Tuesday, August 4, 2015

GARLIC QUEEN!

GARLIC QUEEN!

Garlic Queen at Roanoke City Market

My reign as garlic queen is over for the year. Last year I practiced how to produce beautiful, tasty garlic and did pretty well but this year, I actually had a large enough harvest that allowed me to sell my braids and other specialty items. The big hit was my Magic Garlic Sprinkles. I sold out for three weekends in a row at our farmers market. I found out that it is not easy being a farmer. Weather is unpredictble and there is no way to rush a harvest. One thing I am working on now is to improve my soil organically by adding eggshells, bone meal, manure and compost. Next year I am planning a lot of surprises and hope to have the best harvest yet. I'll be growing quite a bit of French garlic, which has surprisingly large bulbs and is very potent! Please double click on images for a much better picture.

Hardneck Garlic Braid

Regular Softneck Garlic Braid

My Two Different Jars of Magic Garlic Sprinkles Which Will Be Available Again Next Summer

Close-up of Garlic Sprinkles

Side View of Keeper

I created my “Keeper of the Sacred” and placed her in my garlic booth. For my duration as Garlic Queen, she became the Keeper of the Sacred Garlic but she really is a large Burning Bowl. I love the idea of writing down on paper all the problems I want to leave my life, placing in the bowl and then setting them on fire. Poof! They are gone. "Keeper" is 7" wide by 9" deep x 15" high. I used glazed and distressed stoneware clay. A small candle can be placed in the raku holder above for when you are not holding a burning bowl ceremony. I am offering her at $185 in honor of my first garlic harvest and sale. (Normally a piece this size would run about $300.) Even though I used my kiln fired stoneware clay, she is lighter than she looks and can easily be shipped. If you are interested, please e-mail me and we can go from there. I take personal checks or Paypal.

"Keeper"

Close-up of Keeper.

Back View

Close-up of Bowl

Stumble Upon Toolbar

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

CHOCOLAT POTS DE CREME

CHOCOLAT POTS DE CREME

Chocolat Pots De Creme

Sometimes I am looking for a recipe that is simple, elegant and refined. I found this wonderful chocolate dessert on Pinterest a few months ago. It is hard to believe that it only takes a few minutes to make and it is all done in the blender!

Pots De Creme means pots of custard and is a classic French dessert. Here is the recipe. Hope your guests think you have slaved hours in the kitchen and you'd be a fool to tell them otherwise! Just kidding. I know you will want to share this recipe. Oh, by the way, I did change it around a bit. I used 4 oz of the semisweet and 4 oz of the bittersweet chocolate chips. Nice blend. The recipe originally called for 8 oz of either one.

Ingredients:

4 oz. Semisweet chocolate chips
4 oz bittersweet chocolate chips
3 eggs, room temperature
1 tsp vanilla
¼ t. ground cardamom
pinch salt
5 oz hot coffee

Method:

l. Combine chocolate hips, eggs, vanilla, and ground cardamom in the blender on medium speed til fully combined.
2. While blender is running, remove the funnel cap from top and pour hot coffee into the mixture slowly. The coffee must be very hot.
3. Mix for 1 minute till smooth
4. Divide into 4 small cups
Chill in fridge til set-about 4 hours. I served mine with a dob of whipped cream.

Stumble Upon Toolbar

Monday, June 22, 2015

SEKHMET

SEKHMET

Sekhmet Goddess Altar

Sold!

I named my Goddess Ceremonial Altar after Sekhmet. She was known in Egypt as Lioness, protector of the pharaoahs, Solar deity, daughter of Ra and fierce hunter. Her name means 'the one who is powerful.

Last week I sculpted my Sekhmet Altar and since then I seem to see images of her as well as other ancient Egyptians everywhere. While at the flea market a few days ago, I found an Egyptian bust and I just had to have it. I will display my Goddess Ceremonial Necklaces on it and use for any future Egyptian sculptures. The two together strike a powerful image

.
Close-up

Sekhmet is 6"wide by 5" deep and 14"high. Her face, as is the entire piece is an original. I handsculpted her from stoneware clay and mosaiced with gold smalti and used several unusual mysterious pieces to adorn. If you are interested in purchasing her, she is $89. You can e-mail me and we can go from there. I will ship anywhere.

Thanks so much for viewing.

Cheryl

Stumble Upon Toolbar

Monday, June 8, 2015

EXCITEMENT AT WOODLOFT

EXCITEMENT AT WOODLOFT

Peggy Potts

Lots going on this summer at Woodloft. (my home) I tackled several of my back of the burner projects including refurbishing this Peggy Pots sculpture. Years ago I created her from lots of pots, a gourd for the head, old shoes and garden tools. She has a brand new look this year.

"Lily"

Next, I renewed my “Lily” pond mannequin. I had found an old mannequin at our local flea market, Happys. I get a smile on my face when I think of this place. There are vendors from the many mountains in our area and lots of treasures. I added moss and silk sunflowers this year. She seems to acquire a new personality each year.

7 circuit Labyrinth

Above is picture of my labyrinth. It is a 7 circuit labyrinth. My friend, Mark Williams, brought me a beautiful crystal rock for the center, which he found in the area where he lives in Floyd, Virginia. Apparently there are a lot of crystals hidden in among the rocks in that area.

Crystal Rock in Center

Sign in Book for Labyrinth

Beans and more beans. Since I'm using most of my land for my garlic project, I have had to plant my beans and tomatoes in containers. I have a mirror hanging in the labyrinth area so I decided to place some of the pots in front. This way, it will look like I have twice as many or more. I'm hoping the beans will travel up along the branches I've placed in front and climb over the mirror. It's a fun experiment. I'll try to remember to show pictures of how it looks later this summer.

Pole Beans Climbing to Mirror

Finally. After many years of hoping, wishing and dreaming, I decided to move forward on having an authentic Italian brick and stone pizza oven built. Lewis Conner has been a rock wall mason all his life and his work is phenomenal. Looks like another few days and it will be finished!!! I hope I can wait the long month before using while the oven cures. I'm gathering lots of pizza and bread recipes to use and hoping to be up and running by the 4th celebration we have here each year.

Lewis Hard at Work

Almost Finished

Look, the Chimney Has Been Placed!

Last but not least..my garlic farm. I started it 2 years ago, experimenting really. This year, I cannot believe how wonderful a crop I have. Of course, I won't know how it really turns out until I dig up those golden nuggets. How I love garlic! I'm planning on braiding them and making all sorts of luscious dishes from them. I will probably be setting up on the market in July, if they are ready..but of course, you can't rush mother nature. I'll be selling my stoneware clay garlic keepers, garlic confit, garlic salts and sprinkles, garlic cheese round and pesto. There will be more items as well.

Small Area of Garlic Farm

I love the way this garlic keeper turned out. The glaze is a rich greenish shade almost a teal color. I used a crystal on the top next to hand sculpted bas-relief face. She is 4"w by 4" deep and almost 5" high. I have priced her at $32. She would make a lovely gift or a gift for yourself. If you'd like to purchase this one of a kind piece, please e-mail me and we can go from there.

Garlic Keeper

Base

More excitement to come..lots more going on!

Cheryl

Stumble Upon Toolbar

Monday, May 18, 2015

CREME BRULEE FRENCH TOAST

CREME BRULEE FRENCH TOAST

Creme Brulee French Toast

My friend, Louise, had a special treat on Mother's Day. Her son made her a lovely breakfast including Creme Brulee French Toast. After she told me how delicious and easy it is to make, I knew I wanted to try it. As usual, I had to improvise on one of the ingredients but it did turn out delectable. I think it would make a wonderful dish for overnight guests since the toast is made the night before and simply baked in the morning. Hope you try it. (Recipe original from Allrecipes.com)

CREME BRULEE FRENCH TOAST

½ cup butter
1 cup brown sugar
2 T. Maple Syrup
6 slices 1 “ thick French or Italian Bread
5 eggs
1 ½ Cups half and half-and-half
1 t. vanilla
1 t. Grand Marnier
¼ t. salt
Zest of 1 orange
METHOD

Melt butter in pan. Add brown sugar and maple syrup. Stir till dissolved and pour into a 9x13 inch dish. Remove crusts from bread and arrange in dish. In another bowl, whisk eggs, half and half, vanilla, Grand Marnier, salt and orange peel. Pour over bread and chill overnight. Bake in a 350 oven for 35-40 minutes till puffed and lightly browned.

Stumble Upon Toolbar

Thursday, May 7, 2015

BURNING BOWLS, AND BEAUTY

BURNING BOWLS AND BEAUTY

Oceana Burning Bowl

I just finished two new burning bowls that I think you will like. The first one is called “Oceana.” I used a conch shell necklace along with several other shells that I had been saving for her. She is 5" wide x 6" deep x 10"high.

Close-Up Oceana

Oceana Back

The second burning bowl is of Frida. I always love creating Frida. She was so vibrant and of course loved her flowers. I used several antique pins as her headpiece. She is one of my originals in stoneware clay. I used stained glass for the basin. She is a bit smaller than Oceana. She is 4" x 4" x 8" high.

Frida Burning Bowl

Close-Up Frida

Back Frida

On to Beauty. I was lamending about a beautiful pot I had mosaiced years ago. It always looked charming in the garden. Last year, I forgot or rather neglected to bring it inside. We had a very cold winter with sub zero temperatures and the terra cotta under the tiles buckled. End result was that the tiles peeled away little by little. At first I was disappinted but when I looked closer, I found the terra cotta had a beautiful coating of green mold growing on the outside. It looks as though it has been sitting in a forgotten garden for ages now and I have grown to love the look. Just proof that if you are unhappy with the way something in life looks on the outside, peer a little closer. There may be untold beauty within.

The two featured Burning Bowls are $68. each. I accept Paypal or personal check. You can e-mail me and we can go from there. Thank you so much.

Stumble Upon Toolbar

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

CRYSTAL HEALER

CRYSTAL HEALER

Full View

Sold. Thank you so much Alicea!

Close-Up of Crystals

She raises her head high and feels the power flowing through her crystals as they reach toward the light, all the while transmitting white light energy.

She feels the vibrations as her body accepts the healing power mirrored from the sacred stones of ancient cultures in a time she vagely, yet intuitively remembers.

She knows the stones are empowered with elements that transform the spirit and she surrounds herself with with these sacred objects to guard herself from negativity and allows the energy to flow through her mind and soul as she cleanses, renews and heals herself.

Cheryl Dolby

After finishing my crystal Burning Bowl I wrote the Crystal Healer poem. I felt a need to do a cleansing and ceremony with her to banish the very negative energy I encountered from a troubled person recently. I knew I needed the healing powers of crystal to assist in my ceremony. She has done her job well and now I present her to you for sale. Crystal Healer is an original and is 5 "wide x 4 1/2 " deep and 9" high. She features 3 beautiful quartz crystals. She is $68. I am hoping she will find a home with a loving and caring person. You can e-mail me if you would like to purchase. I take Paypal or personal checks. Thank you for visiting.

Close-Up of Face

Close-Up of Base

Back

Stumble Upon Toolbar

Monday, April 20, 2015

KRISPY KREME BACON DOGS

KRISPY KREME BACON DOGS

KRISPY KREME BACON DOGS

Being a fan of “Chopped” cooking television show, (the show where contestants have to come up with a meal given the strange ingredients in their baskets) when I heard what my friends, Stephanie and Chuck were bringing to our themed dinner club (this theme being street foods) I couldn't imagine ever even tasting anything that sounded so greasy, rich, bad for you, etc. You get the point. But, I found that after I tried one, I couldn't stop eating them. They were my absolute favorite of all the interesting and delicious foods served last Sunday. Members brought falafals, curry chicken salad to go, chicken wraps, chicken develed eggs with ginger, tiramisu-just to name a few of the delicious offerings.

Stephanie Arrives With Foxy Road Kill

Chicken Curry To Go Cups

Stephanie arrived with a fox that her father had hunted and stuffed. She proclaimed that her contribution was 'road kill.' Then, she and Chuck gave everyone a Krispy Kreme hat and we all were aghast when we saw what was inside the box. Those Krispy Kreme Bacon Dogs looked a bit strange. Strange that is until you take one bite! Wow. The sugar, salt and the combination of ingredients were certainly a winner.

Falafals

Stephanie said she got the idea online somewhere and then she concocted her own brands and method for making. Below are a few pictures of the other great foods presented and the recipe for the Krispy Kreme Dogs.

Chicken Lettuce Wraps

Close-Up

Recipe:

KRISPY KREME BACON DOGS

Nathan Hot Dogs

Bacon (best brand you can find)

Raspberry Preserves

And of course, hot Krispy Kreme DOUGHNUTS.

.
Wrap hot dogs in bacon, roast on grill or in oven, place in sliced crispy cream doughnut and dollop with raspberry preserves. You may need a tooth pick to hold together.

Stumble Upon Toolbar

Monday, April 13, 2015

KOMBUCHA!

KOMBUCHA!

Brad Procak with Probiotic Sparkling Kombucha.

Mother load, immortal elixir, symbionic, tea kvass. Adjectives connected with some sort of new and exotic karate move? Wrong. They are terms used in the fermenting and brewing of a longevity tea called Kombucha.

Being back on the Farmer's Market in Roanoke this year has felt good. We have a lot of new artists and farmers and even a new market manager. Eric Pendelton seems to know how to bring the best to the market. One example is 'Tha BEST Kombucha.” Brad Procak and his family moved to Floyd, Virginia few years back because being health-conscious, they wanted to live in a community where eating and growing nutritious foods in the norm. They made a good choice. Floyd is not only known to be populated by organic food and health enthusiasts but is also becoming a destination for Blue Grass and Old Time music.

Brad pouring tea

Brad started his business in kombucha brewing because he wanted to provide organic foods that are beneficial for his family. After family and friends started enjoying his teas along with his desire to add to the betterment of people, he decided to take it to the next level and has been selling this amazing probiotic beverage on the Roanoke Farmer's Market.

Years ago, I harvested my own kombucha after a friend from China gave me a starter, which is called a 'mother.' He told me that in his family and in his community in China most people drank kombucha because they knew it to be a cure for cancer and other ailments. I was excited and kept mine going for a few years but because of time restrictions, I stopped making it. My interest was renewed recently after drinking some of Brad's citrus ginger kombucha. I was hooked. To me, and apparently many others, it tastes better than a good glass of champagne and a lot easier to purchase than making your own. Another one of his standard teas is the longevity tea. This tea boasts large amounts of wheat grass which is purported to cleanse the body of toxins.

Delicious Cold

I can give an honest testimony about Brad's kombucha. After grieving for my son, Charlie, who passed away last October, my spirits have been down, to say the least. Drinking 1 cup of this wonderful elixir a day has given me an amazing lift. My energy level has risen tremendously. It is like the spring tonic you heard about your ancestors taking or as Ray Bradbury quotes in his book 'dandelion wine,' "The medicines of another time, the balm of sun and idle August afternoons, the faintly heard sounds of ice wagons passing on brick avenues, the rush of silver skyrockets and the fountaining of lawn mowers moving through ant countries, all these, all these in a glass."

Close-up of New Serenity Series cup

Sold. Thank you Gloria!

Many like to drink kombucha cold but you can also heat it up for a warm luxurious cup of tea. What to serve it in? How about one of my new Serenity tea/coffee mugs. This is a new series for me and seems to be a winner. I am offering my “Patience” cup for $30. It is 4 1/2" round by 4" high and holds a very generous cuppa. I created an original bas-relief face and used a rich glaze. There is also a nice indentation where you can place your thumb. If you are interested in purchasing, you can e-mail me. I can ship anywhere in the continental USA. I accept personal checks and Paypal. Just let me know and we can go from there.

Close-up of Inside of Cup and Thumb Rest

If you are interested in finding out more about“Tha BEST Kombucha, you can catch Brad on the Roanoke City Market most Saturdays but if you would like to contact him, here is his e-mail (thabestkombucha@gmail.com)

Stumble Upon Toolbar