the Americas to create ink and brown, grey, and black dyes. Because the galls have alot of tannic acid they were used for tanning animal leathers. We dyed some cotton sheets and some silk scarves over a wood burning stove.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

seaweed evening

Last month we had the good fortune to have our friend Kacie lead us in an evening of seaweeds. Seaweeds are a type of algae and some are deliciously edible and very nutritious! Kacie learned how to harvest seaweed on the east coast and now lives in the Bay Area where she harvests from the Mendocino coast.  Kacie's burgeoning business SheSellsSeaweed is a great resource for purchasing ethically harvested seaweeds and a source for great recipes. Seaweeds have many minerals that are not found in any other sources and have properties known to fight cancer. During our session we learned about these properties and we got to prepare a delicious feast together. I never knew that you could so easily incorporate seaweed into such a variety of dishes! 

Preparing the apples and dulce for our turnovers.

We sauteed the apples in butter and cinnamon sugar then added the dulce, which wilted beautifully over the apples. this was the filling that we put inside phyllo dough and then baked in the oven for 25 minutes or so. dulce was probably the most "seaweedy" of all the seaweeds. it has a strong, but delicious flavor!

Our dulce apple pastries ready for the oven. 

Kacie the seaweed expert! 

Homemade falafels from scratch! We added Sea Whip to the mixture and baked the falafel for extra healthfulness! 

Yummy yummy! Cucumber tzatziki with Wakame and kefir. And fresh carrot salad with Sea Palm.

Not pictured is the amazing Miso soup we had. The dashi broth was prepared with kombu and we mixed in miso and loads of veggies.

You can now purchase Kacie's seaweed at Monterey Market or on her website.