Ideas and inspiration

Throwback Craft Deep Dive: Pickles!

Happy #ThrowbackThursday!

Last week we presented you with a highlight reel from 2015, including a meeting where we made a whole lotta pickles (and pickling spice mix to take home). Our host from pickles month, Cuoghi, was kind enough to send me the details I couldn’t quite dig up, which she adapted from a number of sources.

Sure, it’s not really cucumber season right now, but as Cuoghi reminded me: You can pickle anything!

Pickling spice:

  • 1/2 cinnamon stick
  • 2 dried bay leaves
  • 2 whole cloves
  • 2 T mustard seeds
  • 2 T whole coriander seeds
  • 2 T black peppercorns
  • 2 t whole allspice
  • 2 t dill seeds
  • 2 t caraway seeds
  • 2 t chili flakes

Take cinnamon stick and either crush with a knife, jar, or rolling pin. Same with cloves. Tear bay leaves into very small pieces. Put all ingredients into jar and keep sealed.

Now, to put these to use, here’s a few cucumber pickles recipes. Both make about 1 quart jar of pickles.

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Pickles! Photo credit: Melissa

Dill pickles:

  • 6-7  kirby or pickling cucumbers
  • 1 c white vinegar
  • 3/4 c water
  • 2 T kosher salt
  • 1 T pickling spices
  • 3-4 fresh dill springs or 2 tsp dried
  • optional: 2-3 chopped garlic cloves, chile flakes, sliced jalapeno, you can add another teaspoon of dill seeds if you like them really dilly

Cut up cucumbers and put in clean jar and add optional items.

In a medium sauce pot, put everything else stir, bring to boil so that salt is dissolved, pour over cucumbers, seal jar. Let sit out for about an hour, then refrigerate.

Bread and butter pickled cucumbers:

  • About 6-7 kirby or pickling cucumbers
  • 1/2 small yellow sweet onion, thinly sliced or chopped
  • 1/4 cup Kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup sugar  (could go 3/4 if you like them sweeter)
  • 1 1/2 cup white vinegar
  • 1/4 teaspoons ground turmeric
  • 1 tablespoon mustard seeds
  • 1 tablespoon coriander seeds
  • 1/4 teaspoon celery seed

Slice cucumbers about 1/4 inch thick. Add to clean jar along with onion.  In medium sauce pot, put in everything else, bring to boil so that salt and sugar are dissolved and pour over cucumbers. Place lid on jar and let sit for an hour or so, then place in fridge.

Both of these are good for a month in the fridge.  Although the lids on these jars may seal and “pop” when you open them, they are not technically canned and have to be refrigerated.

Cheers!

– Cuoghi (and Reanna)

Ideas and inspiration, Meeting notes

Best of 2015

It’s #throwbackthursday! Here’s a highlight reel from 2015 – Ladies Craft Beer Society’s second year. Enjoy!

Please note: I don’t have the exact tutorials we used for each of these crafts, just my best guess on similar ones!

January 2015 – First Anniversary – Guinness & Champagne Cocktails and DIY Greeting Cards

Hosted by: Reanna

General instructions: This was so easy, we didn’t have a singular source.

Bring your own: Ideas

Beer theme: Champagne & Guinness, New Year’s/anniversary toast-worthy beer.

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Sounds weird, tastes good: Champagne & Guinness cocktails for our first anniversary (Photo credit: Nicole)

March 2015 – Twofer: Springtime scarves and herb gardens

Hosted by: Cuoghi

General instructions: Via Planting Sequoias

Bring your own: Beer!

Beer theme: Stouts & porters

July 2015 – Hardware Store Friendship Bracelets

Hosted by: Stephanie

General instructions: Hex nut bracelet and wrapped ball chain bracelet and also these

Bring your own: Beer!

Beer theme: Canned beers – editor’s note: obviously, we didn’t all follow that rule 🙂

August 2015 – Pickles!

Hosted by: Cuoghi

General instructions: I’m not sure which recipe we used and don’t want to credit the wrong recipe, but Google “pickling spices recipe” and go to town!

Bring your own: Jars

Beer theme: Can’t remember, sorry!

September 2015 – Clay Leaf Bowls

Hosted by: Emily

General instructions: Via Design*Sponge

Bring your own: Leaf, if you want

Beer theme: ?

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Photo credit: Emily
2015-09-19-leaves-es
Photo credit: Emily

October 2015 – Wine Cork Pumpkins

Hosted by: Melissa

General instructions: Via Decor by the Seashore

Bring your own: Wine cork collection!

Beer theme: Pumpkin beers, of course

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Photo credit:  Emily

 

December 2015 – Wire Christmas Ornaments

Hosted by: Field trip! We had a holiday dinner at Toast Cleveland

General instructions: Via Crafts Unleashed

Bring your own: Needle-nose pliers

Beer theme: Christmas ales, natch

Speaking of wraps, that’s a wrap on 2015!

As always, cheers —

Reanna

Ideas and inspiration, Meeting notes

How to craft a craft club: Our first tutorial

This past weekend, most of the members of Ladies Craft Beer Society gathered to celebrate the impending arrival of yet another LCBS baby (this will make baby #6!)

Even though it wasn’t an official LCBS meeting, there was, of course, a craft.

It’s been a long winter, and after the shower we all realized how important our monthly gatherings do to help us reconnect. The crafts are always fun (if not always a smashing success), the beers are cold and delicious (if not always universally enjoyed, because one or the other of us seems to always be pregnant), but the one running constant is the friendships we’ve built along the way.

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Ladies Craft Beer Society, or Ladies Carrying Babies Society? (Photo credit: Elizabeth)

If you’re looking for a good excuse to make new friends or grow the bonds of your existing friend group, may we recommend starting a craft club? It’s really easy.

Here’s our very first tutorial —

How to Craft a Craft Club

Membership

Your club should consist of  friends and acquaintances you admire and/or would like to get to know better. Obviously, we’re a ladies craft beer society, but you don’t have to stick to that formula, if you know some men (or non-gender conforming individuals) who would have fun wielding a glue gun and a can of beer.

Feel free to reassure any dubious invitees that they don’t have to be particularly crafty or creative. It’s just fun to play around, get a little messy and experiment with different projects.

Our members also periodically invite guests to meetings, which is always fun.

Meetings and dues

Each month, members take turns hosting. The host selects the craft (usually based on a seasonal theme, though not always. Pinterest is, of course, our go-to source material for craft ideas.) Pro tip: We have found over the years that short, easy crafts (or at least ones that you can start at the meeting and take home to finish) work best, because we’re often busy talking and eating for so much of the meeting.

The host is also responsible for acquiring supplies and setting dues for that meeting (just to cover supplies.) We try to keep most of our crafts to $10 or less per person.

You could set up some sort of supplies account and have everyone pay an annual dues to cover all crafts, but we’ve found the à la carte approach to be the fairest and easiest way for everyone to just pay for what they can actually attend. We also periodically end up with “stash buster” type crafts where we use up supplies previously purchased and left over from other crafts.

Sometimes we’ll ask attendees to bring their own scissors, or glue gun, or item to upcycle for the craft. Speaking of bring your own…

BYOB

We also pick a beer theme each month. This could be a beer style (such as “farmhouse ales” or “sour beers”) or a theme like “brewery you’ve never heard of.” And while “craft beer” is in our name, sometimes the weather is just too nice not to make sangria. Of course, if your friends are more into wine, or tea, or kombucha, you can adjust your club as appropriate.

Everyone usually brings a six-pack and/or a snack to share. Usually the host ends up with a fridge full of leftover beer and at least two types of hummus to sustain her for the next week. It makes up for all the paint stains and glitter mess.


That’s it! We told you it was easy.

Stay tuned, because our first meeting since launching this site is coming up soon. We can’t wait to let you in on one of our meetings!

In the meantime, be sure to follow us on Instagram (and check out #ladiescraftbeersociety for some of our member posts throughout the years.)