Sunday, August 31, 2014

Labor Day Weekend

We don't have a grocery store in Seagrove. They are building one, but it's been in process for four years now. I might be retired or dead by the time it opens. In the meantime it's about a fifteen minute drive to buy food. This summer there has been a guy in truck parked on the Pottery Highway, about 1/4 mile from us, selling fruits and vegetables. It's been very convenient to buy fresh tomatoes every few days. His prices are reasonable too. We didn't grow tomatoes this year, only basil and greens. Jeff and I both love tomatoes and can go through quite a few in no time at all. 

 A few weeks ago I tried my hand at making tomato pie. It's a little time consuming to put together, but it's worth the effort. I have been using either a frozen or refrigerated  pie crust, to cut down on some of the work. It's a recipe from the infamous Paula Deen so of course you know it's very rich. I cut the mayonnaise in half. I can't imagine it with more than that. I have also added a few strips of bacon, cooked and chopped. The key to a less sloppy pie is to drain your tomatoes longer than the recipe says. I even layer a couple of paper towels between them to squeeze out some more liquid. The recipe says to peel and slice the tomatoes. The easiest way to peel them is to blanch them. Ms. Deen even shows you how to do that in the video.
You can find the recipe here. If you love tomatoes, I think you will love this pie.

Aside from eating, we have been making pots and finishing pots. Right now, Jeff is fast asleep, after firing the kiln overnight. I think I heard him creep into bed at 7:15 am. We have a deadline to meet and orders to fill.

These little pigs were made on August 27th, put outside to dry on the 28th, bisque fired the 29th, glazed and loaded in the gas kiln on the 30th. Lots of other pots were pushed through as well. We keep the bisque under 200 degrees for a few hours. Once there is no steam coming out of the kiln we fire as usual. A blow up is a rare event in the bisque firing and we usually have a few wet or damp pots in every kiln load.

My plan for the day is to finish unpacking from the Lazy Days show. Right now it looks like our trailer threw up it's contents onto the porch. I can't look at the mess for another day. Jeff (when he wakes up) is heading down the road to help Fred Johnston cut wood and get ready for a wood firing this week.
It's definitely Labor Day weekend here at the pottery... we are laboring away as usual.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Gerry Williams, you will be missed...

Last night I received an e-mail from a NH Potters Guild member with the news that Gerry Williams has passed away. The photo above was taken in June of 2010 at the last guild meeting that Gerry attended. He is the gentleman seated in the center, holding a cane. Jane Kaufmann's husband Dick took the photo of members gathered around the NHPG Community Wood Kiln. Gerry was an influential member of the potters guild and a mentor to many.

While Gerry was a great potter, many readers may best remember him as one of the founding members and long time editor of "The Studio Potter" publication. I fell in love with Gerry's writing when JZ and I started to date. He had nearly every copy of SP going back to it's inception in 1972. I spent many early morning hours at JZ's kitchen table, drinking coffee, eating pbj toast, and reading Gerry's articles. Gerry and his wife Julie roamed the countryside visiting potters in their studio for articles in the journal. His writing drew me in and I was mesmerized by each potters story. I was very sad when Gerry retired and no longer wrote the pottery studio visits.

Gerry Williams will be missed by many in New Hampshire and around the world. He contributed so much to the ceramics community through both his pottery and his writing. Colby-Sawyer College had retrospective of his work a few years ago. If you would like to know more about his life you can read a brief history on the Colby-Sawyer website by clicking here.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

As Seen On TV!

What's wrong with this bagel & egg sandwich?

I would say nothing at all and that it was quite delicious. At the festival this weekend we had someone looking for a microwave egg cooker. She said it looked like an apple baker but was made for cooking an egg with hole in it so that you could make a bagel and egg sandwich. I really don't get the point. I often make bagel and egg sandwiches and was never concerned that the egg covered the hole! I just don't see it as a problem. Then again, I am also not one to use the microwave for any actual cooking, aside from the occasional potato.

The other request we had was for a mug with a hollow handle that wouldn't get hot in the microwave. This woman had seen them on television and really thought that we should switch to making our handles hollow. I just smiled and said that I we like our handles and hollow ones would change the aesthetics. Jeff said I should have asked her how many she would buy if the handles were hollow.

I am really not into gimmicky pots, the sponge holder is as far as I will go.