Squash galore, zebra prints and a bird mobile tutorial
I had a story in the newspaper's food section yesterday, which can only mean one thing:
Phone calls from readers with cooking questions.
I'm sure it would drive me crazy if I had to field those calls all the time, but I actually think it's pretty cute when it happens. They see my name and number at the end of the story and figure I know something about food, even if their question is not at all related to the story topic.
Such was the case today when Walter called wanting to know whether he could shred zucchini and freeze it, so that he could later make zucchini fruit cake (which he swears is better than normal fruit cake. I didn't have the heart to tell him that wouldn't be a difficult feat).
His call reminded me that I hadn't really spent time in the garden in a few days, so tonight the girls and I walked over there with my straw harvesting basket. Word of advice for other novice gardeners like me: don't ignore your garden, even for a few days, in late August. Holy squash explosion. Several patty pans had grown larger than they should. A couple of zucchinis were on the brink of being too big. And low and behold, there was a cucumber. I let Bo pick a few carrots, even though they're still pretty small. She's been dying to since reading (and then reading again and again) the book "The Carrot Seed" by Ruth Kraus.
Here was tonight's bounty--two zucchini, some tomatoes, a bit of basil, several patty pan squashes and some pretty pitiful looking carrots:
Just the red ones, sweetie:
"Daddy home!!"--the two sweetest words ever.
Attack of the giant patty pan squash:
We've been in a really great groove lately here. I've been writing less, which means I can plan my days with the girls better. Behavior (Bo's and mine!) seems to improve when I'm better organized. We're not tackling anything fancy, just keeping life simple.
This was today: breakfast, boob tube, play, clean house, lunch, naps, arts and crafts galore, long walk to the playground, dinner, garden, bedtime. Perfect.
One of the artsy fartsy things we did today was Kid Craft Weekly's zebra paintings. Bo preferred water coloring them than making stripes, though (it's the dipping-the-brush-in-the-water thing).
One thing I made while Bo was painting was this bird mobile. I'd intended for her to help me, but she was more interested in painting.
Some people find inspiration for craft projects in nature. I found mine on TV today. Sad, I know. But have you ever watched the little music video with that moose on Noggin? It plays before a show starts and there are some really cute cut-out like animals in it with button eyes.
So I dug out some scrapbook paper I'd been given eons ago (for the baby books I never created), made templates for mama and baby birds, and created this.
I made each bird with opposing paper patterns on each side, so you have to think about that as you're tracing your template and cutting them out. I'd include a template here, but my scanner is still on the fritz. Sorry. Just draw a bird.
Once all the pieces are cut, lay one half of a bird flat, wrong side facing up. Dribble some glue around the edges. Glue down whatever type of string you're using to attach it to the mobile (I used brown bias tape cut down the middle to make it thinner), then sandwich it with another bird figure on top.
Once the glue dries, trim around the edges since your two opposing bird pieces likely aren't a perfect match. Glue down button eyes on each side. Then attach your string (or bias tape) to a stick.
These birds don't have to be used for a mobile. You could just hang them in a window or from the top of a bookcase. Whatever.
Bring on those squash recipes. Seriously. There are only so many frittatas one family can eat.