Sunday, March 17, 2013

New Grocery/Garden Bag

So I really like this pattern. It's the Market Bag pattern at Lion Brand Yarn's website. It's for their cotton yarn, but I did it with plastic bags. Because of this switch, I also used a "J" hook instead of the "H" they call for in the pattern.

Normally, I use softer/more pliable plarn (plastic yarn). It's easier to use the kind that WalMart bags are made of, mainly because they're almost all made of the same weight of material. This bag, though, is made from all those other plastic bags you get, such as: bread, carrots, toilet paper, paper towels, red beans, celery, tortillas, dry cleaner bags and many, many others.

This makes for a much slower construction. It also yields a slightly lumpier finished product. Over time I think it will smooth out some. The bottom flattened out a good bit after just the first use.

The bag is rather large. It's 14" wide at the bottom and about 19" tall (including the handle). It has a little stretch, but not much. Unlike other reusable shopping bags, it doesn't fold up really small or anything. He's a very sturdy little fellow though, and I like his colors.

My photography skills leave something to be desired...ah well. I'll get better one day. :)

Friday, March 8, 2013

Green Onions! (again)

So I know I posted last year about drying wild onions, but this is kind of the updated version. Dad was rather wary of having an overpowering flavor if he just used dried wild onions as you would green onions, but those fears were groundless. We used the hell out of some wild onions over the past year.

Solution? Plant the whole two back rows of the garden with green onions (and lettuce, as well - makes for interesting cutting of food back there). My mom and I have been spending at least 1 day a weekend for the past 6 weeks or so cutting onions in the garden, chopping them up and sticking them in the dehydrator.

The only problem is one we encountered last year as well. Anything as lightweight as green onions chopped in itsy-bitsy pieces blows everywhere with the fan and makes a beautiful green mess. Solution? Well, we tried laying another sheet and rack on the one with the onions, but that seriously limits how many trays you can use, and only cuts back the blowing away problem by about 80%. All that hard work, you don't want to lose those onions.

Mom and I came up with the greatest idea (other people probably have as well). Sew a bag of thin cotton material and clothes-pin it shut. The onions won't blow away! It might take a bit longer to dry, but I can handle that. We can stuff about 4 or 5 bags of the onions in the dehydrator at a time, depending on how full they are. Just stick them on the racks like you would the regular sheets and walk away.

That's a gallon of dried onions. We have at least 10 times that much dried right now. The more green onions we have, the more we use, and the better it makes food taste. Even so - that's a helluva lot of onions. We give the fresh ones to anybody in the area that wants some, so if you live in or near Houma, let me know, and you too can have massive amounts of green onions! :)