Monday, March 28, 2011

Kicking Out Winter with Darth Maul Dip

The sunshine this week absolutely saved me. I don't know about you, but this winter was a hard one for me. Not only did it seem colder, wetter, and darker than usual, we were plagued with illnesses. It's common when you are the parent of a preschooler. They are petri dishes for all the funk passed on by their little friends at the playdough table. This week, playing outside, feeling warmth on our faces, made me realize how long we've been couped up.

It's why I've posted so little. No one wants to hear about hacking coughs or bedside buckets on a food blog, right?

But last week, the last week of winter and our last illness, is a tale I must share. It was Winter's last hurrah before Spring kicked it out for good.

One night, my son would NOT go to bed. He insisted on reading his "recipe book", a Star Wars cookbook someone gave us a year or two ago. After previously barely noticing the book, he became a fanatic, pouring over the photos and recipes like, "Amidala Challah", "Darth Malt", and "Opee Sea Crunch." Desperate, I promised him we'd make "lots" of the recipes the next day. At last he dropped off to sleep, still clutching his new found religion.

That night both El and Eric came down with the flu. I was up most the night with baby girl and dog tired in the morning. My son started right in at breakfast, making me read all the recipes that he wanted to create. Right now! I told him we didn't have the ingredients and he had I managed to stall the Star Wars recipe fest.

After school he was adamant, and I knew a huge tantrum was brewing if we didn't to get to the store. El was perky as if the previous night didn't happen, but Eric was still in bad shape. He needed to sleep and a trip to the grocery store with a long cooking project was the perfect distraction from dad in the bed.

It wasn't entirely out of the good of my heart. I'd felt the rumblings in my own tummy and knew it was only a matter of time before I'd need Eric to return the nap favor.

We made our list. At the top of son's wishes was making the Darth Maul Dip. It was a simple roasted pepper dip, but the cookbook came with a stencil template to make the mask with poppy seeds. Totally cool.

I recall the first wave of nausea hit me as I wrote the check at the grocery store, thinking 50 bucks was an expensive distraction. By the time we returned home, I needed to lay on the couch, "just for a little bit". My son had waited all day and this was too much for his 5 year old psyche.

I dragged myself up and began laying out the ingredients. Opening the jar of roasted peppers made me nearly lose it. I wavered, grabbed the counter, and slowly breathed through my nose. Then I reached for the cream cheese. That was it. I bolted to the bathroom. Thankfully, at that moment, Eric rallied out of bed and finished the dip with our kids.

I was able to take a photo, but we now had a vat of dip, and no one at the party, save our son, interested in eating anything. It didn't matter. My son's sole purpose of the day was relieved. His Star Wars itch was scratched. He had made Darth Maul Dip!

Thankfully, it was only a 2 day flu. My son never got it, and he was the only one to taste the dip. Makes you think. We went on to make the Opee Sea Crunch, the Boonta Breakfast Tarts, and the Darth Malt. We already had the toy in the picture from our favorite toy store - Goodwill. None of them were great recipes from a professional standpoint, but they all put a smile on my kids' faces.

Now that spring is here, we'll have to do a grilled version of the Darth Maul Double Dogs. If you are interested, here is the book image. I have a feeling we'll have to find the first one.
[THE STAR WARS COOKBOOK II]The Star Wars Cookbook II: Darth Malt and More Galactic Recipes [With Plastic Darth Maul Stencil] BY Frankeny, Frankie(Author){Hardcover}Chronicle Books(publisher)

Friday, March 25, 2011

Poetry Friday: Shel Silverstein's "Merry"

I ran across this poem today while reading to my daughter. I tend to skip around while reading my favorite Shel Silverstein book, Where The Sidewalk Ends, so the fact that I read it on March 25 was pure synchronicity. I posted too late to participate in the regular Poetry Friday round up, but if you like writing, reading, and/or discussing poetry, there are folks from all over the country that post about poetry every Friday. One blogger will host and give the list of all the blog posts that day. I join in from time to time. To find out who is hosting, and what it is about, just google it.

"Merry" by Shel Silverstein in Where The Sidewalk Ends

No one's hangin' stockin's up,
No one's bakin' pie,
No one's lookin' up to see
A new star in the sky.
No one's talkin' brotherhood,
No one's givin' gifts,
And no one loves a Christmas tree
On March the twenty-fifth.

I love this poem, especially because Christmas around our house tends to be a source of friction. My husband is not a fan of the holiday, nor of the the murdering of trees, as he calls it (he gets the ironic hypocracy that he owns a barbecue restaurant).

I think March the twenty-fifth is a perfect day to talk brotherhood. We need it. There is a lot of sh-t going on in the world right now!