Sunday, January 11, 2015

A Recipe and Some Self Promotion

When I started writing this blog, one of the first things I said was that I was not going to bore you by writing about what I had for breakfast. Well, this one is about dinner and eventually pottery. Tina and I were spending a quiet Christmas together. No reason for a big feast. No reason to eat hot dogs either. I bought a ham and a big bag of "Normandy Vegetables ". I knew they weren't really from the coast of France but they looked pretty good anyway.I put the ham in the oven and decided to improvise a casserole with the veggies. The bag contained broccoli, cauliflower, yellow carrot slices, and baby orange carrots. I added a diced onion. I put the veggies in the microwave to defrost them while I made cheese sauce. Tablespoon of butter, tablespoon of flour, cook for a minute then add milk stirring all the time. White sauce sounds a little intimidating and I can't even spell what the French call it. For a country boy, butter gravy about sums it up. Salt, pepper, and a good dash of hot sauce or two to bring out the flavor of the cheese. I used a 4 cheese Mexican blend but make yourself happy. Cheese up the sauce to taste then take it off the heat and stir in a couple of eggs. I then took a WHISTLECREEK baking dish, buttered it and dusted with generic seasoned bread crumbs. Spoon the veggies into the dish and pour in cheese sauce to cover.Top with more crumbs and a little butter. I just made another one but the ham was gone so I chopped up some cooked chicken breast and added it. Put in the oven set it to 350 and let er go until the casserole bubbles and the crumbs brown.     ( 45 minutes or so.)  this is absolutely delicious and much much healthier than the mac and cheese that it resembles.

Oh yeah, I promised we would get to the pottery part. I have been using Hansen's 5x20 glaze with zircopax and a little cobalt carb on some of my baking dishes.( Thanks Tony ) The second picture will give you an idea of how well the glaze cleans up. Even with all the cheese, the casserole just scoops out and the dish is clean. Try this recipe yourself and you will love it. Of course if you don't have a WHISTLECREEK baking dish your results may vary but we can fix that. Thanks for stopping by.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Happy New Year

Hi everyone. Happy New Year! Life has been busy around here lately. After Holiday Fair I had a small order of baking dishes to get out. All you potters know there is no such thing as a small order. You still have to make a kiln full of stuff so you can fire effectively. So that took a week. The getting ready for Holiday Fair and hurry up throwing session left the studio a shambles. That took another week. When we were in Charlotte for Thanksgiving, I promised our Daughter Kate that I would make her a fixture to mount some bathroom lights on that also covered up where the wires came out of the wall to feed some old hanging lights. That was some work over a couple of days then three days last week to go back to Charlotte, install the fixture, deliver the baking dishes, and have Christmas with Kate and her husband Lucas. A good time was had by all and Kate even remembered how much I love Eastern N.C. style pulled pork from BUBBA'S. She gave me a tub of it to take home and it has been great.

Now, I am back home. I'm teaching a kid's class and an adult wheel class so that will help get me out of the house this winter. I'm also starting to throw this summer's inventory. A couple of years ago, I decided to throw a bunch of pots in the winter and just pile up the bisque ware. Best Idea I had in a long time. It helps my consistency to make several dozen mugs, bowls, or plates at a time and in the summer, if I am running low on a certain item or color, it is quick to glaze up a load and fire it. Oh, I almost forgot. For the second year in a row, I have received an honorable mention from TOP POTTERY BLOGS. I think it is based more on the number of posts that get reviewed than on total quality but I certainly will take it.

I have also been going out to Plain Folks CafĂ© and singing on Sundays. This is supposed to be a jam session but other pickers have not been showing up so several times I have ended up doing an hour and a half by myself. As they say it is good training. Any day the audience doesn't throw things is a good day and folks have been pretty nice. I've even gotten the occasional tip. No, it wasn't " shut up and put that thing away" I don't claim to be a great talent, but I do like to introduce people to some good old songs that they may not have heard before. Here's one of them now.