Saturday, April 23, 2011

Why Easter as a secular holiday is Not My Favorite

It's one of those holidays that involves Waking Up Way Too Early

There's too much candy in my house.

There's way too much candy being consumed by children who turn into the Chocolate-Faced Crazypants Pirates of Hard Face Punching.

It's ever so awesome to break up arguments over who:
a. found more eggs,
b. got more candy,
c. got the wrong color of egg
d. re-hid the wrong color of egg in the wrong spot
e. hid in a corner and stuffed their face full candy before the other one thought of it

Peeps are not a part of this balanced breakfast.

YOU try suiting up the Crazypants Pirates of Hard Face Punching team for church.

There's always the risk of not finding one of the real eggs. Then there's the penalty of actually finding the missing real egg, many months down the road (this actually happened when I was little - we found 1 extra egg one Easter and then we didn't dare to eat any of them).This is not a hazard you run with Christmas. If a fruitcake gets tucked away and you discover it at the 4th of July, no problem. Just put it away for next year.

No other holiday demands that I let the children dye their hands, clothes and the better part of my countertops.

And finally, for no apparent reason, everywhere I go, I keep finding plastic eggs filled with rocks.

Friday, April 22, 2011

A bit of my childhood

When I was little, my Grandma Bev had a record player that you could hear throughout the entire house. She had two records we could listen to - The Smurfs All Star Show and Urban Chipmunk (by The Chipmunks).

Grandma was so little that at 8 years old, I could easily wear her dresses and shoes. She had so many fancy cocktail dresses and lovely little heeled sandals and a box full of costume jewelry that we were allowed to wear. We would dress in the fanciest of outfits and whirl and twirl around to the sqeaky-vocals of country music. And, like most things that were fabulous when we were young, these songs are just as funny and catchy today. Violet and Dash have been dancing around to the music all morning.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Favorite banana bread

This recipe is a combination of my mother's recipe and my attempts to make the bread a little less deliciously calorie-laden. The sour cream and yogurt gives the bread a faint but nice tang. The bread is dense and moist without the oily feel you get from using all butter or vegetable oil.

Jeri's Banana Bread
  • 1 cup butter, melted
  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 6 eggs
  • 3 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cup light sour cream
  • 1/2 cup plain low fat yogurt
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts
  • 5-6 very ripe bananas, smooshed up (great job for kids)
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Shortening and flour** four 9x5 inch loaf pans.
  2. In a large bowl, stir together the melted butter and sugars. Add the eggs one at a time and vanilla, sour cream and yogurt - mix well. Combine the flour, baking soda and salt, stir into the butter mixture until smooth. Finally, fold in the walnuts and bananas. Divide evenly into the prepared pans.
  3. Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean. Cool loaf in the pan for 10 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool. When still slightly warm, wrap in plastic wrap. Freezes really well.
** Get a dab of shortening on a paper towel and smear into every corner of the loaf pan. There should be a thin film of shortening on the entire inside of the pan. Put a palmful of flour in the pan and shake shake shake it all around, tapping the excess out. More labor-intensive than non-stick spray but it will release your cakes and breads a million times easier.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Oh my!

Three months already?

At three months, baby:
- weighs 15 pounds
- has graduated to bigger size of clothes, rendering another entire wardrobe useless
- eats and eats and eats
- can hold his head up all he wants
- still is not in love with Tummy Time
- likes to be tickled
- will laugh at stupid noises that no self-respecting adult should make... but we will do absolutely anything to get any smile or giggle out of him. Something is funny only three times though and then the would-be comedian needs to gather new material.
- loves to bite and suck and slobber and chew his wee dimpled fingers

Oh... the fingers. They're in his mouth every waking moment. In fact, he's almost given up the binky in favor of those succulent little digits. After a while, sucking on the fingers makes him think that a snack would sure go down nicely. Then he's hungry again. Even in his sleep, if you see his hands inching towards his mouth, you know he's only minutes away from waking himself up.

And food will be the first thing on his mind.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Project, part II

So my quilt is done. Yay! It looks pretty much the same as the last pictures I took except I totally did not screw up the binding and it actually looks like a fer realz quilt. And, like most labor-intensive creations, I'll now hand it over to one of the children so they can slobber and ooze various fluids all over it. What was I thinking?

On a more inspired note, look what I did with some of the leftover scraps! I love fabric flowers, I could sit and make them all day.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Random pictures

Being the parents of three entire children still kind of freaks me out. We are starting to have a fairly substantial herd.

Pictures that Jackie took of my sweet little guy.

Friday, April 1, 2011

April Fools

This was my trick for the kids. Candy bacon and eggs. The eggs are white chocolate and a Lemonhead. The bacon is caramel and Tootsie Roll. And salt water 'juice' on the side.