December 19, 2010

homemade shelves

Phew. Almost done building these shelves. I just have to apply a finish to the backer and attach it.... but I think that can wait awhile...

This showcase/storage shelf was my first attempt at building furniture. I am no novice to wood working though. In high school I built sets for theater and in college I built models for architecture presentations but those are much less precise or practical.

There are many things I would like to have done better on this project, but hey, you have to start somewhere. The shelves are made of red oak veneer plywood which is decent looking but reclaimed solid wood would be even sweeter. The cuts were done with a hand held circular saw so the edges aren't perfectly straight. I used low-VOC, water-based stain and lacquer. I tried to match the color of our dining room table but with the limited choices in low-VOC stain colors I couldn't exactly. The edges are joined with pocket screws which are my new favorite thing - no fancy dovetail joints for me! In the end, while I see room for improvement, I am also happy with how good my homebrew bottles and canning jars look now that they are off the floor.

By the way, the Boulder Tool Library did indeed open! It was too late for this project, but future projects will benefit! Yay!!!

December 8, 2010

raw hummus with flax crackers

Since beans are such a cheap source of protein compared to nuts, I decided I would focus my second attempt at raw food preparation on beans. I went with a basic hummus with a few raw modifications. The ingredients were the same - garbonzo beans, tahini, lemon juice, garlic, salt. One difference was that instead of cooking the beans, you sprout them. To do this you soak them overnight and then drain them. Then for 2-3 days you rinse and drain them every 8 hours until they have a little tail. You can buy raw tahini at a store or you can soak sesame seeds in water a couple hours before you blend everything.

My review - the raw hummus was pretty good, but I am going to stick with cooked hummus because it is creamy and delicious. Not having to boil the beans was nice though... I've read that many raw peeps make a "hummus" from zucchini or some other non-bean thing for the creamy goodness, but that sort of skirts my quest for cheap, raw protein.

Oh, the best thing I learned from this experiment was that raw flax crackers are delicious! We bought ours from the store but making them at home is supposed to be super easy - dehydrator, flax seeds, water, flavors. Good thing I just found a dehydrator at the thrift store!