Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Makin' Whoopie (Pies!)

The plans for my morning were scrubbed (hope A is feeling better, Carrie!) so the Bean and I decided to take advantage of a few extra hours and got some things done actually ahead of when we needed them by :-p  Her last day of school is next Thursday and I have been toying with some ideas for something she and I could make together for the most fabulous pre-school teacher in existence (in my humble opinion), Mrs. Porto.  You'll have to see what we came up with!  We even got it wrapped and decorated.  And she had picked out a birthday present for Noah a few days ago that we also got wrapped, decorated and even sealed with a kiss.

When he got home from school we had a little extra time so Noah got to make his lobster.  OK, it's confirmed this is one of my favorite creations.  I love Maine!

You may remember a couple months back when we did Colorado that we got some fabulous mail from my friend, Angie and her family.  The relocation of the Frey family a few different times due to Greg's job with the Air Force has helped them make lots of friends in lots of different places.  So when I put out the call for someone to help us with mail from Maine, Angie responded by asking her friend, Annie, if she would help us out.  Annie so kindly said yes and put one stellar Maine package for us that we finally got to open tonight!

Annie had clued me in on one item that was of particular interest to me so I will admit that I opened it up earlier this week without the kiddos.  Ever since then I've been chomping at the bit to share it with them!  Annie and her wonderful family sent us authentic Maine blueberry jam, salt water taffy, maple candy, cool key chains and some absolutely beautiful key chains.  The kids were delighted and we of course had to open things up and start taste testing right away.  I can't thank Annie enough for helping us out.  Yet again, the kindness of perfect strangers helping us with this project blows me away.

Especially when I share with you what I removed from the box.  When putting items together, Annie did her research and learned, as I hinted yesterday, that whoopie pies are the official state treat of Maine.  And they take their whoopie pies very seriously in Maine - the world's largest whoopie pie was created in South Portland, Maine on March 26, 2011, weighing in at 1,062 pounds!  Well, Annie was kind enough to track down her grandmother's AUTHENTIC whoopie pie recipe and send it to me!  The copy she found is dated 1971, and she copied it verbatim and tucked it into our box.  Well of course I had to make them for us to have tonight when we opened the box!  I actually put them together yesterday (the kids and Grant sampled the filling and wanted it to be Wednesday NOW!) and let them chill overnight in the fridge.  My family went ga-ga over them.  Noah's decided that forget Idaho, forget Hawaii, forget even the horses in Kentucky - he's moving to Maine!

Of course, everyone only got whoopie pies tonight after we finished our dinner of Chicken with Blueberry Sauce and Maine Baked Beans.  I mentioned bean hole beans yesterday.  (that link will actually give you pictures of someone making authentic bean hole beans if you're interested!)  And while I am all about giving it a go for this project, I decided I wasn't up for the entire task of bean hole beans (though the history is interesting!)  So I settled on this recipe instead.  They didn't have to cook 24 hours, but I figured 5 was pretty long, too!  (Kristi's bean note...  So they beans SMELLED amazing all but consensus was that they really weren't one of our favorites.  None of us could exactly put our finger one what we didn't really like, but I didn't even save the leftovers on this one...)

Super busy day tomorrow with MOPS in the morning, PTA board meeting in the afternoon, kiddos maps, edible lighthouses, mainely fish and the "We've Been There" state.  Phew, never a dull moment!  So until then...

Maine Fun Fact of the Day:  With a total area of 33,215 square miles the state covers nearly as many square miles as the other five New England states combined.

I hope I did Annie's Grandma proud with these!


Crafting away

I love it when cute ideas come together!

We put it on a suction cup so she could hang it :)

She was super proud of the finished product

Coloring the wrapping paper

I was in the playroom putting away craft supplies when I spotted this out the window...

And went outside to find these!  We're going to be parents!

Still decorating the wrapping paper

Ready for next week!

Tonight's story of choice

Sealing Noah's present with a kiss

She adores her big brother

Noah's turn to lobster it up

Alright, may have to frame this one...

This is him saying 'lobster'

Anxious to open their package

Cool keychains - with moose!  (meese? mooses?)

Wild blueberry amazingness!

Taste testing
Maine popcorn!

Which we of course had to taste..

Maple sugar candy!  (Which they had with our story tonight.  Grant says the rest is his)

Beautiful postcards

Authentic Maine saltwater taffy!

With a lobster! (as Mikayla said)

And full of Maine facts

More tasting...

Two VERY happy kiddos!

Annie you are wonderful!

Maine baked beans right out of the oven

After a little stir



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