Happy Paczki Day!!!!! Or Fat Tuesday depending on how you celebrate! Last night, after I posted, I officially decided to try my hand at making my own paczki with the ones we had picked up from GM Paris yesterday. I have to admit, this intimidated and overwhelmed me. Normally, tackling a new recipe isn't a big deal because I just got with "if it's bad I'll order pizza" and figure what's the worst that could happen. But this is different - this is part of my family tradition. And my friends were coming over! I totally couldn't screw this one up!
So I prepped stuff up last night, sent Grant to the store to get the canola oil the recipe called for (I decided "go big or go home" and started in on them this morning. And then...
The kids posing with our goodies
This is the Bean's from the bakery. She went with lemon. I tasted - a better choice than I would have thought!
R and NJ
Eatin' it up
And then I got down to business
Out of the fryer and cooling a bit
Alright, so they were not as good as the 'real deal' (and I am completely OK with that!) but I was super proud of the way they turned out when all was said and done. But in my 'give credit where it's due' mentality - gotta give it up to Amber! I made my custard last night and it didn't really set much which she noted when I went to stuff them Thank goodness she did. I put it back on the stove, thickened it up for awhile, chilled it again and MUCH BETTER! Anyway, this was an adventure! And fun for me. I'd totally make them again from scratch next year, it wasn't nearly as tough as I thought it would be (I think it was the intimidation factor that has kept me from it for this long) It was great to hang out and have moral support while I made them, too :-p
The kids and I had to have a little chat about how they've been treating each other when everyone left (ah, sibling rivalry...) but again, giving credit, I told them we'd start with a clean slate if they picked up their rooms and the playroom from the fun of the morning. Not one fight and 40 minutes later, and they noticed (and had totally earned) that the flag was up:
Hmm, and there was a surprise! Noah didn't miss a beat, he saw the movie and instantly shouted "Mississippi, I have the muppets drawn in Mississippi!"
We just picked up the following conversation between Nita and one of her BAD henchman.
Nita: “It’s time to play the music. It’s time to light the lights. It’s time to get things started…. Ha, those silly little Gatchel Detectives have no idea where I am!”
BAD: Where are you?
BAD: What’s there?
Nita: The birthplace of Jim Henson
Nita: I’m afraid we’re being overheard! Think back to the very first thing I said – he created them. I’ll check in soon!
MOMG Intelligence then did a search for the words that Nita began her conversation with and discovered that Jim Henson is the creator of the Muppets! And it seems from what Nita has said, that he was born in the state she’s currently in.
We’re not sure if this will help, but we know that you have the day off school, so we thought a little further research of the Muppets may turn up a clue! We are enclosing a copy of “The Muppet Movie” for you to watch today. This is the very first full length Muppet Movie, and Jim Henson is credited with the puppetry performances of Kermit the Frog, Rowlf the Dog, Dr. Teeth, Waldorf and the Swedish Chef. He also sang the title song “The Rainbow Connection” We are hoping that if you watch the movie you may turn up a clue as to what Mr. Henson’s childhood may have been like in the state Nita is hiding in. Or that it was spark some other ideas for you. Good luck, Detectives!
So after reading the letter, they went and checked, and sure enough....
Mississippi is now on our possibility wall
Here's what inspired Noah
They also went to see if they could find Greenville in MS and Tupelo from yesterday's Elvis clue
A bit more thought led them to put New York up on the Possible Location list as well because "Mom, the Muppets took Manhattan, remember!" Oh I love them
We got some lunch and they started their research :)
They took a pause in the research to get in some Skype time with Miss Ali! I don't think we've actually seen her since before Christmas (she got to go to Disney then!) so it was great to catch up. She's such a sweetheart :)
I was also busy on some other odds and ends while the kids "researched" this afternoon. I have spinach leftover from last week's recipe that I haven't been sure what to do with, though I had pinned a couple of ideas. Finally got the chance to get to making these Spinach Cake Muffins today
I told NJ they were Incredible Hulk Bites - he LOVED them. They'll be perfect for his lunch!
I've been giving some thought about what to do with the kiddos for Lent but haven't come up with anything I really like yet. I know the usual idea is to 'give something up' but I have a real hang up with giving something up you love for a period of time only to get it back and probably overindulge when you do. What's the point? I understand the need to teach about sacrifice, of that that is the point of giving something up, but I don't think giving up something say like, candy, for a period of time only to probably complain about it every time it's offered and then scarf it down via an Easter basket in a few weeks is a great lesson. For me, I've always tried to "do" something else. To give of myself in some way over what I normally do. My hope with it is that it usually becomes a habit, or something I do more often after Lent, then. Hard to do that with the Dynamic Duo, though. Am thinking about a family prayer chain, but not sure what else. What about everyone else out there? Any ideas? What do you do to celebrate Lent?
Lent can wait 'til tomorrow though, we still had to celebrate Mardi Gras! And you know me, can't celebrate anything without cute food so....
King Cake Pancakes tonight!
And tried out these new , Roasted Potatoes - yum! I swapped rosemary for the caraway seed as personal preferences around here, but still yummy
And because it's Fat Tuesday...
Ice Cream Sundaes for dessert
Both kiddos are back in school tomorrow (though Thursday is looking iffy with yet another bout of insane cold coming) and I'm in NJ's class to read, then off to an Ash Wednesday service after I grab Kayla. and who knows what else. Paczkis are all officially gone here (can you believe it), looking forward to next year! So until then....