Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Trip Fund Raiser with Noah

This December Noah and I will be going to Jerusalem, Bethlehem and hopefully other places in the area. We are going to meet friends and will be staying there for about ten days. Noah recently came to me and offered to help with funds for the trip so that we would be able to go on some of the many tours that are available in the area. This amazing opportunity is a trip of a lifetime for us and we are hoping to see as much of the exciting history especially the rich Christian/Judeo/Muslim history that the area is steeped in.
These are some types of bookmarks we will have available. We are using leather thread, glass and metal beads. Many of the beads we are using are going to be recycled from old costume jewelry and being repurposed into something new which makes many of the items truly unique. The leather items like the feathers, leaves, and flowers are hand cut, shaped and dyed by us. 

 Over the next couple of months we are making small gift items out of our leather, and adding in items like bookmarks and wine glass markers that will be made with glass beads, leather string, small handmade leather decorative pieces and charms. We are hopefully going to have items available at several local stores. The items would make great hostess gifts, teachers gifts, and small happies like stocking stuffers and secret pal gifts. We will also still have some soap, and other leather goods available. 
 These are some of the Wine Glass Markers that we are making with some of the smaller left over pieces of leather thread. Each one is unique and different. We will have these, the bookmarks, and other leather items at the Art Vending Machine located at the Powerhouse, and they will be available when we are at markets and by contacting us directly. 

We will also be attending local markets when able. A list of stores and markets will be created soon. 

Thank you for your consideration
Noah Zerangue
Michelle Zerangue

I will update and post other crafts on my Facebook  page and our Family Page @handmadeandhomegrown

Thursday, August 31, 2017

The Story of Four Perfect Pebbles/Marion Blumenthal Lazan

This week we had the honor of meeting Mrs. Marion Blumenthal Lazan and her husband Mr.  Nathaniel Lazan. Mrs. Lazan is a Holocaust survivor who tells her amazing story. It is a hard story to hear, imagine, or even understand, but amazing in that she has been through one of the most horrific historical events ever and has come through with such unbelievable love and devotion to humankind. She spoke this week to many people in the community and many, many groups of school children telling her story so that it can be shared and the relaying the importance of it being remembered so that it does not ever get repeated.

Ms. Lazan spoke at the Gertrude C. Ford Center on the UM campus this week and we thought this would be something that would be great for our children(the older ones) to experience, and I really wanted to hear her story because I have always found that the people who have been through these situations have been so courageous in their experience, but also in their ability to share what they have had to endure in hopes that maybe our future will take what they have to say and turn it into an opportunity for positive growth. Her story was truly heartbreaking, what she, her family, and millions of others had to endure was truly beyond understanding. The images that she had to deal with daily for those years at that age most of us will never have to face. Several of my children are at the ages that she talked about during her days in captivity, and travel, and escape, an finally freedom. We have a 4 year old, 7 year old, 9 year old, 11 year old and a 17 year old. The idea of having to survive through that at those ages(at any age) is truly overwhelming.

The best part of the whole story was the four is truly a perfect description of a child's way of processing hope, courage and survival in the darkest of days. I encourage everyone to read this book definitely, but if you have the opportunity to see Mrs. Lazan speak and to meet her in person please take that opportunity. She is a beautiful person, an amazing soul,  and a true treasure in this world. I hope that hearing her and meeting her has made a lasting impact on my children because she has made a lasting impact on me.

We bought several copies of the book  and asked Mrs. Lazan to autograph them for each of the children so that they have a copy to remember the day they met her and also in hopes that it will be a treasure for their future to read, remember and pass along as their families may grow in the future.

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Kale-uffaletta...A Punny Name

Sunday night I made a muffuletta for the family for supper. It is a Louisiana staple that developed in the New Orleans area. Italian Immigrants developed it and I am so glad that they did. It is a lovely slice of meat and cheese sandwich heaven slathered with a salty briny olive/vegetable mix that just makes such an amazing combination.

Occasionally I indulge and make it at home. It came out beautiful, but unfortunately my oldest was sure to point out that I am not able to have it so I said don't worry, I have a plan...I modified it and made a "Kale-uffuletta" for me. I got a few giggles at the cleverness of my word play, and some skepticism at the idea of it, but I proceeded to create my bacon wrapped kale, meat, cheese, and olive salad mix masterpiece. In the end it was intriguing and I would definitely do it again. It will most likely need adjustments for future versions, but for the first try I believe it was a success.

First I started by weaving a bacon blanket to hold everything together.

Then I added a couple of layers of kale to hold in all the lovely layers of meat cheese and olive mix that makes up the middle of the sandwich.

A layer of cheese. I use several kinds of cheese in our sandwiches you can choose what ever you like. This one was Swiss. On top of that, the olive salad mix.

A meat layer next. I chose a layer of black forest ham

Then cheese again. This was Colby-Jack. Then I added a layer of hard salami(forgot the picture).

...and finally a layer of smoked provolone cheese and more olive salad mix. This is truly just a preference of how much or little you prefer...most of us like does not...there is always one...

Carefully roll up the layers trying to keep the bacon blanket together so that as it cooks it tightens around the whole thing and holds it together.

They both went into the oven and baked for about 15 minutes in a foil wrap. I took the regular Muffaletta out of the oven because it only needed to heat through to warm the bread and meat and melt the cheese. The "Kale-uffuletta" had to bake until the bacon was cooked so I opened up the foil and let it bake another 15 minutes so that the bacon would crisp up a bit and brown a bit. It was taken out of the oven and let rest for a few minutes to let the cheese cool down a bit and set up so that it wasn't too much of a gooey mess.

We ate a side salad with our various versions of Muffuletta. Surprisingly, the kids were just as interested in my version as they were the bread was the bacon...

It was definitely a good first try at a new creation. I will do it again definitely. I would like to try and layer in more vegetables and more kale.

As far as cooking it, it definitely needs to be cooked on a rack to make sure that the bacon, meat and cheese drippings are able to escape so that it doesn't get soggy on the bottom. sealing it in the layers of kale worked really well to keep the cheese from escaping. what do you think? Would you try it?