Gary's Third Pottery Blog

When the going gets tough, dragons gonna get going....

Gary's third pottery blog

WRITE TO ME! Come see me! Open studio HERE! November 25-26 (11-4 each day); Aurora Art and Design, daily until 12/24; Cooperstown Art Assoc. daily until 12/24; Ellis Hollow Community Fair, 12/10; December 10, Little Red Wagon at the Space at Greenstar. All material on this blog unless stated otherwise is copyright Gary Edward Rith 2016

Saturday, August 31, 2013

pottery FOR A CHANGE!

I am chatting with one of the cousins Friday (a real one, not imagined!) and she is like
"This is like a cooking blog, not a pottery blog!" which is absolutely true.  Sometimes.  I explain,
"Except when its a PETS blog! Or travel blog...."

I would find it DEAD DULL to post the same sh!t every day and I bet you wouldn't want to read it either....but hell, I AM A POTTER and a nice load of stuff is cooling in the kiln to photograph and post Sunday and beyond and I have been so busy posting pics of squash dinners and such that I havn't posted pics of what came out of the last kiln here it is...and above?  Some of the things I was working on yesterday....
I was in the mood of "let's just make some PLAIN pots and glaze them all the same, sans pig etc" which is my sometime mood....
potters look at that pic above and are like "Gary is a little lazy with his mugs there, seems like a short one snuck into the middle" and its like "OH ALRIGHT, YES, so sue me...."

(pottery by Gary Rith)

Friday, August 30, 2013


(hot pepper jelly, oh man, FEEL the burn!)

This is turning out to be a HUGE harvest.  You hear on the radio "best growing season in DECADES" except, of course, for me and my black thumb and my tomatoes, but at least my sunflowers are wonderful.
ANYWAY, I am talking to Trevor across the street.  They have an old farmhouse, like we do, except their old farmhouse has an enormous apple tree. You will recall that 2 years ago I was over there EVERY day gathering apples and making jam, sauce, pie...its like that again.  And it began yesterday.  They do nothing to this tree and it thrives.  You eat the apples right off it, and I picked a dozen or 2 and made apple sauce with blueberries OH GOSH so pretty and tasty!****

In other news, I was down at Indian Creek, my favorite farm.  I got donut peaches!  Cute little finger eggplants!  And a selection of pretty bell peppers and hot peppers....we made something I have only tasted a few times before in my life: we made HOT PEPPER JELLY.

Whereas when you make apple sauce the house smells lovely and spicy, when you make hot pepper jelly?  It smells like the inside of an INFERNO.  Your nose burns!  Yet it is sweet...and pepper jelly is 3 things:  vinegar, peppers and sugar, and we tasted it and....!!! Lovely :)

****stovetop apple sauce (I made a double batch)

7-9 apples diced into a cookpot
1 cup water
1/2 cup sugar
spoonful lemon or lime juice
spice like cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, etc

Dump all that in the cook pot and boil and simmer 20-30 minutes covered and stirring frequently until apples are super soft.  (I added a cup of blueberries near the end--I usually add berries of some kind!)
When apples are so soft they are dissolving, you are done.  Either use a potato masher for chunky apple sauce and mash and mix OR use your blender for totally smooth apple sauce. Cool and keep in the fridge.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

the BEST squash of your life is PALEO

("why does gary eat everything with chopsticks???? and why is he so lazy about capitalizing?????")

I am not a food faddist or a dieter, but I am one of the trickiest eaters on earth.  You know, the whole vegetarian no-dairy but sometimes bakes with eggs and gluten-free thing.  People like to understand your eating and categorize you.  So, they can look at me and conclude "long description, which boils down to he eats lawn clippings and twigs". Not true!  I eat squash also! Then those same people are like "pffft, no way I would ever invite that weirdo to MY house.  And I sure wouldn't want to eat at THEIR place..."  but OH, what you are missing...

So, you hear about low-carb diets or paleo diets and lose the muffin top or go gluten-free because you'll lose the belly fat and BOTH promise you'll have glowing, clear skin! Do you get a puppy with that too?

ANYWAY, I came across a PALEO recipe the other day after BOTH of my neighbors across the street, Terri Anne and Allison, gave me these huge yellow footballs.  Pretty things, great color:  summer squash!

Paleo is basically "eat bugs, berries and raw meat like a caveman!" or something like that.
Many of the ideas are  quite good:  watch out for modern over prepared, overly refined, overly manufactured UNnatural foods, eat a lot of good fruit and veggies and nuts.
OK, so this brilliant and simple squash recipe? (click here to see)  Basically, shred squash and zuccini with onion, fry it in olive oil for awhile, dump in a pile of spices and tomatoes, plunk meatballs down on top of it and bake for a half hour:  BRILLIANT and shockingly delicious, and oh soooo easy.... we used vegan-gluten-free "meatballs" and cooked a  little corn spaghetti to go on the side...I was SHOCKED at how good this dish was, a great use for late summer veggie abundance...

Wednesday, August 28, 2013


(above--view on Cayuga Lake Inlet looking up to Cornell)
Friends of mine organize THE WALK, we meet Tuesdays **at 6 and walk Ithaca's lakefront for an hour or so, chatting, gossiping, networking.  **(in the warm months, anyway!)
The wife and I had our picnic first amongst the ducks at the Farmer's Market structure ***then enjoyed the prettiest evening...OH DANG I wish it was NOT the end of this glorious August, soooo pretty....
***(yes, Ithaca's Farmer's Market is on the lake, with a pier, in a park, surrounded by boats! So pretty)

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

2 best (and worst!) words in the English language...

(new mugs by Gary Rith)

2 best and worst words in English, a haiku by Gary Rith

"Summer peach", two best
Words in the English language.
"Summer cold", the worst.

(with thanks to writer Henry James who said "The two most beautiful words in the English language are "Summer afternoon" :)

Monday, August 26, 2013

speaking of HOT STUFF

(pottery by Gary Rith)
Oh yes, many good things in the kiln yesterday, mm hmmmmm...I am in love with this color scheme:  blue jeans inside, nice spring green on the outside.  The wife tells me "nice dynamic shapes on those mugs! Hot stuff!"

Speaking of which, have you ever been at the hair salon reading PEOPLE or one of those magazines?  And seen a recipe in there, an actor's favorite recipe?  I saw one a few months ago for a HOT PEPPER PESTO and have been itching to make it.  The wife tells me "it is not like other pestos, but then again, "pesto" is Italian for "paste", so anything goes I guess" (the lady has lived and worked in Italy). And I am like "right, no lemon juice, pine nuts or parmesan".

It is dead easy and super wonderfully tasty.  You can keep the large jar in the fridge, good for several pots of pasta or pizza.  I have been growing basil all summer, and we were at our favorite farm Saturday getting peaches to make jam and bought the "hot pepper mix".  A box of unidentified hot peppers.

I tell the wife later "when I think about it, this is terrifying!  What are these, how hot????" and we realize we have a poblano and banana pepper, which we pull out to cook with, 4-5 jalapenos and a HABANERO and an unidentified long thing... we used 4 jalapenos and the habanero:  HOT mix, but not too hot for this :)

Chili pesto
2 cups lightly packed basil leaves
1 cup serrano peppers (about 10) stemmed (we used 5 larger peppers, 4 hot and one VERY hot)
2 garlic cloves
1 cup sun-dried tomatoes (not in oil)
one cup extra virgin olive oil

Chop ingredients on a cutting board or use a food processor and chop well.  Then pour into a pint jar and stir in one cup olive oil.  WE FOUND that in our blender it was easier to just blend everything together with the oil in one step.  It is soooooo gooooood.....

Sunday, August 25, 2013

that game of cat and MOUSE...

Funny how:
a)  there is a mouse who has skittered through the inside of the wall behind our bed the last 2 nights--a sign that FALL IS COMING and the little sh!ts are getting their winter homes ready and
b)  on the PLUS side the wife and I were wandering around Saturday and I GOT MYSELF A NEW (to me) MICKEY MOUSE watch!  Perfect size for my utterly tiny wrists (I have the smallest and weakest wrists of any potter ever born, how did that happen???)
I love Mickey.  Just not in my walls partying at 2am AND
c)  the wife knew that our city cousins were visiting this weekend and was like "we need to cover that wretched hole in the wall in the kitchen".  Said hole is a heating air intake vent that Spike cat tore open a few years ago because of guessed it....traveling mouse.  The vent cover was bent all out of shape.  I surprised the wife yesterday with a 13 X 4 inch tile I made to cover the area with guessed it...

Saturday, August 24, 2013

I'm not getting repetitive am I?

Today, more of my dog penny, my cat Spike, my neighbor's dog YOGI and a recipe I posted recently, AGAIN!
WTF not....its all adorable, its all delicious :)

Yesterday was gorgeous and across the street the neighbors are painting their porch.  These guys are my very best pals, and Yogi's family too.  I see Yogi over there watching them paint.  He has this look on his face like "this is about as interesting for a puppy as watching paint dry".
I am walking with my mail to the PO, having just walked my own beagle and ask if I can bring Yogi to the PO and then over to my house to play with my cat and dog...of course it is OK.  He had just had a huge walk, apparently, and was S'POSED to be exhausted.  But he is a puppy!  NOT exhausted.

I am walking Yogi away and there are calls from his mama "OH look at that, not even a backward glance?  You just go off with Gary to have fun!" and then after a walk we are going into my yard to play and from across the street  I hear "OH look at that, he isn't even looking over here, he just wants to go play with GARY'S CAT!".
Which was true. Penny and Yogi chased each other around in circles for awhile before Penny wisely relaxed in the shade and Yogi was at my door "I wanna go in and see Spike" and Spike the cat was on the other side of the screen door saying "Yo, bro' "

Yogi and Spike played inside for awhile.  I don't have to do anything.  I was cooking and baking and doing the dishes and my pets are playing with him...I set up a chair by the stairway so that Penny and Spike can get away from Yogi if they are tired of play....
later Spike and Penny fell asleep and Yogi just lay there, staring at them...... "How can those guys sleep when I wanna PLAY?"
I returned Yogi later and his mama told another neighbor "Yogi had a play date with Gary's CAT!"

Anyway, in other news, YEP, we were baking gluten-free blueberry tortes, OH MY that is yummy!**** Have a great Saturday!

Gary's gluten-free tasty berry torte

1 1/4 cup brown rice flour
2 tbs + one tbs sugar to sprinkle on top
2 tsp baking powder
dash salt

2 eggs
2/3 cup applesauce
1/2 cup milk or soy milk
1/4 cup canola oil
fruit! one cup blueberries or sliced plums or apple or raspberries....

-Grease a 9" torte pan or 8 x 8 brownie pan (I used 2 small rounds today)
-preheat to 350
-combine first 4 dry ingredients in a bowl
-in a second bowl, beat the eggs add other liquid ingredients
-combine the wet into the dry, stir well, then pour batter into baking pan
-press one cup berries into the top then sprinkle one tbs sugar on top
-bake about 35 minutes, until an inserted toothpick is clean, then cool on a rack

Friday, August 23, 2013

blackberries are gluten-free!

Many of you will recall that I had a stomachache for a few years, lost a ton of weight I did not need to lose that made me go from thin to almost scary thin, low iron levels, foggy head, all that sh!t.  Last month, ONLY JUST LAST month, having tried many things, I took wheat out of my diet and WHOA! That was it.
Not sure yet whether it will turn out to be celiac or just a wheat allergy or non-celiac gluten-sensitivity, but one step at a time and figure it out with the doctor....

BUT anyway, I feel MAGNIFICENT now.
I was telling you yesterday that my niece picked a BOATload of blackberries over at my mom and dad's farm.  (well, it was a farm once, trees and bunnies and wild blackberries now)

I had enough to make gluten-free blackberry scones and blackberry crisp!!!! (like apple crisp but with blackberries..) Not everybody likes blackberries but I love them.
I baked gluten-free bread too, having experimented with different recipes I have come up with my own rather fantastic 4 different bread recipes, this one is a quick sandwich bread, no yeast or rising or kneading ****

For the berry scones I used Nicole Hunn's GLUTEN-FREE ON A SHOESTRING cookbook (she blogs every day too:  a favorite blog of mine and DEF. my new favorite cookbook click here).
Basically, anybody who makes scones can simply do this:  freeze a cup of blackberries (or whatever you like) then roll them in a little flour and mix them into your scone recipe.
I also top all of my scones with either cinnamon or nutmeg mix with a spoon full of sugar, which I sprinkle on top of hot just baked scones---GAWDAMN that is tasty!

And for the crisp:  this is not rocket science!


  • Place blackberries in a greased 1-qt. baking dish. In a small bowl, combine the sugar, cornstarch, water and lemon juice until smooth. Pour over berries. Combine the oats, flour, brown sugar and cinnamon; cut in butter until crumbly. Sprinkle over berries.
  • Bake, uncovered, at 375° for 20-25 minutes or until filling is bubbly. Serve warm with ice cream. Yield: 2 servings.

Gary's quick multi-grain sandwich bread

3 cups all purpose GF flour OR 1 cup GF all purpose flour, 1 cup oat flour and 1 cup brown rice flour
1 1/2 teas xanthan gum
1/4 cup moleasses
2 1/2 teas baking powder
1 teas baking soda
dash salt
6 tbs butter or marg
1 1/2 cup milk or soy milk in my case
2 teas vinegar
large flax egg:  mix 1 1/2 tbs ground flax with 3 1/2 tbs warm water, set aside a few minutes
2-3 tbs rolled oats

-Make the flax egg in a small bowl or cup, grease a 9 x 5 loaf pan and preheat oven to 350
-In a large bowl stir flour, xanthan gum, salt, bake powder and soda
-add the butter or marg and use a pastry cutter to cut it in, making it like crumbly peas
-add milk and vinegar, flax egg and stir in moleasses
-scrape dough into the loaf pan, smooth the top with a knife, use your hand to sprinkle oats on top and push them in gently----OR use sesame seeds, poppy seeds, or some oil and dried herbs!
-bake 40 minutes, then turn the oven down to 325  and rotate the pan 180 degrees, and bake another 40-45 minutes, check with a toothpick to make sure it is done--let bread cool in pan 30 minutes, then take it out to finish cooling on a wire rack, YUM!

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I am a full-time studio potter, sculptor, and dog walker, married to superhawt Missus Tastycake.