Gary's Third Pottery Blog
"Men are but gilded loam or painted clay" --Richard the Second, Shakespeare.
Gary's third pottery blog

WRITE TO ME! Come see me! Open studio HERE Nov. 28-29; Binghamton, NY Unitarian Church Nov. 1-2; Cooperstown Art. Assoc. Nov. 17-Dec. 24 All material on this blog unless stated otherwise is copyright Gary Edward Rith 2013-2014

Friday, October 31, 2014

when hummus goes to TOWN....

(new mugs by Gary Rith)
I know, elephants on parade, right?  Who doesn't love THAT?  I always think of the nasty, brutish and short things in the world (like the Giants beating the Royals to win the Series) need to be balanced, nay, OVERCOME by the cute and sweet or beautiful.  It can be a terrible world, but we can make people smile if we try....

OK, hummus!  People buy hummus and it is not neccessarily cheap.  I know someone who wanted to open a farmer's market hummus business, selling a little tub for five bucks each, and I was thinking "but hummus is so easy to make, why would anyone BOTHER? I mean, a can of chickpeas is only 88 cents!".

But people DO bother! To spend money that is.  At its most simple, hummus is a spread or dip made of  cooked chickpeas (and you BETTER cook them, or everyone is gonna fart all over town...) with some olive oil and spice blended together, usually with lemon juice and garlic, maybe some tahini tossed in. Then to get fancier, you chop up some olives or basil leaves or whatever and stir it into the finished dip.

I remember having a sandwich on NY's second avenue with my sister-in-law back in was called California hummus and had jalapenos and lime juice and it was AWESOME.  So make your own with jalapenos and lime juice, right?  Or anything at all...

I like Mark Bittman's NY Times recipe for sundried tomato hummus quite a bit. (click here for recipe)
What I do is boil a can of chickpeas with some sundried tomatoes about 20 minutes, save a little of the water, then blenderize the chickpea-tomato mix with juice of one lemon, a spoonful each of:  garlic, tahini, olive oil, other spices and some of the cooking water to make it smooth, huzzah! Done! Costs about a dollar or two to make quite a lot...seen here with a loaf of GF bread I made....but WAIT!  Once you have some for lunch on bread, maybe you'd like to have the rest for a fun dinner:  hummus pasta!

Mushroom-pepper hummus pasta!
-boil 8 oz pasta per usual
-dice 4 oz mushrooms, half an onion and a small bell pepper, saute in olive oil
-once veggies are soft, mix in 8 oz hummus plus a little water to make a nice sauce, plus spices
-stir together with pasta, can top with:  olives (I love olives on ANYTHING), sliced tomato, sesame seeds, etc....

Thursday, October 30, 2014

gluten-free apple scones and other such delights....

Around 22 years ago the wife rips out a scone recipe from a magazine "idiot-proof scones!" and for years I make them and she loves them SO MUCH she even writes poems about it... what you love about a scone is that you plop it down on the breakfast table and it is ready to go:  doesn't have to be toasted or bejammed or buttered (unless you WANT to...I put peanut butter on mine, you will not be surprised to hear, which is extreme, I will admit).

ANYWAY, it went through some adaptations, especially not long ago when I rewrote it as a gluten-free recipe.  Use regular flour and skip the xanthan gum and you would have a regular scone, but either way, you might find your spouse develops passions for them and starts to write poetry too..... (recipes follows)****

**** Gary's EASY gluten-free apple scones

-dice a small apple, stir it together with a spoonful of brown sugar and sprinklings of nutmeg and cinnamon (substitute:  raisins or currents or nuts or whatever!)
-preheat oven to 400, get out a cookie sheet
-in large bowl, soften 8 oz butter or margerine (I use earth balance) in the wave 27 seconds, if it has not already sat out to reach room temp (I never remember to set it out before)
-add large egg, stir
-add 1/2 cup yogurt (I use soy), stir
-dump in 2 cups all-purpose gluten-free flour, 1/4 cup sugar, 1 1/2 teas xanthan gum and 2 teas baking powder, start to stir
-add apples or other mix-in and 1/3-1/2 cup nuts if desired, stir thoroughly (dough should be soft and nice but not sticky--if it is sticky, stir in a little more flour until it comes together)
-some people like scones in wedges:  form dough into a large flat disk on the cookie sheet, about 3/4 inch thick, and cut 8-10 wedges, do not seperate them, just leave them as they are in a circle and after baking break them apart
-I usually just make little scone snowballs--pat 8-14 of them into balls
-bake 9-11 minutes, until golden brown
-I always top them hot with a little sprinkle of cinnamon sugar, but just cinnamon is good too
-let them cool on a wire rack

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Gluten-free poppyseed cake, Briar and flying pigs...

I remember visiting Chicago's Museum of Contemporary Art 25+ years ago (back when it was a cute little place) and they had this great little coffee shop with lemon poppyseed cake...I liked it so much I went home and baked some, from, I think, the original Moosewood Cookbook.  All butter and cream and eggs, right?  With lemon and poppyseeds for flavor!

Going gluten-free is pretty easy once you learn the ropes.  I tinkered a bit and LOOOOVE this lemon poppyseed cake--it actually is quite healthy without all the butter and such, and OH so yummy, and then the house smells like lemons :) ***

In other news, Meesh is like "my friends have Briar the Jack Russell, can you try to make him on a mug?" and OF COURSE I can try.....lately a lot of people have asked me to make their dog.  I can try something similar, (unless it is a beagle, where I am EXPERT).

FINALLY, these pigs!  I had no idea they would be so popular.  I keep wanting one for myself and people keep buying them...maybe I can keep this one.... HAVE a great Wednesday!

Gary's Gluten-free poppyseed cake

1 1/2 cup brown rice flour
2 TBS sugar
2 tsp baking powder
dash of salt
1/3 cup poppyseeds
zest of one medium-large lemon
juice from one lemon
2 beaten eggs
2/3 cup yogurt (I use soy)
1/2 cup milk (I use soy)
1/4 cooking oil like canola

-Grease a 9" circular pan or an 8 x 8" brownie pan, preheat to 350
-Stir dry ingredients in large bowl
-Beat the eggs in bowl 2, stir in the rest of the wet
-Pour wet into the dry, stir well
-Pour batter into baking pan, bake 38-45 minutes until a toothpick inserted comes out clean
-Cool on a wire rack a while, then slice!

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

funky punky monkey junk....

(new vase by Gary Rith)

I don't think I have seen a sci-fi movie since I was 10 or 12....nope, none of the Star Wars, none of that.  BUT before that age?  I saw ALL the cheap horror and sci-fi TV could throw at me, and I loved it. Who needs higher-tech effects, the original Godzilla movie was PERFECT....

You gotta guess the Beastie Boys, being the same age as me, grew up on the same junky sci-fi movies on Saturday afternoon that I watched. This is THEIR tribute to junky sci-fi...


Monday, October 27, 2014

even men would KILL for dreamy footwear.....

You're probably wondering about  my footwear, right????
So yesterday we are at Quaker meeting with B. and F., 2 friends who, like us, were hipsters 20 years BEFORE anybody would step foot in Brooklyn...and F. has on shoes that I tell my wife
"I would hit F. over the head for his shoes...just enough to DAZE, no lasting harm....and then, lickety split, I would steal his shoes...."

I might be a Quaker, but I am a BAD one, filled with nasty gnarly jealous thoughts...about stealing other men's shoes.  Can you imagine how evil that is, amongst peaceable Quakers?  I should stop by a Catholic church and confess my sins, right? (naaaaaaah.....I joined a facebook group called Bad Quakers instead..which is actually NOT the name of a California punk band, as far as I know...)

Anyway, nobody got hurt, but the story continues:  I email B. and F. and get the info on the shoes:  comfy and awesome, but NOT available anymore!  And they have searched.....

But perhaps they did not consider the avenues I CONSIDERED. I was like
"Oh, I should send this link to F.,  they could get a replacement while I think about it....BUT WAIT, what if F. buys the last pair IN MY SIZE?".  So I quickly order a pair...then I share the link with him...and you :)

In other news, I was in the mood to construct a bright and cheerful post-punk art deco-ish Godzilla sugar bowl...and so I did :)  Have an awesome Monday and happy birthday MEESH!

(new pottery by Gary Rith)

Sunday, October 26, 2014

SPAGHETTI PIE: do it 4 times this week...

Spaghetti pie is one of those things you didn't realize you were missing.  A mass of noodles for a crust, gooey, soft and savory fillings and toppings, what's not to LOVE?

I made an adaptation of this recipe (click here) Wednesday...enough for 2 meals for 2 people...then MADE IT AGAIN for 2 more meals for 2 people...OH GOSH, heaven.. :)

You've probably been wondering what I've been dreaming.  Last night included an especially vivid dream where I taught 12th graders 8th period English. Day one  was how to write a postcard.  I don't know why I thought it was so important to practice and assign as homework, but I was serious about it as an important LOST ART.  Sure, you can go to Hawaii and share your pics in seconds around the world, but don't people still like a personal note with a stamp and photo of the beach...?  I do :)

In other news, you probably need awesome new pots for yourself and your friends for the UPCOMING holidays...any holidays, get you some POTS! Click here on my etsy shoppe!
dog cat mouse mug

Me and Missus Tastycakes

Me and Missus Tastycakes

ME, the TV interview :)

my etsy gallery

my second blog, 2008-2009

my first blog, 2006-2008


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I am a part-time pottery instructor at Cornell University Pot Shop and a full-time studio potter and sculptor, married to superhawt Missus Tastycake.