I’ve really enjoyed the Greencraft (This only works for members at the moment but hopefully it’ll be open to the public soon.) group on Ravelry which has provided informative discussions on books, websites, and tips for green living in general. We talked about reusable shopping bags and then I thought why not reusable veggie bags. I picked up some netting at the fabric shop and a pack of 1/4" elastic. I bought either 2 or 3 yards, folded it into what looked like a convenient sized rectangle and cut the lot all at once with a rotary cutter and ruler. I counted the pieces and then divided my elastic in much the same way. This is such light airy stuff that the sewing machine will suck it up into a tangle if you’re not careful so I used a piece of tissue paper as stablizer. A single piece of tissue paper is enough to sew 10-15 of these bags. I used a zigzag stitch along the edge, catching the elastic as well, and then tied an overhand knot before trimming the thread ends. For about $5 I have enough supplies to make 25 reusable veggie bags.
We’ve recently opted to stop getting most of our cooking magazine subscriptions keeping only the fine cooking. I find myself creating things entirely out of my own head a little more often without the magazines for inspiration. Sometimes that works better than others but last night I was very happy with the result. I’d bought a pumpkin last week thinking I’d make pumpkin bread but the sweater ate up more time that expected and I didn’t get to it so last night I started out by thinking how can I use a pumpkin for dinner. ETA: This is my submission to Sweetnicks ARF/5-A-Day Tuesday for next week.
Pumpkin and Sausage soup
1 pie pumpkin, peeled, seeded, and cubed
1 large sweet onion, coarsely chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
salt and pepper, to taste
1 cup white wine
4 cups chicken stock
1 tablespoon turmeric
1 cup brown rice
1 bunch sage, chopped
1 pound medium Italian sausage
1/2 pound cremini mushrooms, cleaned
Sweat the onion in olive oil and butter in a large Dutch oven over medium low heat until softened. Add the pumpkin, wine, stock, turmeric, rice and seasonings and bring to a simmer. Cover and simmer gently about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally so rice doesn’t stick. Remove from heat.
Meanwhile, sliced the mushrooms and remove sausage from it’s casing. Heat a medium saute pan over medium high heat. Crumble the sausage into the pan, add the mushrooms and cook over medium high heat for several minutes or until sausage is cooked through and mushrooms begin to brown. Remove from heat.
Puree the pumpkin mixture with a stick blender until smooth. Stir in sausage mixture and taste, add more salt and pepper if needed. Stir in all but about 2 tablespoons of sage. Sprinkle remaining sage on top as garnish. Serve with hot crusty bread.