Today the kids and I did a little craft inspired by this NY Times article on Jeffrey Bale, the great garden mosaicist whom I never heard of before reading this article. I always thought that mosaics were neat-o, having an attraction to broken bits and shards of glass and tile. I also have some vague memory of my grandfather talking to me about mosaics when I was really young. If I wasn’t adopted, I might even say that I have a genetic predilection for mosaics. But I am adopted, so, rather than trying to over-determine the origin of my mosaic attraction, let’s just be satisfied with me thinking they’re neat-o.
Jeffy uses pebbles (they look more like big rocks to me) to create his garden gestalts in the backyards of the rich and USA Networked. One man’s stone soup is another man’s garden water, so I decided to go ahead and use my organic bean collection for a little craft time with los ninos. I knew the husband would be happy since he is not such a big fan of beans.
And look what my kids came up with! I was the “artist” (as my son so generously called me) who drew out the original design. The kids did the majority of bean work. Actually, my daughter sat around mostly eating pepitas (I didn’t have green split peas) while my son executed my artistic genius. It was very good work for his little pincer grasp development, fine motor skills blah blah blah.
If your kid has the attention span, I highly recommend doing a bean mosaic. We used Elmer’s Glue and the cardboard from the bottom of a case of Perrier. Five percent of your daily calcium in every serving!
Just because we don’t celebrate Christmas doesn’t mean we can’t bake. It just means that I am not obligated to buy my kids any presents. As my mother used to say to make us feel better when we were kids, “The goyim only get gifts on Christmas. Jewish kids get gifts all through the year.” Too bad my kids don’t identify as Jewish. Oh how they don’t know how screwed they really are!
As per my son’s request, I made cinnamon buns. I baked them on their side instead of spiral up for a little experiment. An experiment which went quite well, although I have no idea what I was trying to prove or to whom I was trying to prove it.
The usual stuff: butter, evap cane (I wish I had sucanat), cinnamon and for a seasonal touch–satsuma orange zest. My son loved it and wolfed down two. Little Red Ridinghood, on the other hand, declared that she hates cinnamon buns. I hope when she is 35 she can say that with such conviction.
I also made my favorite shortbread recipe from The Heaven’s Gate cookbook. White spelt, satsuma zest and juice, walnuts, butter, salt, food processor, bake and slice. Simple yum.
Would you look at this! It seems starting a collection right before the holidays is the perfect way to get exactly what you want. My sister and her family sent me this oh so cutesy wootsy teapot. Number three in the house!
Just for the record, next year I will start collecting high end kitchen appliances…just if anyone wants to get me started. I would wink here, but I think WordPress would convert it to an ugly yellow emoticon. I would frown here, but…well…you know.
Holy freaking Italian people. This pizza was so awesome. The crust. Light. So light that even though I rolled it thin it ended up being thick. But not bready thick. No. That would be focaccia. This was thick like an air mattress. Yes, a tasty, subtle air mattress with cheese on top. Too much cheese, apparently, because Mr. Cinnabon refused to eat anything but the crust. Says he hates cheese. Score one for the vegans. Would post an emoticon with the tongue sticking out letter ‘p’ thing but WordPress would just make it all Forrest Gump t-shirt no thanks.
And I made all these sweets and savories despite these backward and primitive conditions: