Footed Market Basket

I had a wonderful time attending a local basketmaking workshop held at a rustic county park in my area. The weather was beautiful and the scenery was gorgeous. We sat under a shelter with several picnic tables that were lined up for all of the class participants. Just prior to the session we were mailed a list of supplies needed for the construction of the basket. We each brought along an old towel, some clips to hold the basket in place, scissors, a large bucket and a spray bottle to keep the wooden strips wet while working with them. We carefully listened to the instructor as she effortlessly managed teaching and assisting the 20 students before her. The item that we would be constructing is called a Footed Market Basket. I tried to take pictures as I worked through the steps while making this adorable basket.

…Can’t wait to sign up for another session!

Beginner Garden Basket

On a recent trip to Kentucky, I purchased an adorable basket kit.  I must say, I’m not an experienced basket weaver, in fact, I am constantly seeking out classes so that I might gain more knowledge and skill pertaining to this craft.  Unfortunately, I have been unsuccessful finding a face-to-face class in my area so I usually review an abundance of internet videos to try to learn more about basket construction. 

When I entered the darling, rustic shop,  I was mesmerized by the abundance of wood strips, twine and basket making supplies carefully organized and perfectly displayed from floor to ceiling.  I must have spent 45 minutes just looking over everything the owner had displayed. I was taking it all in when a friendly women asked if I needed assistance.  I explained to the owner that I had very little experience and would like to complete a simple project.  She suggested a garden basket that was hanging from the ceiling along with several other beautiful creations.  With some hesitation, I purchased the suggested kit.  

When I returned home and opened the package to review the project.  I was pleasantly surprised by the simplistic instructions and the quality materials provided by the owner of this darling shop. Within the kit, each small bundle of wooden strips and twine was carefully measured and labeled to help me navigate through the supplies.  


It took me some time to come up with the courage to begin this project, but once I started, I kept at it until the basket was complete.  I am thrilled with the end product.  While it’s not perfect, (It’s a little wonky and maybe a bit slimmer than was intended) it’s one of my first basket weaving projects and I’m quite happy with my beginner skills.

Edit
I tried to take a few pictures as I progressed through the instructions. Those of you that might be basket makers can chime in to let me know if I’m doing something wrong…

I cut a circle of craft paper tracing the wood basket bottom disk and folding the paper to divide it into four equal parts.


I then marked the wooden bottom.

I soaked the wooden strips to make them pliable.

I evenly place the spokes around the disk.

Time to add some twine.

As per my instructions, I begin weaving up the side of the basket.



I soaked the colored strips for a short period as they have a tendency to bleed onto the natural wood.

Trimming and bending the rim…

Tightening things up and making a space for the handle…


Setting in the hinged handle…

Finishing up…



Not perfect, but it will do just fine!

Zucchini Breakfast Bread

This week, I had the opportunity to visit a produce auction in a neighboring community.  It’s a bit early in the season for an abundance of produce so the aisles were stocked with plants and flowering baskets of every variety.  Farmers also displayed an array of asparagus, rhubarb stalks, and freshly baked pastries.  I so enjoyed listening to the auctioneer as he rattled on at record speed, while the prices climbed to reasonable levels.

Looking over the tables of freshly baked breads, I was inspired to bake a few loaves of my own.  I had a few zucchini in the produce drawer that were close to expiration so I popped them into the food processor.  The grated zucchini certainly lends moisture and flavor to this scrumptious recipe.  

Zucchini Breakfast Bread

1 1/2 cups flour

1 1/2 cups oat bran

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon baking powder

3 teaspoons ground cinnamon

3 eggs, beaten 

1 cup vegetable oil

2 1/4 cups white sugar

3 teaspoons vanilla extract

2 cups grated zucchini

1 cup chopped pecans

1/2 cup steel cut oatmeal mix (optional for topping)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray with cooking spray, two 8×4″ loaf pans. Mix flour, salt, baking powder, soda, and cinnamon together in a bowl. In a separate bowl,  whisk eggs, oil, vanilla, and sugar together in a large bowl. Stir in zucchini.  Add dry ingredients to the zucchini mixture, and mix well. Stir in nuts just until combined. Pour batter into prepared pans.  Sprinkle with topping, if desired.  Bake for 50-60 minutes, or until tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in pan on rack for 10 minutes. Remove loaves from pan, and cool completely before slicing.
Basketmaking…  I also had the pleasure of attending my first basket weaving class earlier this week.  I have shared  a few pictures at the end of this post.  I will spare you the details as I am not skilled enough yet to include a detailed tutorial.  I simply followed the instructors lead and made this adorable herb basket.


Step by step…











HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY, to all of you wonderful moms out there!