Recycled Roses

A few weeks ago I received a bag of assorted fabric remnants from a lady from freecycle. I had hoped to use them to practice sewing, but several of them were sheer sort of fabrics. I came across this tutorial for making lovely fabric roses and, would you know, my sheer remnants were exactly the kind of fabric that works best. So yesterday I spent the afternoon experimenting with them. My first one was a bit sloppy, but they got better after that. I made one into a necklace for  a friend of mine who’s in a season of roses and I think I may wear one to a tea party tomorrow (that’s right, I’m going to a tea party tomorrow!). Here are a few of them (I made a yellow one, too, but didn’t take a picture of it):

Nothing Wasted, Part 2

This isn’t exactly current (I made this last week and it’s long since been eaten), but I thought I’d post another recipe for carrot tops. I still have more greens left, so there may be a Part 3 coming…

Carrot Green and Walnut Pesto:

(modified from a recipe for Carrot Green, Parsley & Hazelnut Pesto)

Ingredients:

3/4 cup walnuts
1/4 cup carrot leaves, chopped
1 clove garlic
Juice of 1 lemon (I just guessed at the amount)
1/4 -1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup fresh-grated Parmesan cheese
Salt to taste

Directions:

Toast the nuts at 325ºF for a few minutes to bring out the flavor. In a food processor, puree the nuts, carrot leaves, lemon juice and garlic. Pour in cheese, salt, and olive oil, starting with 1/4 cup. Blend, and increase olive oil if the pesto is too thick.

The recipe suggests serving it over pasta, which I’m sure would be good. I used it to make veggie wraps (with fresh greens from the garden!) and ate the leftovers on homemade wheat bread. It makes me want to experiment with other pesto combinations.

Nothing Wasted

I lied. Here’s one more food/garden post before I write a real update….

Our garden has reached that stage where it’s time to thin out some of the plants (namely, the carrots and beets, whose seedling are so bursting with life that they are crowding each other out). This part of gardening has always felt a bit odd, meticulously caring for the tender seedlings and then just as meticulously uprooting the majority of them. I understand the its necessity to give the plants room to grow and mature (I’m sure there’s a metaphor for life in there if I were to dig deep enough….) but it always makes me a little sad.

So this morning I knelt in our garden and plucked through the rows. I ended up with muddy knees, dirt under my fingernails, and a big bowl full of beet greens plus an even bigger bowl of carrot greens.

Which got me wondering….can you eat beet greens? How about carrot greens? I hate to waste things (I compulsively recycle anything possible) and especially after watching these plants grow so beautifully, I didn’t want to throw them all in the compost pile.

A little research revealed that you can in fact eat both. You can eat beet greens (which are full of all sorts of vitamins and minerals) in salads and pretty much any other way that you would eat spinach. And you can use carrot greens (also full of vitamins) pretty much the same way you can use parsley. I found recipes for carrot green scramble (with eggs), carrot green salad with vinaigrette, carrot green pesto with hazelnuts, carrot green tabouleh, carrot green juice, and carrot green tea, among other things.

So for dinner tonight I tried a carrot top and quinoa soup, with sautéed beet greens on the side. Derek looked a little skeptical when I told him I was cooking carrot greens for dinner, but went back for seconds and loved the beet greens (so tasty!) so I think it was a success! I still have a bowl full of carrot tops left so I hope to try some more of the recipes over the next couple days…

Here is the recipe I used (delicious and very easy):

Carrot Top & Quinoa Soup

Ingredients:

1 tablespoon light olive oil or canola oil
1/2 sweet onion, diced
4 cups water
4 medium carrots, peeled and cut into 1/4 inch rounds
1 cup carrot tops, washed and finely chopped
2 teaspoons beef bouillon granules (I used chicken bouillon and I’m sure you could use vegetable bouillon as well)
1/2 cup quinoa, rinsed
sea salt
fresh ground black pepper

Directions:

In a 3-quart pot, sauté the onion in oil until translucent, then add the remaining ingredients and simmer for 20-25 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

Wardrobe Refashion

I came this site today.  It challenges people to pledge to not buy any new clothes for 2, 4, or 6 months and instead buy used or make or alter their own clothes, blogging about the process. I’m a big fan of thrift store shopping anyway, but I love seeing the creative things people do with what they find. It makes me wish I had a sewing machine….