Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Turkey Day!

Do you want to see my Thanksgiving "Turkey"?

I had sent the kids outside so we could take some pictures to send to my mom. The little boys decided to ride their bikes while waiting for everyone else. H. looked down near the garage door and tried to tell me there was something in a glue trap. My guess is that he couldn't remember the word "snake", instead he said there's one of those "things". Well, we live in an outer suburb with lots of bugs and other creepy, crawlies so a "thing" could mean a whole lot of lifeforms. I assumed he meant a big cricket or a cave centipede. Instead he meant...

This little guy got itself stuck on a glue trap that we use to keep the bug population in our garage down. (Keeping that pop. down reduces the number that come inside for a visit.) It was either looking for a warm place to hibernate or saw what looked like a bug buffet and decided to tuck in. Either way it got itself in big trouble. The entire underside of its body was completely trapped in this super sticky glue. The other kids and dh were coming out at this point and we discussed what to do. I decided that the most humane thing to do would be to try and get it unstuck by loosening the glue with warm water. The first attempt got his lower jaw unglued but on the second attempt it tried to bite the glue and got both jaws stuck and a mouthful of glue. Eventually I got it completely off the trap but he still had glue sticking to his body which made it hard for him to slither. Dh took the initiative and used some gas as a solvent, which removed all traces of the glue that I could feel. We placed him on a log in a protected area and he slowly made his way under the leaves. I'm not sure if it will survive but we did our best.

On an interesting note, S. had just gotten a book all about snakes from the library Last night! We now know that Turkey is an eastern garter snake, probably not much older than a baby since it wasn't very big and babies are 5-9 in. Here's hoping that Turkey recovers from his tough day and has many more bug-catching, mouse-catching days to come.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Design Wall Monday

I would love to say that I finished the Log Cabin Baby but that just didn't happen. I'm still working on it here and there when I have a few minutes. I'll get there soon enough I guess.

One of the (many) things that took up valuable quilting time is repainting the girls' room. When we moved in early 2007, the girls couldn't agree on a paint color; one wanted pink, the other purple. We choose pale shades (almost matching) of both colors and paint two walls each color. They'd outgrown that color scheme and have been asking since summer to repaint their room. Well, dh was off visiting his parents and that means that the chaos of paint wouldn't interfere so much with our routine. During previous trips, I've stripped the wallpaper off of the bottom half of our dining room walls and repainted them, repainted our bedroom and painted an under the staircase closet that I use as a pantry. (Each project happened on different trips.) DH was gone less than 2 weeks this time and I hadn't planned on doing any painting, only quilting, but the girls can be rather persuasive. It helped that they both quickly agreed on a color. Them agreeing on anything is just shy of a miracle around here when it comes to their room. Besides repainting, we rearranged the furniture including the bunk bed. (Thank God for the help and added muscle of my now teenage son.) They're now very happy in their aqua bedroom with no more "babyish" paint.

Iranian women don't do much baking because there seems to be a bakery on just about every corner (at least in Shiraz). The selections are pretty standard but each place puts their own spin on things. It's quite common to drive out of your way to get to your favorite shop, passing up several others along the way.

Layered sponge cake with whipped cream topping pre-cut into serving size pieces is a favorite as are cookies made with rice flour. Cream puffs are another go-to dessert for when company's coming.
One of my favorites is a puff pastry that they call a danish but tastes something like a donut without the fatty aftertaste you get with donuts. When you go to the bakery, you order kilos of cakes rather than by the number you want. The bakeries often sell candy and/or chocolate by the kilo as well.

DH brought back some of the usual treats from Iran.

Sohan-a kind of crunchy candy with pistachios on top
Little kalooche-bite-size rice flour cookies-the kids love these, R. asked for 4 boxes just for him

Large kalooche-these are kind of like big Fig Newtons but with a date/walnut paste filling -one of my favorites

He also brought back some surprises.

There's a slightly sweet breakfast flat bread spiced with cardamon. (Sorry, I can't remember it's name.) It's so very good and addicting, like a not-too-sweet cookie.
The biggest surprise though was the cream puffs!

My ingenious sister-in-law came up with the idea of putting them in old yogurt containers.They worked out perfectly, not a squashed cream puff in the batch. M. (ds1)so misses these cream puffs which are his absolute favorite Iranian treat.

You can check out more design walls on Judy's blog.