Monday, August 29, 2011

Tomatillo Salsa

These little green gems are a wonder.  I wish there were more fruits that exhibited their gentle independence.  I planted one maybe ten years ago, but haven't needed to again.  I've had them ever since.  Yet, contrary from many other prolific plants, these are tame.  This year I have three mature plants fruiting bountifully in my garden. 

They love the sun, but don't shade other plants.  They're ripe when the skins are papery and dry.  Be ready to hunt around the ground for them as they fall from the plant when ripe.  I like to go out every other day, which, as it happens, is also good timing for my tomatoes and cucumbers.

Their tart, even lemony flavor combines well with pepper, cilantro and avocado.  Don't be alarmed by their sticky skins underneath the dry husks, that's just another of their charming characteristics. 

In this photo I have some tomatillos, as they are from the garden, to the right.  To the left they've had their husks removed.  Above is a container into which I toss the husks for the compost bin.  A hasty rinse is all that's left and you're ready to cook!

My salsa recipe was inspired by one from my many salsa cook books and it was all the rage at the 150th Stiftungsfest Parade Picnic last Sunday.  It has just the right amount of heat for those who like the flavor of hot pepper, but not the heat.  I'm not sure if my German neighbors are heat-lovers, but this Scandihoovian is decidedly not. 

Tomatillo-Avocado Salsa

1 pound tomatillos (about 15)
1 avocado
1 Serrano chile
3/4 cup cilantro
2 Tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 teaspoon salt

I roast all my tomatillos until they are soft with blackened patches all around.
(I do this in a dry cast iron skillet.)
I do the same with the little pepper, then remove the skin, seeds, and veins.
After that, just toss everything into a blender.
That's it!  Have lots of corn chips on hand, or a tender, juicy chicken...

Artist Trading Cards

I have a subscription to Family Fun magazine, and we truly enjoy it.  In the last issue I came across an article about Artist Trading Cards.  Their site shares ideas for crayon crafts, painting projects and more.  I was hooked.  Imagine the possibilities!

There are only two rules:
1.)  They must measure 2.5 x 3.5 inches
2.)  They must be traded or given, never sold.

That's it.  Everything and anything else is up to you, the artist.  You may use whichever medium you wish, whichever subject, any size, any color.

Each is an original work of art.  It's a great way to experiment.  It's the perfect way to discover new ideas from fellow artists.  Some ideas include:

The idea started way back in 1987 in Zürich, Switzerland by artist M. Vänci Stirnemann.  I would've loved the idea at age sixteen!  I also had so much more time back then.

Mirkwood Design shares a template for an envelope to neatly keep your trading cards.  They also share a template page that shows how to get the most cards from an 8.5 x 11 inch paper.

There are several publications about the subject, full of ideas.  You can even purchase your artist cards precut.  Remember, anything is fine.  Only be sure it's somewhat sturdy.  Card stock from your local craft store is perfect.

Check out these stamps from 7 Gypsies.  These are an inspiration for an amazing collage!

And this photo display is such a clever way to share your favorites.

Streaming through so many photos on the world wide web fills me with anticipation to make more trading cards.  You can be poetic, inspirational, dare I say political, silly, clever, anything your little heart desires.  Just cut out some paper and try it.

Here are some examples of our first cards (we've just begun):

Some creative inspiration from the web:


Lets Create, friends!  Have fun!

About Me

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As long as I'm on this journey, rambling through life's exhilarating highs and trudging heavily amongst it's incapacitating lows, I might as well share whatever may be gleaned from my little bits of wisdom and my many missteps. No room for judgment from this broken mama. I'm writing from my heart: raw, open, messy, but saved. And I'm still thanking God!