Archive | July, 2011

I Be Jammin’

19 Jul

I’m in a major jam, y’all. Seriously.

See? Major jam.

One of my favorite imaginary friends from the internet is Renee, who writes the delicious and clever Flamingo Musings blog, and also has a  site where she sells her jams and marmalades called Freakin’ Flamingo. Renee makes the jams in micro-batches, many of them with ingredients from her own yard in South Florida.

Last week, she was having a contest for a new tagline, and I first suggested “Yes, I AM pretty Flocking Awesome,” but Renee is wholesome and sweet, so she would have nothing to do with something so suggestive. (Those of you who know Renee just choked on your jam, I know. Sorry.) But as a backup, I also offered up “We’ll Tickle Your Tastebuds Pink!”

That idea won, and so Renee sent me some jam. Strawberry-Mint Jam, and some Mango Thai jam and OH MY GOSH, it is awesome. You should go there right now and buy some. Then send it to me. Oh fine, you can keep it for yourself.

I found this jam far too wonderful for regular toast, so I made some scones. Yes, that is them in the picture above.

Don’t act surprised. I cook sometimes.

If you want to make them, do this:

Mix together:

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 5 1/2 Tbsp. cold butter
  • 1 egg
  • 1 egg yolk (save the white)
  • 1/3 – 1/2 cup flour
Mix the flour, salt, sugar and baking powder. Then, using a pastry cutter OR your clean hands, quickly work the cold butter into the flour until it looks like rough crumbs. Beat the egg and egg yolk, then stir it into the flour mixture, then add the milk a little at a time until you get a soft dough. Knead it about 10 times, then turn it out onto a floured surface and roll it out to 1/2-inch thickness. Cut it with a biscuit cutter (or a juice glass), and set the scones about half an inch apart on an ungreased cookie sheet. Brush them with the egg white you saved and sprinkle them with a little sugar. (Why? Because it’s prettier that way, that’s why.) Bake 10-15 minutes at 350 degrees fahrenheit.
Top with jam.
Which you should buy from Renee. Because it’s delicious.
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Fish Tales

18 Jul

Ever since he joined our family a couple of years ago, my son has been talking about fishing.

He knows a lot about fishing. He loves fishing. He’s been fishing a ton of times.

We are so not a fishing family. I love the outdoors, but  we are a look for shells, go for a hike, watch birds, look for wildlife and try to take pictures kind of family.

But this summer, I told the kids I would take them camping. And if my son the professional angler wanted to renew his love of fishing, he could get a pole and give it a try.

So, we went pole shopping. He grabbed one off the rack, sparkly and red and impressive.

“I need this one!”

It was $400. And didn’t even have a reel on it.

“Um, dude, this says it’s for marlin, shark and tuna.”

“That’s what I want to catch! Epic!”

Since we were in fact, going to a freshwater lake where he could fish off a pier, I explained the chances of catching sharks were fairly low. We settled on a rod and reel combo at about a tenth of the price of his dream rod. This one was sparkly blue, and the master angler was fine with it.

I, however, was having some doubts about his alleged fishing knowledge.

These doubts were compounded when we got to the lake.

The kid who “knew a lot about fishing” could not get the string out of the reel or a hook on the string. And had long since tossed his instruction manual.

Fortunately, a friendly grandpa was around to give us a fishing 101 clinic. He showed my son how to tie on a hook, how to work the reel, where to put on his bobber and weights.

Then, it was time for the worms. The professional angler opened the box.

“Uh, mom? Can you put them on my hook?”

“What?”

“They’re too wiggly.”

Sometimes, when you’re a mom, you do things you never expected to do.

Like impaling giant worms onto a fishing hook. By the way, you can’t just get them on there once. You have to thread them on in a little worm ball of torture. I whispered silent apologies and tried to act like this was something I dealt with every day.

The master fisherman dropped the hook into the water with great excitement. And brought it up to check on it with great excitement. And repeated this process about a dozen times until I said “JUST LEAVE IT THERE!”

Then… a tug.

All of 3 inches long, but a fish! On his line!

“My first fish!” he  announced.

Great celebration ensued until it was time to let it go. The great fisherman was not interested in touching the fish to get it off the hook.

So, again, I pretended this was something I did every day. Grabbed the wriggling fish, got the hook out, slid it back into the lake. Tried not to think about the worm guts and fish blood on my hands.

“I love fishing,” announced my son. “Can you get another worm on there?”

Water Wars

13 Jul

It’s very challenging to get the plants watered at our house.

Because the dogs? They are insane.

Just watch.

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