Rocks

Made in Minnesota: 3 Easy Projects to Give or Keep

This time of year brings out the crafter in me. Maybe it’s from years of making homemade Christmas gifts and holiday decorations as a kid that puts me in the mood to create. Whatever it is, I’m not a year-long project person. I’m not even a weeklong project person. One day. A weekend tops. I’d rather be outside. Which is why I dig these two, kid-friendly, super quick-and-easy craft  projects, and one multi-step project that fits nicely with my twin loves of cooking and eating. Take a look!

Rocks

So basic, but so cool. Who doesn’t like to look for rocks? And using the stencil cream was super easy. Everyone needs a paperweight, right?

This next one also involves an epic search for just the right piece (actually, we had a truck box full). Fun to find as part of a hike or just an afternoon outdoors. We cleaned our lake driftwood with a brush and dried in a closet with a dehumidifier. There are other prep methods, too, that are more time-consuming, but we aren’t making these to sell, just to enjoy for as long as we like looking at them.

Multi candle 2

We used a 1-1/2″ wood bore drill bit the same size as a tealight. You could sand the edges a bit, but frankly it looks find as is.

I love the look of driftwood, but I’ve seen nice birch pieces, too. Avoid pine! Too much sap.

With a runner underneath, or greenery around, this will make a great centerpiece.

With a runner underneath, or greenery around, this will make a great centerpiece.

If the driftwood needs stabilizing, sand the uneven part, or add furniture pads underneath. You can trim to fit or use the super small felt pad.

curvy candle

My fave so far.

So this last is one not complicated, but it does have many short steps along the way. We saved all the throw-away northern for a couple months, filleting and freezing them along the way (I must confess, I didn’t do much of the work in this step). Then it was just a matter of unthawing and getting to it.

Someone would love to help. Author's note: the corkscrew shown here is not necessary for this project. Just for opening the wine.

Someone would love to help. Author’s note: the corkscrew shown here is not necessary for this project. Just for opening the wine.

Cut 60-70 bit sized pieces and soak for 48 hours in one cup of non-iodized salt.

fish pickling kitty 2

Drain off the saltwater, rinse, and soak in white vinegar for 24 hours. Kitty is contemplating ways to get the dog to create a distraction.

You can download the recipe here, but in the final phase, you discard the straight-up vinegar, and boil together 1-1/2 cup sugar, 3 cups white vinegar, 4 bay leaves, 1 tsp whole allspice, 3 tsp mustard seed, 1-1/2 tsp whole black pepper, a couple peppers or 6-7 whole chili peppers, then cool to room temp (apparently, this is crucial. warm brine will overcook the fish and make it mushy). Add 2 cups white port wine, 2 large onions, sliced, and fish.

 

Put in canning jars, close tightly, and let stand in fridge for 8-10 days before eating with crackers. Yumaroo!

So good. So Minnesota!

So good. So Minnesota!

Thank you Aaron “Wally” Lingwall for this great recipe.

 

 

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