Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Moon Sand

You have to do this. As Rainbow plays with her homemade Moonsand she shrieks and squeals "This is so much fun." I will show you this picture first as a warning. It's messy. Very messy. But it's a dry mess. In fact DON'T wipe it up - it will make a river of food colour. Just sweep it up or even better get your little one to sweep it up. There are many recipes out there all the same ration of sand, water and cornflour. We used our sandpit sand so sieved it with the cornflour first. Then mixed in the water mixed with food colouring. Go easy here. The texture you want is dry sand that when you squeeze it stays in a ball. If it is too liquid it won't hold it's shape and won't come out of the molds.
It's quite different to play with then playdough. Because of it's dry texture you can't roll it. Rainbow uses as selection of kitchen pieces - measuring cups and spoons, little bowls... You can also use cookie cutters if you place them on the table, fill with sand and press down on the sand. You also have to pack it quite firmly into a mold, much more so than damp beach sand.
Then when you're done, you crumble it back into the container. Then next time sprinkle on a little water and off you go again.
Reviews I've read on-line say it doesn't behave identically to the commercial moonsand but we had fun and it used ingredients that we have on hand.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Stay Home All Day

We had a lovely 'stay home all day' day yesterday. We don't do this very often but it was a lovely day. We designed a great train track, painted, played in the garden and ticked off an activity that's been on the list for a while waiting for such a day.

Rainbow has been asking great questions recently like "How are houses built?" A few weeks ago Rainbow asked me "How do you make bread?" so today we did.

I actually own a bread maker but don't really use it much but today we made bread from scratch.

We did it all - mixing, kneading, proving, knocking down, kneading, shaping, proving...

It turned out really well and we ate it still warm with vegemite for Moonshine, raspberry jam for Rainbow and home made lemon butter on the crust for me. Rainbow's response was "It taste different to bread" as she ate it all.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Retro Baking

My mother is not a baker by that I mean it's not something that she terribly enjoys or would choose to do. Where as I am always trying out new recipes, she however has a number of signature dishes that she has mastered and can call on when the occasion arises. Lemon Coconut Slice (pictured centre) was one of them. Through out my childhood when ever she was require to 'take a plate' this would be her offering.
Today Russell was rostered on providing morning tea so I decided slices were the way to go.
Mars Bar Slice Lemon Coconut Slice and Raspberry Coconut Slice
There great for that kind of thing particularly for the busy Mum and are good for serving large numbers. The first two are even non-bake. The final one does require baking but ever so simple. Blend the pastry in the food processor and squish into the tray. Bake. Spread on jam straight from jar. Pour on eggs whisked with sugar. Bake The other great thing about slices is you don't have to be really careful about the measuring so perfect for kids in the kitchen. There is also lots of 'getting hands dirty' kind of jobs - snapping chocolate, squishing into the tray, spreading icing, stirring melted chocolate...
Have I convinced you? If so here are the recipes I used.
If you do make the last one, I know it says to let it cool in the pan (so it doesn't fall apart) but do steal a slice while the jams still hot and gooey. Cooks privilege!

So do you have a favourite recipe that you always fall back on?

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Our Luna Park

One of our favourite things after visiting or doing something interesting is too relive it at home.
Here's our version of Luna Park. Luna Park is a theme park in Sydney right on the river next to the Harbour Bridge. This first photo isn't mine and I'm hoping it's Sydney as there is a second Luna Park in Melbourne. Here are our train people entering through the iconic Luna clown face.
Next they had a ride on the ferris wheel. This is one of my creations. This might sound strange but I've always wanted to build a ferris wheel.

Then on to the carousel. Another of my creations. The plate is secured to the yoghurt lid with a tack so that it can spin. The people are secured on to the carousel animals with rolls of sticky tape hence the crazy angle of the man riding on the frog.
Next a ride on Rainbow's roller coaster. Moonshine enjoyed spinning the above two rides but she particularly enjoyed screaming as she maneuvered the car down the steep incline.

Finally here's Rainbow's own invention. Coming soon to a theme park near you. It's called something like luminator and it's like a hovercraft that lifts off then flys around. The passengers can lie or sit in it.