Category Archives: THE SCHOOL OF MAKING

PIMENTO CHEESE + TWO HOUR WORKSHOPS

Thank you to everyone who braved the weather and joined us for our Open House, Sample Sale and Earth Day Celebration over the weekend. (And to Butch and Robert Rausch for playing along…) It was lovely to open our studio and the event was so successful that we decided to go ahead and plan for next year… Mark your calendar & plan your trip:
Alabama Chanin
8th Annual Open House & Sample Sale
April 29 & 30, 2011.
We have also added Two-Hour Workshops to both our Events and to the Open House next year. The seating is limited for each session so register early. We also have a range of these new Two-Hour Workshops coming soon:

May 1st and 2nd @ Textile Fabrics in Nashville

May 8th @ Barneys in Chicago

May 14th @ Purl Soho in New York City

June 12th @ Warehouse Row in Chattanooga, Tennessee.

Contact us for more information.

My son Zach cooked for us at our Open House over the weekend. I asked him to write up his recipe for Pimento Cheese since we had so many folks rave about his special blend. I have always prided myself as a good cook but I believe that Zach has surpassed me.

Lovely when your children do you one-up…

Zach’s Pimento Cheese

3 cups shredded Hoop or Sharp Cheddar Cheese (about one large block)
9-10 squirts of Tabasco (Or as you see fit)
1/4 cup Roasted Red Peppers diced
2 tablespoon Prepared Horseradish
1 1/2 tablespoon Lemon or Lime juice
1/2 cup Aioli or Mayo made from olive oil
Fresh Herbs fine chop (Oregano, Thyme, Rosemary, Parsley)
Salt n Pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients and stir vigorously.  If too spicy add another tablespoon of Aioli.  If not spicy enough, add more Tabasco.  You may want to find some of the different styles of Tabasco such as Chipotle or my favorite, the Roasted Garlic style.  Enjoy!!

If you have another great Pimento Cheese recipe, please share it with us in the comments below!

WORD OF THE DAY: CELEBRATE

Celebrate – verb:

To observe (a day) or commemorate (an event) with ceremonies or festivities:
Today we celebrate Earth Day and the joy of life.

To make known publicly; proclaim:
The newspaper celebrated the beauty of her life.

To perform with appropriate rites and ceremonies; solemnize:


We will celebrate the light that her life brought to Earth.

While today we begin our Earth Day Celebration @ The Factory, it is a mixed blessing as Tuesday of this week our friend, mentor and local hero Marigail Mathis passed away.    While this is a sad time for all of us, Marigail was the kind of person who made life worth celebrating.  Her vision, joy, enthusiasm, support, laughter and kindred spirit will be sorely missed in my life; however, what she has given to me – through her friendship – will be celebrated eternally.

Celebrate the life of someone you love today.

FROM TOBACCO TO FOOD (GOOD FOOD)

I lived in the Research Triangle area of North Carolina for almost 10 years of my life. In fact, I lived at one time or the other in just about every one of the cities and my son, Zach, was born 28 years ago when I lived in Durham.

Shortly before Zach’s arrival and in teenage rebellion style, I left Alabama at 18 with my best friend (and a whim) heading towards Chapel Hill. Our first house in the area – rented for $50 a month -  was in the middle of a tobacco field and you could literally see the sunset through the kitchen wall. I remember telling my mother, “This is paradise.”  The memories of that first summer still make me laugh but at the arrival of winter, I found more suitable “paradise” where the heat from the wood stove actually warmed the house.

However, I can still smell the rows of tobacco being worked by migrant farmers that drifted through those walls. And from time to time, I feel the sense of driving down the streets of Durham with the overwhelming smell of tobacco infusing the entire community.

How lovely to read this article today in the New York Times about how the greater Durham/RTI community has been able to make the leap from traditional (and chemical ridden) tobacco farming to sustainable local cuisine. I especially love the story of Neal’s Deli where the son of famed chef Bill Neal carries on the family tradition.

It is heartening to think that the fields on the outskirts of our little town may one day be bountiful again.

*Photograph by Travis Dove for The New York Times

TRUCKERS QUILT

Many of you may have already seen this but in the off-chance that you missed it, I wanted to share this great article.

What I really love are all the comments – especially the one about how media is trying to emasculate men with articles like this one.

In my Making & Meaning sessions with The Bureau of Friends, I found that sewing and making is genderless. Making together inspires spirited conversation, bonded friendships and, simply said, a good time.

From the Wall Street Journal:  

Continue reading

WORD OF THE DAY: JOURNEY

Preparing for my journey to New York and looking forward to the adventure.

Plan your adventure and journey to Brooklyn to join us for events@ Spacecraft and Etsy.  

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”    — Mark Twain

SHOES + MONDAY

I love this story from Penelope Green:

A Veritable Vision in Five-Inch Heels“, New York Times, February 3, 2010:

NEAR dusk on a recent winter Sunday, in a glossy and compact one-bedroom in Hell’s Kitchen, Michael Lisbona was drying the toe box of a Louis-style mule with a blow dryer. The upper part of the half-made shoe, which had been cut from black kid leather embossed with a delicate silver lace pattern, curled back like the petal of an exotic flower. Llorraine Neithardt, a full-time psychic and part-time shoe guru, clapped her hands and exclaimed: “Boy, does that beat mowing the lawn. Look how beautiful — like a little tortellini.”…

Read the article as it is wonderful way to start Monday morning…
*See the slideshow:Yana Paskova for the New York Times

I (HEART) FEBRUARY

I (Heart) February because:

Alabama Studio Style is arriving this week.

A new Workshop Schedule has been posted.

Everyone is planning their road trip for our Earth Day Open House @ The Factory.

DIY Kits are the new roses.

I will soon be able to drink my morning coffee on the back stoop.

I (heart) long walks where rocks shaped like hearts are found on the ground…