Join us for Taproot's WEAVE Makealong!

Is Taproot's latest issue WEAVE in your hands yet? Has it got you itching to make something? Let's get to it! We hope you'll join us for our first ever Taproot Makealong! It's easy, all you need to do to join is make something from the Hands section of WEAVE, and share it with us for a chance at the crafty grand prize (pictured above).

~ Make anything from the Hands section of WEAVE, Issue 21 of Taproot. Knit, bake, crochet, weave, whatever your passion is, go for it! 

~ Post your progress and finished creations on Instagram or on Facebook with the hashtag #taprootmakealong

And that's it! We'll draw a winner from the posted photos by May 1st, and send the grand prize off to the lucky winner! The grand prize, which includes: A one-year Subscription to Taproot Magazine, A Taproot Tote Bag, Taproot Ceramic Mug, 5 skeins of Quince & Co's Tern (for making the Rosemond Scarf in WEAVE), 1 skein of Stone Wool (for making the Quill Hat in WEAVE), plus four books by some of our WEAVE contributors! This bundle is sure to keep your hands busy...until the next issue of Taproot finds its way to you! 

We hope you'll join us! 

PS. We wish it weren't true, but mistakes DO happen! Be sure to visit our WEAVE issue page to see if there are any errata from the patterns or recipes in this issue. 



March 09, 2017 by Amanda Soule

Taproot Contributors :: Floret Farm’s Cut Flower Garden

Editor's Note:

Erin Benzakein has been a frequent contributor and constant friend to Taproot since our beginning, sharing her ideas, inspiration and tips for growing beautiful flowers whether for your kitchen table or for market. She has just released her first book Floret Farm’s Cut Flower Garden: Grow, Harvest, and Arrange Stunning Seasonal Blooms. We are thrilled to carry her new title, as well as to have her in the pages of WEAVE, sharing her tips on growing Cosmos. 

Here today, she shares with us an excerpt of her new book (courtesy of Chronicle Books), timed perfectly for the upcoming spring season of May Day baskets and Maypole dances! Enjoy! 

~ Amanda Blake Soule


Spring Flower Crown

(Excerpted from Floret Farm's Cut Flower Garden: Grow, Harvest, and Arrange Stunning Seasonal Blooms by Erin Benzakein. Chronicle Books, March 2017.)

There’s nothing quite like a crown of fresh blooms to put you in a celebratory mood. These floral accessories are no longer seen only at weddings—a flower crown can be worn to just about any special occasion.

All you need to create one of these pretty halos is a few handfuls of flowers and greens and some basic floral supplies. Once you learn how easy they are to make, you’ll likely be making crowns for you and all your friends.

You will need:
2 feet (60 cm) of paper-covered wire
Ten 6-inch (15-cm) pieces of floral or paddle wire
A roll of floral tape
6 to 8 feet (1.8 to 2.4 m) of decorative ribbon
2 stems of viburnum, with 8 to 10 blossoms removed
12 stems of muscari
9 or 10 stems of ranunculus
1 stem of Canterbury bells (Campanula medium), 8 blossoms removed
8 to 10 small stems of larkspur


1. Determine the crown’s diameter by wrapping the paper-covered wire around your head where you want it to sit. Leave a few extra inches/centimeters on either end for fastening together later. Make a loop on one end and leave the other straight. (After fitting the crown to your head, straighten it out before adding materials.)

2. For large, heavy blooms like ranunculus that need extra support, wire the stems individually for added stability before securing them to the bundles. Make a hairpin with floral wire and slip it gently down through the center of the flower head. Then tape the wire and stem together.

    3. Put together mini bouquets of roughly 4 to 6 stems each, using a mixture of the listed greens and blooms. I generally use 8 to 10 mini bouquets for an average-sized crown. For a delicate crown, make the bundles petite; for a fuller finished piece, make the bundles bigger. Cut the stem ends so that 2 to 3 inches (5 to 8 cm) of stem are remaining.

    4. Wrap each mini bouquet’s stems together with floral tape, starting at the base and going around each mini bouquet until the stems are fully covered. Floral tape gets sticky when gently stretched, so be sure to pull on it slightly as you work, and it will adhere to itself.

    5. To build the crown, take one of the mini bouquets and lay it along the paper-covered wire. Wrap floral tape around the mini bouquet and the wire a few times until it’s thoroughly attached.

    6. Add the remaining mini bouquets, facing them in the same direction as the first and placing them so that each hides the previous mini bouquet’s stem ends, until the paper-covered wire base is covered.

    7. After all of the flowers are attached, tie a few pieces of ribbon on either side of the clasp in the back.

    8. Place the crown on your head and secure the two ends together by looping the straight end of the wire through the loop on the other side and twisting to secure it.

    9. If you won’t be wearing the crown right away, store it in the produce area of your refrigerator for up to 2 days to keep it fresh. 

      March 07, 2017 by Amanda Soule

      WEAVE Sneak Peek

      A look at what's to come in Issue 21::WEAVE!

      February 27, 2017 by Caitlin Bell
      Tags: In The Pages

      From the Archives :: Rose Petal Rice Pudding

      From Issue 17::MYTH. Recipe by Holly Bellebuono.

      Rose Petal Rice Pudding 

      1 tablespoon packed fresh rose petals, or 1 teaspoon dried
      ½ cup hot water
      1 cup cold water
      1 cup uncooked Arborio rice
      Pinch of salt
      1 teaspoon butter
      2 tablespoons dried rose petals (in tea strainers)
      2 cups milk
      Two 2-inch cinnamon sticks
      ¼ cup sugar
      1 teaspoon vanilla extract

      First, make rose petal tea: Place the fresh rose petals in a small bowl and cover with the hot water. Set aside.

      In a medium heavy-bottomed saucepan, combine the cold water, rice, salt, and butter and place over high heat. Bring to a light boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer, stirring frequently, until the rice is mostly cooked, 15 to 20 minutes. Add more water if necessary. Set aside.

      In another medium heavy-bottomed saucepan, combine the milk, rose petals in strainers, cinnamon, and sugar and place over high heat. Bring to a low simmer, then reduce the heat to low and simmer, stirring frequently, until fragrant and the sugar is dissolved, 5 to 10 minutes. Add the rice mixture into the milk mixture and increase the heat to medium. Strain the reserved rose petal tea into the pot. Cook, stirring frequently, until the desired consistency is reached, 5 to 10 minutes. Stir in the vanilla extract and remove the cinnamon sticks. The finished pudding can be served hot or chilled. (Makes six to eight 1/2-cup servings.)
      February 09, 2017 by Amanda Soule

      From the Archives :: Simple Upcycled Mittens

      From Issue 16::SHELTER. Pattern by Amanda Riley.

      Making Simple Upcycled Mittens from Out-of-Use Sweaters

      Note: Use the bottom hemline or the cuffs of the sweater as the bottom edge of your mittens. This way the edges will be finished already, with no extra sewing required. Even better, if the hemline or cuffs are ribbed, the edge of your finished piece will have a nice stretch that allows for a good, close fit without being restrictive.

      1. Lay the sweater, inside out, flat on a work surface.
      2. Have the recipient place a hand on the sweater near the cuff or bottom hem, and use chalk to trace around the outside edge of their hand. (Alternatively, you can use a reusable template: trace their hand on paper or paper board first, then cut out the template and use it to create an outline on the sweater in chalk.) Be sure to leave enough length between the existing hem and the tip of the recipients fingers so that the mittens will cover their wrists well.
      3. Draw a ¼- to ¾-inch seam allowance all around, depending on the thickness of the sweater material: for a cotton knit, a ¼-inch allowance should suffice, but for a thick wool, such as the red sweater in the photos, I’ve found at least ¾ inch is necessary.
      4. Cut through both layers of the sweater along the chalk lines, making sure to include the seam allowance. Align the edges and pin together.
      5. Sew the two pieces together, either by hand or with a sewing machine, taking care not to stitch the bottom edge closed.
      6. Once the sewing is completed, turn the mittens right side out and carefully push out the thumbs. Present to the lucky recipient.
      January 14, 2017 by Amanda Soule

      From the Archives :: Old-Fashioned Fruitcake Recipe

      From Issue 12::BREAD. Recipe by Kirsten K. Shockey.

      Old-Fashioned Fruitcake
      Makes 6 (5” X 3”) or 2 (9 ½” X 4 ¾”) loaves

      The above recipe card is available as a free download to print at home. Includes both 3" by 5" & 4" by 6" formats. 

      3 pounds of dried (not candied) fruit, a combination of your favorites
      ½ pound nuts (walnuts, pecans, hazelnuts, or almonds)
      ½ cup dark rum, or peach brandy
      ½ pound butter, room temperature
      ½ pound unrefined sugar
      6 eggs
      2 cups unbleached flour
      ½ teaspoon salt
      1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
      1 teaspoon ground cloves
      1 teaspoon ground mace
      ½ teaspoon ground allspice
      ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
      oil for greasing pans, parchment paper
      ½ cup milk
      ½–1 cup dark rum, or peach brandy to brush on finished loaves

      1. Chop the larger fruit to the size of raisins. Put the fruit, nuts and ½ cup rum in a large bowl. Stir, cover and allow to rest overnight.
      2. The next day preheat oven to 250° F. Cream together the butter and sugar. Stir in the egg yolks (be sure to save the whites). To this add the flour and all of the spices and mix these ingredients to create the dough. Stir in the soaked fruit and nuts. Whip the egg whites until stiff and fold into the firm dough.
      3. Oil pans and line with parchment paper.
      4. Divide the dough evenly into the pans. Brush the tops with milk. The large loaf pans - will take about 3 ½ hours to bake. The small er loaves will take about 2 ½ to 3 hours. Use a toothpick or fork to test the center, when it comes out clean they are ready.
      5. Cool on a wire rack for at least 15 minutes before you peel off the parchment paper. Once the loaves are thoroughly cooled, brush each side with rum, or peach brandy. For long storage, soak a clean piece of cheesecloth in rum or brandy and wrap this around your fruitcake. Store in a cool dark place.
      December 20, 2016 by Amanda Soule

      From the Archives :: Rich Winter Herbal Hot Cocoa

      From Issue 4::WOOD. Recipe by Holly Bellebuono.

      Rich Winter Herbal Hot Cocoa
      The combination of bitter dandelion root and silky chocolate is enlivening and restorative. This recipe calls for 2 to 3 tablespoons of sugar, which is just enough to take the edge off the natural bitter flavor; try using beet sugar, sucanat, or even molasses. Since you’re using powders here, there is no steeping time required.

      2 tablespoons cocoa powder
      1 tablespoon powdered dandelion root or powdered chicory root
      ½ teaspoon powdered cinnamon
      2 to 3 tablespoons sugar
      4 cups boiling water
      ½ cup heavy cream

      Put the cocoa powder, dandelion root, cinnamon, and sugar in a kettle. Pour the boiling water over them and stir well. When blended, add the heavy cream and divide into 2 to 4 mugs.
      December 13, 2016 by Amanda Soule

      SHARE Sneak Peek

      Coming soon~ Issue 20::SHARE!

      November 26, 2016 by Caitlin Bell
      Tags: In The Pages

      From the Archives :: Salted Caramel Apple Pie

      From Issue 15::FOLK. Recipe by Demetria Provatas.

      Salted Caramel Apple Pie


      pie crust
         1 recipe of your favorite (2-crust) butter pie crust
      salted caramel
         1 cup white sugar
         1/4 cup water
         1 stick (1/2 cup) fresh unsalted butter
         1/2 cup fresh heavy cream
         1 1/2 teaspoon sea salt (recommended: Maldon sea salt flakes)
      apple pie filling
         4 to 6 lemons
         5 to 6 medium to large apples (Baker's Note: A mixture of Crispin, Granny         Smith and Cortland is nice)
      apple spice mix
         1/3 cup raw sugar (castor, unrefined, large granule sugar)
         2 tablespoons flour
         1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
         1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
         1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
         2 to 3 dashes Angostura bitters
      for the assembly
         1 egg beaten
         raw sugar, for sprinkling on top
         1 teaspoon sea salt (flake)
      special equipment: mandolin for slicing and a pastry brush


      To make the pie crust:
      1. Prepare one 2-crust batch of your favorite all-butter pie crust. Roll the bottom crust to fit a 9-inch pan, and cut the top crust as a lattice, approximately 1-inch in width or as desired. Chill the rolled crust while you prepare the salted caramel and apple filling.

      To make the salted caramel:
      1. Cook the sugar and water together over low heat until just dissolved. Add the butter and bring to a slow boil.
      2. Continue cooking at a low boil until the mixture turns a deep, golden brown color, almost copper. Cook's Note: This process can take a while depending on the heat source. Keep an eye on it, if the caramel begins to smoke, you've burned it and you'll have to start over.
      3. Once the mixture has turned a copper color, remove it from the heat and immediately add the heavy cream - the mixture will bubble rapidly and steam. Be cautious as the sugar will be very hot.
      4. Whisk the final mixture together well over low heat and sprinkle in the sea salt. Set the caramel aside while you prepare the apple filling.

      To make the apple filling:
      1. Juice the lemons into a large mixing bowl. Core, peel, and thinly slice the whole apples. Cook's Note: A mandolin works great for producing very thin slices.
      2. Dredge all the apple slices in the freshly squeezed lemon juice to prevent browning and to add flavor. Set the prepared apples aside.

      To make the apple spice mix:
      1. In a large measuring cup or small mixing bowl, combine the sugar, flour, cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, and Angostura bitters. Sprinkle this mixture over the apples in the mixing bowl. Use your hands to gently mix and coat the apple slices.

      To assemble the pie:
      1. Preheat the oven to 375 to 400 degrees Fahrenheit (depending on the hotness of your oven).
      2. Gather your rolled pie crust, salted caramel, and apple mixture. Begin by layering 1/3 of the apples in the bottom of the crust so that there are minimal gaps. Pour 1/3 of the caramel over the apples.
      3. Add 1/3 of the apples and caramel for a second layer, and then add a third layer of apples and then the caramel again. Cook's Note: Save a small portion of the caramel to pour on top once the lattice is assembled.
      4. Assemble the lattice crust and flute the edges of the crust. Pour the last bit of caramel on top. Brush the crust with the beaten egg and lightly sprinkle with raw sugar and sea salt.
      5. Bake the pie on a baking sheet larger than the pie pan for 20 minutes (otherwise the caramel will bubble over and burn on the bottom of your oven). Reduce the oven temperature to 325 to 350 degrees and bake for 25 to 35 minutes. You can test the apples for doneness with a long toothpick or small knife. The apples should be just soft.
      6. Let the pie cool, then slice and enjoy.

      November 21, 2016 by Amanda Soule

      From the Archives :: Sausage, Kale & Potato Casserole

      From Issue 16::SHELTER. Recipe by Ashley English, photo by Rikki Snyder.

      Sausage, Kale & Potato Casserole
      Warm and hearty, this is the sort of comfort food you want to turn to when the mercury dips. It can be made gluten-free by simply replacing the all purpose flour with a gluten-free option mix. Serves 6 to 8.

      2 tablespoons olive oil

      2 pounds sausage links (such as bratwurst) 
      1 onion, diced
      2 large bunches of kale, stemmed and chopped
      1 cup chicken stock
      2 tablespoons butter
      2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
      1 cup half-and-half or milk, at room temperature
      1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
      8 ounces grated cheddar cheese
      3 ounces freshly grated Parmesan cheese
      2 pounds white potatoes, cut into ¼ inch-thick slices
      2 pounds sweet potatoes, cut into ¼ inch-thick slices
      Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper 

      1. Preheat the oven to 400º F. Liberally butter a 9 × 13-inch casserole dish and set aside.

      2. Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the sausage links and cook, turning occasionally, until browned on the outside and cooked through, about 15 minutes. Remove to a plate and set aside.

      3. Return the pan to the heat and add the diced onion. Add more olive oil if necessary. Sauté the onions for five 5 minutes, then add the kale. Cook for 5 more minutes.

      4. Add the chicken stock and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer, stirring occasionally, until all of the liquid has evaporated, about 15 minutes. Remove from the heat. Meanwhile, melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a separate large saucepan. Add the flour and cook, whisking continuously, until beige and bubbly, about 1 minute. Whisk in the half-and-half and cook, stirring continuously, until fully incorporated and hot, about 1 minute.

      5. Add the Worcestershire sauce, about two-thirds of the cheddar, and half of the Parmesan and stir until smooth. Remove from the heat.

      6. Lay half of the white potatoes in an even layer on the bottom of the prepared casserole dish and sprinkle with a pinch of salt and black pepper. Layer half of the sweet potatoes over that, and sprinkle with another pinch of salt and black pepper. Spoon half of the cheese sauce evenly over the layered potatoes. Cut the cooked sausage into ¼-inch slices, and layer half of them the slices over the cheese sauce. Layer half of the kale-onion mixture over the sausage.

      7. Repeat this process for the remaining white potatoes, sweet potatoes, cheese sauce, sausage slices, and onion-kale mixture. Top with the remaining grated cheddar and Parmesan.

      8. Bake for about 1 hour and 10 minutes, until cooked through and browned on top. Allow the casserole to sit for at least 20 minutes before serving.

      November 18, 2016 by Amanda Soule