Well, It is About Time!! Rice Trivets & What’s Ahead

ONE-TWO-THREE: What’s ahead for Zazu:

One of my best bread & butter items…

ONE: I am planning to release a small project video every two weeks on Friday afternoon through Thanksgiving. My Let’s Sew a Rice Trivet Gift video came out on Sept. 1, so I anticipate a video on the Sept. 15, Sept. 29, Oct. 13, Oct. 27, Nov. 10, and Nov. 24. The biweekly videos will tend to be gift projects, such as artistic raw-edge coasters, or small household items that might make a thoughtful handmade gift for someone, like a cover for a mixing bowl that sits out on the counter all the time.

Practical items, the rice trivets are easy to whip up assembly-line fashion, and fun to handle (like a bean bag) as well as easy and pretty to use in the kitchen or at the table. See below for more ideas about making, using, and selling your beautiful handmade rice trivets. 

Learn more about series

Learn more about series

TWO: After Christmas I will start a series for a larger project that is like some of my old work. I haven’t figured out what yet, but I will keep you posted. This will be similar to my White Sulphur Wallhanging Series and my Art Bag OUT Recycled In Jeans-lined Tote Series, which are book-ended for easy reference here. These links will take you to their series pages on YouTube, which open in a new window.

THREE: As a bonus, at some point, I will start a new, original wall piece unlike anything I have made previously, and I will release an extra video in that series every time I move forward substantially on that piece. This second series will illustrate that part of the creative process that is sometimes thrilling and easy going and sometimes riddled with insecurity with no idea where to go next. Please stay tuned!! I’m so happy to be filming again! Thank you for sticking with me!

Maybe this could be something…

More Ideas About Rice Trivets and Rice Packs

I’ve attempted to organize these comments, but obviously there is some overlap between the categories. Click these images, and they will enlarge, then use your back arrow…

Rice trivets stack neatly in the booth

Ideas about making rice trivets:

  • Vary the size of the piece and the number of channels for other uses. I once made a pack that was about 7 inches tall and 18 inches wide (essentially 2 or 3 trivets wide) with ties like an apron. It was made-to-order for a young woman who had a lot of abdominal pain each month. Another time, an elderly woman needed large packs (about 12 x 16 inches) for the leg pain her husband experienced every day. Such packs would be intended to be heated in the microwave.
  • A bigger trivet would be nice for under larger baking dishes, although I just place two side-by-side on the table for oblong dishes during holiday meals.
  • Holiday fabrics could be used on one side for a more versatile item, points out one of my YouTube viewers. The right person would love this flexibility, although in my experience, many people would still consider it to be only a holiday trivet and wouldn’t use it the rest of the year.
  • Scents, including cinnamon, cloves, and lavender can be added to the rice to make a soothing, nice-smelling trivet, especially when the warmth of a hot dish is added, points out the same YT viewer. People always asked me for this in the booth, but between all the allergies in my family, the anticipated extra mess, and the way I love the smell of plain white rice, I never acted on those requests. Really, the main reason for my hesitance was the fear that, given another set of options, people would like the appearance of a specific trivet, but want one with cloves for example, instead of whatever it was I had on hand. Then you have to remake the item, while the first one sits unsold. But scents are a very nice option for gift sewing, especially if you know your recipients well.

Ideas about using rice trivets:

  • Heat a rice trivet in the microwave and place in a basket or bowl under rolls to keep them warm. You can even button the rolls inside one of your handmade napkins for an extra cute presentation.
  • Fill a trivet a little looser and keep it in a Ziploc in the freezer for those little bumps and bruises that occur so often. This type of pack gives a gentle, even cold, not the harshness you can get from ice and some commercial gel packs.

Ideas about selling rice trivets: 

  • I stacked mine in locking bins, with 20-24 rice packs per bin. The bin then weighs up to 25 lbs. I usually took 2 full bins to market, 3 or 4 to a show or fair. I didn’t usually sell out. I had many fabric choices and was always happy to come home with lighter bins.
  • I displayed the trivets both in stacks and also with matching items. As I mentioned in the video, I would weigh stuff down with them when the wind picked up.
  • I used the trivets to attractively weigh down my signs, which are also called “little salesmen.” This sign is quite brazen, but it sold a lot of gifts.
  • This was my tag. It changed a little over the years. Just enough copy to keep them thinking if you are too busy to tell them what the product is. I used to safety pin the tags on. Later I used a tagging gun, piercing through the thick area by the closure.

These really are great little items. I hope you make up a few. Beth/Zazu


Quick, Easy, Flaky — Whole Wheat Pie Crust in the food processor

This Flaky Whole Wheat Pie Crust comes together quickly in the food processor. At our house pie-making is usually a joint effort—I make the crust while Frank makes the filling—and it is usually something we decide to do after dinner. So, we don’t usually take the time to chill dough, etc. The worst thing about this pie crust is that you have to clean butter out of your food processor.

This is not the super light crust you can achieve with white flour, but by using ivory, or white, hard whole wheat (such as that sold by Bob’s Red Mill) you can regularly achieve a flaky and tasty crust while improving the nutrition profile of your favorite pie, quiche, or galette.

Years ago I saw Martha Stewart make a pie crust in a food processor on the Today Show. I scrawled her ingredient list in the top margin of the pie crust page of my favorite old cookbook. For several years, with a few tweaks, I used her method to whirl up some very nice crusts. Inevitably, though, I wanted my crusts to be a little healthier—not so much butter, no more white flour. I wanted a decent whole wheat pie crust.

As it happened, we embraced white, hard whole wheat flour as soon as we heard about it. Keep this refrigerated, BTW. Because whole wheat flour has protein, it gets rancid in the cupboard. Stubbornly, we have subbed it in for the white flour in our favorite baked goods—including Hiram’s High-Grade Whole Wheat Brownsters, Dad’s Favorite Raisin-Oatmeal Cookies, Best Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip Cookies, and Whole Wheat Wacky Cake, a.k.a. www.EgglessCake. Also whole wheat muffins, cornbread, waffles and pancakes, largely adapted from Joy.

Ingredients for Single (One) Whole Wheat Pie Crust

Print recipe

FREE printable PDF recipe click to open and print

1 cup Ivory white hard whole wheat flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 stick cubed, hard butter. If salted, back off the salt a little.
1/4 cup canola or other oil
Iced water, to drizzle, about 1/4 cup. Avoid adding cubes to the crust. Use more at high altitude.

Step 1. Place flour and salt in the food processor. Add hard butter cubes. Pulse until coarsely chopped, about 10 seconds. You should still see pieces of butter the size of chickpeas.

Step 2. Add oil and pulse minimally, 3 or 4 pulses. Your butter pieces should be bigger than peas.

Step 3. Without sending in any ice cubes, drizzle in a thin stream of iced water and pulse just until the dough really clumps.  You get used to this. Watch the video if you are unsure. (Also find video thumbnail and link below.) You should have a soft, moist dough with visible butter chunks. See image at the bottom of the page.

Step 4. I roll my dough with white flour on a clean, flat, woven dish towel, not terry cloth.

Step 5. Transfer into pie plate. Crimp edge, etc.

Click to watch companion video

Additional info:

Double all amounts to double recipe.
Brush with liquid as you might any other crust.
Bake according to your filling instructions.
Shield crust with foil, etc., if that is your preference.



Here is my rolled crust in the pie plate. A little of the white is flour, but most of what you see is butter.


Zazu’s Pro Sewing Hacks

Here are all the pro sewing hack videos I have on YouTube. Please check them out if you haven’t had a chance. They are also available on YouTube on my Pro Sewing Hacks Playlist. Click a thumbnail and that video will open in another window.

Go from Homemade to Handmade

#1-12 Pro Sewing Hacks

Uploaded just 15 days after I created my YouTube channel, this is the video that started it all. Here I present a baker’s dozen of the most useful tools I have incorporated into my work over the years. Whether it is a large stock of extra bobbins, specialty threads (that fuse with heat or wash-away), or a sharp seam ripper, these hacks will help take your work from looking homemade, to looking handmade.

#13 Chain Everything

#14 No Pins–Mitered Hems

#15 Improved Topstitching

#16 Free-Motion Hopping

#17 4-Pin Fusible Thread Quilt Binding

#18 Simple, Handy Rice Funnel

#19 Hide Your Serger Tails

#20 Clothespins in the Sewing Room

#21 Prop Your Foot

#22 Painter’s Tape for REA

#23 Hand Sewing Beyond Basics

#24 Easy Cut Stencils

#25 Why a Bead Spinner?

#26 Easy Lath Hanger

#27 Wall Art Sleeve

#28 Fiber Art Thumbnails