Sunday, 14 February 2010

Valentine's Day Cooking Lesson

Last weekend, I played "rent-a-granny" for a friend's two little people, "Little Madam C" and "Baby Brother B" (I promised never to use their real names). These two rugrats like spending the night at "Nana LD's" because we always make cookies or crafts. Little Madam C has discovered Nana LD's is the perfect source of homemade holiday gifts, so our focus last weekend was making special Valentine's hearts for her Mum, aunties, and her "Real Nana".

Once in awhile, I play with Sculpey or Fimo ... usually to make beads or buttons for specific projects when I can't buy what I envision ... and I always keep whatever polymer clay scraps that are left in small ziplock bags. Now that Little Madam C is old enough (6 1/2) to NOT eat play dough, we can use those scraps to make cool stuff. Even Baby Brother B (3 1/2) is relatively safe with non-edible craft materials ... so long as I keep a very close eye on him! A bunch of those Sculpey scraps went into these HEARTS ...
... quite fun! We rolled out small "ropes" of different colours and thicknesses then loosely braided several ropes together. Next, we "smooshed" the braids into globs, rolled the globs into nice round balls, then flattened the balls out and cut heart shapes out of the flattened Sculpey. Each "braid" had different combinations, so each heart was unique.

I baked the hearts after the kids left last weekend, then last night, we finished the hearts with Sculpey Glaze and brooch pins, and this morning packaged them with pretty red tissue paper and ribbons for Valentine's gifts for the kids' family members. A very satisfactory craft project for everyone!

I received a cooking lesson from Little Madam C this morning before they departed for home ... HOW TO MAKE PERFECT BUTTERED EGGS. She is really becoming "grown up" now (at 6 1/2!), so we documented the process so I could share this very important lesson in breakfast preparation with my friends.

Are you ready?

Here goes!

"First you get out everything you're gonna need in case you hafta go to the store before you start." (Very wise advice! This wasn't quite EVERYTHING ... but fortunately no emergency grocery store trip was necessary this morning to gather the rest of the ingredients.)

"Then you get your Mama or Auntie or Nana to boil a couple of eggs cuz only adults should use the stove."
(Again, very good advice!)

I asked her how long to cook the eggs, and she said "till the sand in the tipped over plastic egg runs out" ... which caused a bit of a panic as I don't have a plastic egg timer! We determined than slighty runny yolks were the desired goal, and I timed the eggs accordingly ... approximately three minutes once the water started boiling hard.

"While the eggs are cooking, you make some toast. Kids can do that but you should always tell your Mama first."

"Then you butter the toast with lots of butter."

"Then you get your Mama or Auntie or Nana to cut it into little squares cuz the big knife is easier."

"When time's up, get your Nana to take out the eggs and crack them into a bowl."
(Notice how nice and golden-yellow the yolks are in these free-range organic eggs! Lovely!)
"Then you scoop the eggs outta their shells with a spoon ... but be careful cuz they're still boiling hot, you know!"

"Then you put some more butter and lotsa salt and smoosh them up good with a fork."

"When the eggs are smooshed just right, mix in your toast."
We decided Buttered Eggs look different at my house because I have "seeds and sticks" bread instead of white bread. (Hmmm ... SOMEONE has been making fun of ... er ... talking about my homemade bread ...)

"Then eat 'em all up with a big spoon! YUM!"
I asked why Baby Brother B had cereal instead of eggs ... thinking she would tell me that he LIKED CEREAL. Instead she told me "boys don't eat eggs", and then explained this is so because "boys have penises and girls have eggs"! I think THAT story is an entirely different post!
I didn't have the heart to tell Little Madam C that I ate breakfast eggs like that when I was a little girl too ... and sometimes still do ... only I called them "Dippy Eggs". And I tore my toast into pieces instead of cutting it into neat squares. And I used lots of black pepper. And still do!

It's been really foggy here most mornings this past while.
Unfortunately, the fog traps pollution close to the ground ... especially in the downtown "bowl" area of the city ... and that really affects my ability to breathe. Also gives me a raw throat. Ick! Fortunately, I live far enough uphill from the "bowl" that the air quality is somewhat better. Several days the temperature stayed below freezing, resulting in hoar frost, or "frozen fog" on trees and shrubs.
Very pretty! Today, it's about 6 degrees above freezing, and there is some major melting happening outside.
This is only the 14th of February, so I'm not even beginning to assume this is the end of winter! However, my Christmas cactus has checked its internal calendar, determined Easter is approximately 6 weeks away (Ash Wednesday is this coming week), and began preparing its twice-a-year blooms:
That's it for me for today ... have a good week y'all, and enjoy your Buttered Eggs!!!