52 Weekends – No.5 Natural Dyes

This weekend I decided to experiment with Natural Dyes. I recently read that Avocados produced my most favourite shade of pink and Black Beans my favourite shades of blue, I had to see this for myself.

I made the dyes and tested them on various fabrics and materials to see what colours could be achieved and bought a blank tote bag to dye and decorate for this week’s project for my 52 Weekends.

I absolute loved this project as I’ve never done anything like this before, it was easy, the results was perfect and I’ve got lovely fabrics to use as props in my food photography props and a fab bag. (The ‘HOW TO’ instructions are below the photos).Natural Dyes | Avocado Dye| Black bean dye| Stacy Grant Natural Dyes | Avocado Dye| Black bean dye| Stacy Grant

HOW TO make Avocado Stone Dye – Use three avocado stones, washed so no green flesh remains, put in a medium size saucepan and cover with just enough water. Bring to the boil and simmer for 40 mins (the water will turn maroon). Turn off from the heat, cover with a lid and leave over night.

HOW TO make Avocado Skin Dye – Clean the skins of 3 avocados so no green flesh remains, then roughly cut up into 1cm pieces.  Then same as above recipe.

HOW TO make Black Bean Dye – 8oz of dried uncooked black beans, cover with just enough water, stir and leave for at least 24 hours, stirring occasionally and topping up water when required.

When dye is ready strain through a sift/strainer lined with a muslin cloth (or any cloth/fabric similar) into a bowl. Place fabrics into the bowl of dye and soak for 2-3 hours, remove and rinse in cold water, wring out as much water as possible then hang to dry.

TIP 1. Hand wash fabric before dying, place in dye whilst still wet.

TIP 2. Store used avocado skins and stones in the freezer until you’ve collected 3 or more.

52 Weekends – No. 4 Birthday Party

This weekend we had a birthday in our house so it was time for our family tradition of a cheese and pineapple lunch.

As well and the cheese and pineapple (cheese and pickled onions and cheese and cocktail gherkins) I made a Banana loaf birthday cake as it is sugar free and 3 out of the 7 around the table are on sugar free diets and I made goats cheese and caramelised onion puff pastry tart (easy, veggie and super tasty). Recipes for both below.

We have another birthday next weekend, so I get to do it all over again!

Birthday | Stacy Grant | 52 weekends

The banana loaf is super simple;

125g wholemeal SR flour

Half tsp baking powder

2 tsp ground cinnamon

50g melted butter

2 tsp vanilla essence

1 egg

1 tbsp milk

3 ripe bananas

Mix all the dry ingredients together in a bowl, in another bowl mix all the wet ingredients together, then mix both together and pour into a loaf tin, bake for 40 mins at 160 (fan oven).

Goats Cheese and Caramelised onion puff pastry is even easier;

1 pack ready rolled puff pastry

1 pack soft goats cheese, crumbled

Jar of caramelised onion

1 Egg

Unroll the puff pastry keeping it on the grease proof paper in comes wrapped in and place on a large baking tray. Cut into 20 squares. Score 1cm inside each square. Beat the egg to make egg wash and brush over each square. Fill each inside square with a tsp of caramelised onion and then crumble over the goats cheese. Bake in oven 180 (fan) for 20 mins.