Browsing Tag

DIY

Gift Guides

Gift Lab: First-Time Fermentation

December 26, 2016


Research
Years ago, I came across Wild Fermentation, a book by Sandor Ellix Katz that turned me and millions of others onto the idea of home fermentation. I don’t remember how I came across it, or why I bought it. But I read the first few chapters and became enthralled with the IDEA of fermenting.


The book, published in 2003, made Katz a fermentation rockstar. (I’m not kidding, he really is) As for myself, as I read, I was all ready to leave Brooklyn and move to the author’s organic farm commune in Tennesee to begin my new, fermention-centric lifestyle. Because I liked the IDEA.

I successfully made delicious yogurt a few times. And I’ve made a lot of bread, though not sourdough bread.

But despite feeling totally gung-ho, fermentationally speaking, that’s as far as I went. Katz made a passionate, informed case for probiotics (and this was back in 2003, before it was a thing). Almost all store-bought sauerkraut, he said, is pasteurized, which kills the probiotics.

I wanted to make my own sauerkraut and achieve Total Gut Health. But I looked into buying a stoneware crock with a weight (to weigh the cabbage down), and for a beginner, they seemed rather pricey and heavy. I didn’t feel it was wise to commit to something like that without knowing I’d use it more than once.*

And I got stuck there. For years. Until I saw our DIY Fermentation Crock.

Continue Reading…

Gift Guides

Gift Lab: Is a DIY G&T as Easy as it Seems?

November 23, 2016

lab-coat

Research

Some say it tastes like Christmas, but I say it’s more like pure class in a glass. Scientists think liking it might mean you have a dark personality (I also drink my coffee black – uh oh), but I think you’re crazy if you hate it. It’s the gin & tonic, people, and I’m a fan. And so, when I saw the Gin & Tonic Making Kit in our assortment, I knew I had to try it out for my next gift lab.

Gin and Tonic Making Kit - UncommonGoods

Continue Reading…

Gift Guides

Gift Lab: Fermentation with Friends

November 3, 2016

Research

Last summer, I canned for the first time with fellow UGooders and loved sharing and eating the spicy pickles and peach blackberry jam we created. While both received many compliments, I knew I’d be nowhere without our fearless leader Louise’s technical expertise in the kitchen. As for pickled veggies I haven’t made myself; pickled onions have turned many a salad from mediocre to magnificent, and from a health perspective, I’ll take all the probiotics I can get. As soon as I saw this DIY Fermentation Kit come into the UncommonGoods assortment, I had to try it for myself.

Continue Reading…

Gift Guides

Gift Lab: Does Beer Make Everything Better? (Even Pretzels and Mustard?)

October 5, 2016
Emily Gift Lab Pretzels and MustardResearch

I’ve always been a fan of pretzels. From your standard UTZ variety, which were often packed away in ZipLocs in my elementary school lunches, to the inimitable Auntie Anne’s (cinnamon, obviously) which have suckered me in at shopping malls and train stations alike, I’ve loved ‘em all. Something about fall makes pretzels seem like especially appropriate snacks, and I’ve been craving them as the air has gotten chillier. Maybe my small sliver of German ancestry has me feeling some lingering Oktoberfest vibes all the way on Long Island – in which case, this experiment is all the better, since it involves a fair amount of beer. I’ll be using the Craft Beer Pretzel Mix as well as the Make Your Own Mustard Kit, which also calls for beer as an ingredient, because what goes better with beer pretzels than beer mustard? I’m hungry. Let’s try it.

Hypothesis

Beer will make everything better, including homemade pretzels and mustard.

Continue Reading…

Gift Guides

Gift Lab: Is Homemade Butter
Really Better?

August 15, 2016

Ken Tests the Butter Churner from UncommonGoods

Research:

I was initially skeptical when I first saw the butter churner in our collection. I’ve baked bread, brewed beer, and made yogurt, so it’s not as if I’m against making things at home. I just didn’t see what was to be gained by churning butter myself instead of buying it. I’d almost forgotten it when the churner turned up in the top ten selling items for several days straight. And that was during the busy holiday season, when making it to the top means elbowing through serious competition. What did all of these people see in homemade butter? Did they know something I didn’t? Had all my favorite food writers failed to share the wonders of fresh butter straight from the churn?

Continue Reading…

The Uncommon Life

DIY Paper Flowers to Adorn Gifts, Cakes, Cards, Parties…

May 5, 2016

DIY Paper Flowers: Paper roses on wedding cake | UncommonGoods
Last year, much to our own delight, UncommonGoods began offering free, printable downloads. Our assortment currently includes party kits, cheese tasting tags, birthday cards (the Cat Tao birthday cards are my favorite) and diy paper fortune cookies.

Now, we have some pretty, printable paper flowers you can print and fold to make 3D decorations for wedding and anniversary gifts–or any gifts, really. Below are our Printable Paper Roses and Wildflowers templates and a step-by-step, illustrated how-to.

Continue Reading…

Gift Guides

Gift Lab: A Scarf Dye Kit That Will Make You Believe in Magic

April 14, 2016

Meet Anuli | UncommonGoods

Product:
Magic Jar Scarf Dye Kit

Research: 
I’m a big fan of tie-dye! I’ve even hosted tie-dye workshops to teach other people how to turn a plain t-shirt into something fun. However, tie-dye is a pretty messy activity to do, especially indoors during the dead of winter which is the context I’m working with at the moment. I’ve been eyeing the Magic Jar Scarf Dye Kit for some time now, so when our assistant  jewelry & accessories buyer, Jackie,  told me we got a new color in (turquoise!) I knew I had to try it.  The scarf comes in a glass jar with the dye powder mixed inside. The only thing to add to it is water. How simple is that?

Hypothesis:
Admittedly, I was skeptical because the directions seemed just too simple. There had to be a catch. All I was asked to do was fill the jar up with room temperature water, close the lid, let it sit for an hour, wash the scarf with detergent and let it dry. Sounded too good to be true. Continue Reading…

Pin It on Pinterest