Tomorrow I'm off to Atlanta for the Haven conference (eeeeek!), but I thought I'd pop in quickly today to share a little project I've just been working on.
I really enjoy cooking and do so A LOT. Well, I try too, anyway. Sometimes the lure of some no effort carry out pizza is just too much for me to resist at the end of a long day. In an attempt to make myself cook as often as possible, I try to keep my kitchen pretty well equipped. I have my beloved cornflower blue Kitchenaid stand mixer, my fabulous cast iron dutch oven, my Cuisinart food processor, and several other fun and useful things. I love them all! Mind you, I've been very slowly accumulating those things over the course of several years of birthdays and Christmases. Living on a budget doesn't allow for lots of expensive gadgets all at once, after all. :)
One thing I've been wanting to add to my kitchen collection for quite some time is a garlic keeper. Such a little thing, but it can make a big difference in the longevity of a bulb of garlic. It's very, very depressing to be in the middle of cooking dinner and discover that my garlic is all dried and shriveled. Boo! Garlic keepers can help prevent that from happening, so I've been on the hunt for one. There are tons of really cute options on the market, like this one from Amazon:
How cute is that? I love it, but don't feel like dropping $10 on it. After thinking about it for a bit, I came up with a way to make my own garlic keeper for cheap cheap cheap. A bunch of the keepers I've seen around the interwebs are made from terra cotta, and they all have holes in them to let the garlic breath. See where I'm going with this?
Ta da! A $0.79 terracotta pot with a $0.19 saucer! (Please disregard the stains on my counter. They're beyond my ability to clean.) Right material, perfect size, and it even has a vent hole. I was so happy when I got this idea. It works perfectly! It's a little plain, though, so I grabbed some paint and took care of that problem. :)
I've long loved the gorgeous white patina terracotta gets with age and weathering. Look at these from Etsy. Absolute perfection.
I used some Pure White ASCP to try to replicate that look, since it's so easy to apply and to work with after it's dry. I used my finger to apply a good base coat, and after that I used a brush to apply a second, more opaque coat. Once all the paint was dry, I hit the edges and a few key spots with some 150 grit sandpaper, and this is my final result!
I love how the totally matte texture of the Chalk Paint looks just like the flaky whiteness that develops naturally on this clay. I didn't paint the interior of the pot, since that'll be touching the garlic and no one but me ever sees it. Chalk Paint is about as safe a paint as you can get, but I'd still avoid getting it allover your food if you can help it. ;)
So there you go! A super cheap, super quick and useful project for your weekend enjoyment. Now, go make yourself a garlic keeper!