Monday, April 30, 2012

Cirque du 19!

Our version of a circus includes a small Big Top (tiny, in fact,) watermelon pink colors,  house squeezed strawberry lemonade, strawberry shortcake, a hula hoop and a baby elephant (see below;)

Yesterday, was my BELOVED Annie's, 19th birthday.  Home from college for the day with her big brother, we took every advantage of the 6 hours with them.  My husband and I, once again, found ourselves asking them the perennial question, "Ummm, how is that possible? Weren't you guys, like, three?  Last week?"  Maybe that's why we got into the whole circus tent theme.  It started out as a "ha-hah... wouldn't it be cool to make a circus tent for Annie's birthday table...ha-hah."  Until, my husband realized I was kind of serious. (He IS an engineer, afterall.)   So that very day "we" humorously concocted a tent from dowel sticks,  tiny nails, jute, a slab of plywood and an old muslin sheet, oh, and some red paint. (Yeah ok, we have too much time on our hands.)
But...truth is,  mini circus tent construction was a hoot.  First "we" built the frame: slab, dowels, nails, jute.  Then the hoot stalled for a bit when "we" came to the Big Top, and a lesson in Conics ensued.  My frustrations with math hopped to the foreground, long stuffed down into a dark canyon inside my middle school brain somewhere.  After a while though, the hoot came back as we hoisted a canvas top over the frame.  Hurrah. 
Then yesterday, we stuffed our snappy tabletop tent with small gifts for Annie, and stuffed the kids with a good home-cooked birthday meal.  So why did we choose a circus theme?  Ah,  that be Annie.  She has long dreamed of joining Cirque du Soliel.  Running away to the circus.  Maybe someday.  But for now she has her own miniature Big Top. And a baby elephant.   

Saturday, April 28, 2012

How-to-make-cake-flour... a snap!

I had not idea how snappy simple it is to make cake flour... until I was making Annie's 19th birthday cake. This year the tabletop theme is a cirque du 19,  because apparently cirque du soleil performer is one of Annie's fantasy careers.  Her request this year was a strawberry short cake.  The angel food cake recipe called for cake flour, of which I had none. So I did a simple google search and presto-chango:

For every cup of flour, remove 2 Tablespoons of flour and replace with 2 Tablespoons of corn starch. Then sift it all together.  I was able to modify to 100% organic by using organic flour and organic corn starch. Thank you That simple!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Sprinkling the seeds....

Everywhere that Princess Daffodil walks, flowers bloom behind her.  So it goes in  The Magic Hill  by A. A. Milne, (gorgeously illustrated by Isabel Bodor Brown.)

Perhaps like Princess Daffodil, flowers bloom behind us all... only they're not the sort of flowers that are visible to the eye.

This spring, carry wildflower seeds in your pockets to sprinkle here and there while walking the urban trails.  You'll make the world a bit more colorful.