Thursday, April 2, 2015

Out With the Blackrock Boys

Sixty-five degrees and sunny? Blanket for the baby, and let's get the hell outside.

The face of a happy baby who is experiencing his first taste of not-frigid weather. How novel.

Charlie was napping, or else I have no doubt he'd have been crammed onto that blanket too.

Mia was actually panting in the obviously excessive heat.

And then Cubby started feeding rubber worms* into the grinding machine (some kind of Play-Doh toy), complete with shrieks from the rubber worms of, "NOOO! DON'T GRIND ME!" Charming.

Cubby was kind enough to share some of the rubber worms with Jack, who was obviously fascinated.

And then Charlie woke up from his nap and grabbed his shades to join us outside. Just try to tell this kid he's not the coolest around. (Yes, they are heart-shaped and jewel-studded. We found them at a park and Charlie LOVES them.)

It gets all kinds of crazy around here when spring comes.

* A. got an enormous box of rubber worms for fishing when he got all that stuff from my brother-in-law's mom. There were probably at least a hundred of them. Now there are rubber worms all over the property, because the children are obsessed with them. The rubber worms go hunting, swimming, and swinging in the hammock. They've been chopped up with Cubby's knife, ground in the grinding machine, buried with the real worms, and God knows what else. Hours of amusement have been had with them, though no actual fishing.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

A Cautionary Tale, and a Success

I love parchment paper. I use it pretty much any time I put something in the oven*. It saves so much pan scrubbing. Last night, however, I had a little lesson about parchment paper.

It's flammable.

I know! Paper! Flammable! Who would have thought!

See, what happened was, I put some pork chops on a parchment-lined baking pan and stuck them under the broiler. But one corner of the paper was sticking up, so when I went to pull the pan out of the oven, I just brushed the super-hot heating element with that edge and HELLO FLAME.

It was a very small flame that I just blew out, but it reminded me to be a lot more careful with the position of that parchment near the heating element. I could just see the whole thing burning up in the oven without my even noticing.

And now for something I did that did not result in inadvertent flame.

I bought this puffed corn cereal that was all healthy and organic and blahblahblah. No sugar! No salt!

No taste. Literally nothing but puffy corn.

So then I thought, "Well, I'll just add some stuff to it." Stuff like maple syrup. And melted butter. And salt. And peanuts.

After baking, this makes something akin to Cracker Jack. Yup.

So I pretty much failed on the healthy cereal thing, but I win at an extremely addictive dessert. I'll take it.

* This may be a totally obvious thing to everyone who has ever used parchment paper, but the best way to get it to lie flat on the pan is to spread a drop of water on the pan first, then lay the parchment over that and press down. Kristin's Kitchen Tip of the Day. Or, uh, decade.

Monday, March 30, 2015

A Quick Poll

In an effort to be slightly less lame about Easter than I was last year--high standards for me, yup--I purchased an egg-dying kit at the grocery store yesterday.

I know! Look at me! Next thing you know I'm going to be crafting my own fake grass for Easter baskets and sewing themed tablecloths!

Or not. Anyway.

I informed Cubby quite proudly that I had all the things to dye Easter eggs and he said, "I thought the Easter Bunny does that." (I am assuming this is something he heard at preschool.)

Say what?

My own experience as a kid was that we always dyed the eggs and the Easter Bunny hid the Easter baskets. The MiL said that when her kids were small, she dyed the Easter eggs at night and then hid them, so sort of like the mystery of Christmas stockings, maybe? We have a conflict of tradition here.

Cubby decided that we can dye the eggs, but of course the Easter Bunny will hide them. Which is all well and good, except that it's supposed to be 28 degrees and snowing the night before Easter, so I can't hide them at night unless we want frozen, snow-covered eggs. And Cubby specifically asked for an outside egg hunt. This means I'm going to be hiding eggs outside at 5:30 in the morning in the dark, probably wearing my wool coat and gloves. How spring-like.

Anyway again.

My poll question is this: Did you (or your kids) dye Easter eggs yourself as a kid or was that supposed to be the Easter Bunny's job?