Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Burgers, Frisbees and Elections Cakes, Oh My!

It's warming up!  At least for the next few days around here we're expecting temperatures in the 40's.  It's honestly like a tropical heat wave.  In fact, even with the unreliability of the bus (it's been better in the last week or so) we even braved walking Noah to the bus this morning and picking him up this afternoon.  A girl could get used to this.  Well, I could at least get used to no more snow.  The four inches that needed to be shoveled yesterday honestly about did me in.  (Hence why Noah wrote the blog last night- I was having a very weird day in general and his interpretation of the day was probably much clearer than mine would have been.)

Anyway, once we got Noah off to school the Bean and I were off on a secret mission.  More on that tomorrow, but let's just say we found a sweet way to promote the Connecticut economy today :) While out we finally did find curtains for the bathroom (which is still in progress, believe it or not) and a really neat cowboy hat for Noah's 100 Days of School rodeo tomorrow.  Can you believe he's been a kindergartner for 100 days now?

I also put the finishing touches on tonight's Connecticut inspired dessert - Election Cake.  I actually made the cake yesterday as it said it was better if it rested for awhile, but then added the glaze today.  I had never heard of election cake before I started my Connecticut research, but apparently it is directly linked to pre-Revolutionary Hartford.  My foodie self did some research, and if you're interested you can learn about the history of the election cake here.  Or I can just tell you that it's actually more of a sweetened yeast bread than a cake that is chock full of dried fruit (I used raisins, dates and apricots) that have been soaked in whiskey.  This was a fun recipe to put together and everyone here liked it.

When everyone finally made it home today we held our Olympic Event - ice cube melting!  Yes, it really was that simple.  And hilarious.  Everyone had a go and I'm not sure who ended up laughing the most at the results.  You'll have to see the pictures for yourself to understand and to see our medalists.

Kristi's side note:  Also, if you're interested, here's everyone's current medal count:
Mikayla:  1 G, 2 S, 6 B
Noah: 5 G, 3 S, 2 B
Kristi: 3 G, 3 S, 2 B
Grant: 3 G, 4 S, 2 B

So last week we learned that the cheeseburger originated in Denver.  Well, before there could be a cheeseburger there had to be a hamburger!  Which, believe it or not, originated in Connecticut!  Opening as a food truck in 1895, what became Louis' Lunch claims to be the first restaurant to serve hamburgers, as well as the oldest hamburger restaurant still operating in the United States.  I did a little culinary research and found a recipe that was true to the way Louis' serves them (no ketchup or mustard allowed!) and we gave it a go for dinner tonight.

As if all that wasn't enough, after dinner tonight we continued the celebration of Connecticut by making our own frisbees. According the tradition, the first 'frisbee' was created in Bridgeport Connecticut out of pie tins created by the Frisbie Baking Company.  Legend has it that the pies were sold to college kids around the state who then used the empty tins as disks to toss around on campus.  Yale College has even argued that in 1820, a Yale undergraduate named Elihu Frisbie grabbed a passing collection tray from the chapel and flung it out into the campus, thereby becoming the true inventor of the Frisbie and winning glory for Yale.  No matter where the frisbee actually came from, my kiddos set out to make their own this evening out of some styrofoam plates :)  (Hey, we do what we can!).  They had fun decorating them and trying them out this evening for sure!

Have we covered enough Connecticut things today?  (I know yesterday was kind of lacking)  Tomorrow check us out for some New Haven style pizza (hint, the Bean is stoked about the toppings) and for the pay-off from the secret mission I mentioned earlier.  Both kiddos are off at school and I get to catch up with the fine ladies from MOPS tomorrow, so it should be a fabulous day!  Until then...

Connecticut Fun Fact of the Day: (in case I haven't given you enough already)  The Scoville Memorial Library is the United States oldest public library. The library collection began in 1771, when Richard Smith, owner of a local blast furnace, used community contributions to buy 200 books in London. Patrons could borrow and return books on the third Monday of every third month. Fees were collected for damages, the most common being "greasing" by wax dripped from the candles by which the patrons read.

Showing off her candy necklace (I just thought she was too cute not to take a picture of)

Noah read to me when he got home this afternoon - I am one stinkin' proud Mama!

Ready for his ice cube

Noah tries to get crafty by using the baseboard heating to help melt his cube (totally his own idea, by the way)

Then he tried using his shirt

And his breath

Kayla then of course has to copy everything her brother has already tried

And her tummy as well

I went straight for friction

Grant did legitimately finish first.  I probably would have beaten the Bean, but decided the fact that she melted the ice cube on her own before Noah who started 3 minutes ahead of her earned a silver.  And I gave Noah the bronze first his creativeness of using a source other than his body

Building burgers

Don't know that they're just like Louis' but my crew liked them

The election cake pre-glaze

Grant said the glaze made the cake (wish there had been a bit more of it...)

It really was way more like a bread than  cake - a really sweet bread

The pro of our projects for each of the states - they get to work on other skills too, like scissor wielding

Kayla did pretty well with a bit of supervision

Then they were off and decorating

Classic Bean

Noah's side A - there are cars racing around and through the puddle (that word is splash, which he spelled and wrote out all by himself)

Noah side B - this is a depiction of him helping Grant by holding his tools on a project last summer (I think I may have a bit of a creative mind on my hands here.  I was super impressed)

He was super proud of his frisbee

The Bean side A - let's see how many Princess Sophia stickers we can get on one side

The Bean side B - When I asked her about the coloring on this side, she pointed and told me "This is God"  Grant kind of snickered and I asked him if he was going to dispute her as it very well could be ;-)

Ya gotta love her

Frisbee practice

Daddy giving a demo

Look at that form!

I'm thinking my crew had a very good night

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