Posts Tagged ‘cooking’

brooklyn skillshare: a day of learning, making, sharing, doing

September 21, 2009

I just love learning new skills. How ’bout you?

In the last year I’ve taken classes on block-printing, jewelry making, and sewing, and taught myself crochet. I’m also learning about permaculture, and I’ve signed up for a lotion and soap-making class that starts this fall (oh yeah, Happy Autumnal Equinox!). I keep piling on learning upon learning, and I’m hoping there’s room in my noggin to squeeze in some more new skills.

That’s where Brooklyn Skillshare comes in. The Brooklyn Skillshare is a one-day event of learning, making, sharing, doing!

The best part is, it’s free to the public with a suggested donation for participation. But in order for it to remain free, Brooklyn Skillshare needs your help. They have 18 days to reach their goal of $1200 to cover costs such as renting the venue for the event, paying a bike valet, supplies, food, and more.

It’s shaping up to be an amazing event with the following groups sharing skills:

* Bags for the People – create sustainable alternatives to plastic bags using re-purposed materials
* Fiber Arts – knitting and felting using natural materials
* Treasure Everywhere! – glass bottles into cups, bowls, and vases
* Home audio production using Digital Performer
* Bicycle Mechanics 101
* How to brew kombucha
* Natural/organic metal casting and jewelry making
* Screen-printing basics & DIY techniques
* Taking care of yourself with massage basics
* DIY Electronics: Fun with LEDs, solder, sound, and the Arduino
* Basic Raw Food Preparation: the art of “uncooking”
* Party Favorites: infused liquor, homemade ginger ale & tasty snacks
* Make Your Own Butter and Ricotta (with Recipes and Ideas for Using Both)

It’s an all day affair with 5 blocks of classes that are 1.5 hour long, and 3 classes happening per block. You can attend as many or as few classes as you wish, so make the most of it and attend the whole day!

Won’t you help fund this incredible event? I just did. So far they’ve received $221 in funding. That means they only have $979 to go. You can pledge as little as $1. So after you pledge (click on the widget above or go here), go tell 978 of your friends to help out with this amazing day of skill sharing.

Oh, and here are the details for the event:

The First Annual Brooklyn Skillshare
SATURDAY, OCTOBER 10th, 2009

@ Gowanus Studio Space
119 8th street
Brooklyn, New York, 11215
Suite 202, Between 2nd and 3rd Avenues.

See you there!

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skills to pay the bills (or at least save a little dough)

August 26, 2009

Got a hankerin’ to make stuff, but don’t know how? In a time when people are pinching pennies out of necessity or just to consume less for the good of the planet, it helps to know there are some free ways to learn a few new tricks.

Check it out…

Thursday, August 27 (that’s tomorrow!)

Lori Gibbs and Atom Cianfarani want to teach you how to GreenIt Yourself this Thursday with a green roof and gardening in small spaces Workshop. At the Toyota Children’s Garden (one of New York Restoration Project’s babies) from 7 pm to 8 pm. And there will be refreshments!

Toyota Children’s Garden
603 East 11th Street, New York, NY

Friday, August 28 (in prep for Saturday, October 10)

Okay, this one’s a little bit preemptive, and maybe not so free, but it comes pretty darn close. This concert, featuring local bands, will help fund a day of skill sharing on October 10 at the Brooklyn Skillshare.

On Saturday, October 10, you’re gonna learn all kinds of crazy stuff: ricotta-making, liquor-infusing, kombucha-brewing, screenprinting, and a whole lot more. The door price is based on a sliding scale ($10 suggested), so pay what you can.

The fundraising show that’s this Saturday, on the other hand, is $7 and features local acts like The XYZ Affair and Gunfight!.

Get all the details for the event and the fund-raising-music-show at the trusty e-newsletter of my favorite borough, Brooklyn Based.


Monday, August 31

So you want to use a reusable shopping bag but don’t want to shell out the dollars to get one? How’s about making one for yourself? Learn how at this free workshop – 3rd Ward’s Sweatshop Social. You supply the fabric (an old t-shirt perhaps?), they supply the notions and the (cheap) beer. Bring your own cup and the suds are just a buck.

[via Brooklyn Based]

And for all you green thumb wannabes…
More free events coming soon to Brooklyn Botanic Garden through their GreenBridge Program (these are free, but ya gotta register – so sign up right quick!).

Street Tree Care
Thursday, September 17, 6 to 8 pm
Thursday, November 5, 6 to 8 pm
Street trees do much to improve our environment, but they often receive little care. In this class, learn the benefits of street trees and how to improve the health of a street tree by caring for its bed. Get tips on amending soil, mulching, watering, pruning, and tree-bed gardening. Bring your street-tree care questions and find out more about the city’s efforts to increase and protect the urban forest canopy.

Starting a Children’s Garden
Thursday, October 15, 6 to 8 pm
Would you like to develop a children’s garden at your school, block association, or neighborhood organization? This workshop will provide tips for adult leaders who want to organize a children’s gardening program. Learn how to plan your program and what tools and plant materials are needed to get growing. You will receive a free activity booklet and visit our children’s education greenhouse for hands-on activities.

Getting to Know Your Soil
Wednesday, October 28, 6 to 8 pm
Interested in knowing more about your soil? Concerned about safely growing food in urban soils? This class will demonstrate several easy diagnostic activities for learning about your soil. How to take a soil sample for testing will be demonstrated as well as interpreting lab results. You’ll also receive tips on improving urban soils.

Rainwater Harvesting
Thursday, October 22, 6 to 8 pm
Learn the benefits of reducing your dependence on NYC water and minimizing storm water flows into our sewers by collecting rainwater for use in your garden. It’s easy to use roofs from nearby buildings and garden sheds to harvest rainwater. Come learn about the different types of rainwater harvesting systems being used throughout NYC community gardens from simple pickle barrels to large tanks, and get tips on how to build your own.

Introduction to Permaculture
Tuesday, November 10, 6 to 8 pm
Permaculture is a design approach based on interpreting natural patterns for human benefit. Learning how to read the land and planning for long-term development are two objectives of this workshop. Permaculture works on all scales and levels. Discussion will cover topics ranging from choosing and using plants in groupings to observing and utilizing the elemental forces of wind, water, and sun.

blueberries are in!

July 6, 2009

I don’t usually think of summer as a time to bake. In fact, if you can’t take the heat of the oven and end up offsetting it with air conditioning, summer baking can be a pretty wasteful endeavor. But blueberries are in season and I had the craving for a good, healthful blueberry muffin. It doesn’t hurt our energy bill that we don’t have an air conditioner in this part of the apartment — and I don’t mind sweating a bit.

I like to experiment in the kitchen, especially when it comes to baking. I’m often not satisfied with a recipe as is, and like to doctor it up or combine two or three recipes. When I was a bit younger, I was apprehensive about messing with a baking recipe. I was always told it was like chemistry, one misstep and it blows up in your face — or at the very least it won’t taste like it should. Somewhere along the way I dropped this notion and decided to take a risk. I’ve found that, for the most part, a little adaptation isn’t a bad thing, and it often turns out in your favor.

Case in point: the spelt almond blueberry/cranberry muffins I made this afternoon. Here’s my recipe, adapted from Healthy Green Lifestyle and Bob’s Red Mill:

Dry stuff:
2 1/4 cups organic spelt flour
1 tablespoon aluminum-free baking powder
1 teaspoon Himalayan sea salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
pinch of nutmeg
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 cups almond pulp (leftover from making almond milk – sans sweeteners or vanilla)

Wet stuff:
3 organic, free-range eggs
1/4 cup local buckwheat honey
1 1/4 cup almond milk (see above)
2 teaspoons organic vanilla extract
8 tablespoons (4 ounces) local pastured butter, melted and slightly cooled
1 3/4 cups local blueberries
1/4 cup dried cranberries

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. [NB – I usually do this about 3/4 of the way into prepping the ingredients so as not to waste too much gas (or electricity, depending on your oven)].

Combine dry ingredients, stirring in almond pulp last.

In a separate mixing bowl, whip eggs. Whip in honey, almond milk, and vanilla. Then add the slightly cooled melted butter, being careful not to cook the eggs.

Gently mix dry and wet ingredients. Do not over stir. The mix should be lumpy.

Fold in blueberries and cranberries. Blueberries and cranberries can be dusted with flour prior to folding into the mix.

Spoon mix into a greased or lined 12-cup muffin tin. Bake for 20 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.

Cool and enjoy!

A couple of notes:

  • If you like a sweeter muffin, use 1 1/4 cups sugar plus honey, or substitute with 3/4 organic brown sugar
  • This recipe can also be made with 1 tablespoon oil instead of butter