Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Glittery Fun

Play dough has got to be one of the most fun things ever. Seriously. My 3 stooges all have a blast playing with it, just as I did when I was a kid. Lately though, our stash of play dough had been drying out, so it was time to make more. I got this awesome recipe from a teacher when thing 1 and thing 2 were in preschool, and have been using it over and over during the past several years. This time though, I decided that instead of making just plain old play dough, we would add glitter to make it even more cool. The boys helped me make it and declared it "The Best Play Dough Ever"!

And for those interested in creating your own sparkly fun, here is the recipe:

Homemade Play Dough

Small Batch:
2 Cups Water
1 Tablespoon Vegetable Oil
1 Tablespoon Cream of Tartar
1 Cup Salt
2 Cups All-Purpose Flour

Large Batch:
4 Cups Water
2 Tablespoon Vegetable Oil
2 Tablespoon Cream of Tartar
2 Cup Salt
4 Cups All-Purpose Flour

Mix all ingredients together thoroughly in a large saucepan. If you want to add food coloring or glitter, now's the time. Cook on the stovetop on medium-low heat, stirring constantly until it forms a dough ball and is no longer "gooey". Remove from heat and allow dough to cool. Knead dough once it's cool enough to touch to ensure a smooth consistency. Once cooled completely, store in an airtight container- do not store while still warm or it will turn gooey in the container.

This play dough lasts far longer than any store bought dough we've had, as long as it's stored in an airtight container (ours is by OXO, but a ziploc bag works just fine too). Also please note, this recipe makes a lot of play dough. The container shown has a small batch in it. If you omit the glitter, then this is actually edible, so it's perfect for little ones that still put everything in their mouth. I hope you enjoy this play dough as much as we do!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Thank You Peary Much!

Have you ever wandered around your neighborhood and admired all the lovely trees in your neighbor's garden? No? Ok, I am that strange then.

Every weekday, my kids and I walk home from school and pass by a house that has a lovely pear tree in their front yard. When I pointed out the tree to my 3 stooges a few weeks ago, they immediately wanted to pick the pears, despite the fact that it was pouring rain outside. I had to quickly remind them that it's not our tree and we couldn't just pick the fruit without permission- that burst their bubble a bit, until Lia processed just what I had said. She perked up 2 seconds later and asked "Can I go ask permission???". As soon as I gave her the OK, she darn near bamboozled a poor guy trying to get out of his car and go in to his house! He thankfully had a good sense of humor and not only chuckled at the odd question "Can I pick your pears?" from an overexcited little girl, but granted us permission to take as much as we wanted. Apparently our neighbors just have the tree because it's pretty, and don't eat the pears! My kids LOVE canned pears, so guess what I did with the 10+ pounds of pears we picked?

I even had a little help canning this time from my niece and sister (thanks guys!). The kids had so much fun picking fruit from our neighbor's tree! I however, have caught myself now eyeing all our neighbor's trees hoping to score some more goodies. The house next to us has a crabapple tree...

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Garden Delights

Well, summer is quickly fading away. The kids have started school, the leaves are already changing colors, and our veggie garden is winding down. Our garden was very productive this past season, even with me forgetting to water it as often as I should and hurricane Irene trying to blow it away. Here's a small sampling of what we harvested this season:

We planted green beans, roma tomatoes, bell peppers (which are just now starting to produce), jalapeno peppers, cucumbers, pumpkins, and zucchini. The pumpkins haven't produced a darned thiing (some died off, so there's only one lonely plant and nothing for it to cross-pollinate with) so we'll be purchasing some at a local farm when we go apple picking. All in all, we got a very nice harvest. Plenty for us to eat, plenty to share, and plenty to preserve.

Ok, the yarn wasn't harvested from the garden. It's some baby alpaca yarn that I just recently finished spinning and couldn't help but share with all of you ;o) Its soooo soft and will be knit into a christmas gift for someone special.

I've also been busy canning some of the goodies from our garden. Here's 7 pints of yummy salsa that is made using tomatoes, bell peppers, and jalapeno peppers from our garden:

I also made a couple loaves of zucchini bread, but didn't get a picture before it was scarfed down. You salivating yet?