Well, we have nearly survived Grant's big day. It seems like just yesterdaythat we were marveling at how cute he was. . .Now, 12 years later he is one of those interesting creatures that they refer to as a "tween" making an attempt to morph into whatever he will turn out to be. This year we were fortunate to do all the birthday parties on one day, rather than stringing them out for a week!
He ordered cavatini for supper. I don't get to fix that very often because J has an aversion to Italian food. I have also been desiring to learn how to make homemade bread, so that was on the menu too. I made some french bread dough in my bread machine a few weeks ago and it was OK, but not great. So I scoped out some recipes on the internet to fix the dough in my kitchen aid. I found several sites with some great tips and ideas in them, but wasn't sure that I was going to be happy with any of the recipes I found. So I combined the three together and came up with a winner today!! Now there aren't a whole lot of ingredients to french bread, and really no variations from recipe to recipe. But the techniques used to mix it up and raise it were very different. Surprisingly, it didn't take that long to mess with the bread and I had 2 rustic looking large loaves when I was done. The best part was actually throwing water on the bottom of my preheated oven with the bread in it and slamming the door to create a steaming effect. I love cool tricks like that!
We have always done our birthday parties with a few friends and have an overnighter instead of a short party with lots of friends. G had 4 of his favorite buddies come home after track practice tonight. Since we don't have school tomorrow, it was the perfect time for them to come. All the local grandmas and papas came out for supper too, so we numbered 16. As ususal, Great-grandma made the birthday cake. . . chocolate of course. She used gel frosting to construct a race car on the top. Rocky road ice cream to go along side!! YUM! You'll notice from the pictures that my house looked amazingly like the inside of an ant den! A whoopie cushion and a battery operated fart machine showed up somewhere along the line! BOYS!! They were only caught sneaking a BB gun outside in the dark once. The Christmas nerf guns were used for guerrilla warfare while I was trying to get C to sleep. But I have to admit that I actually started that---totally by accident. I shot one of the kids with one while I was picking up the floor. That will teach me! So as the sun is setting on his birthday this year, they are running amuck outside, in the dark, with sticks. . .and two flashlights. . .having the time of their lives. It's nice that at 10:30 at night, it is still 45 degrees out and they are brave enough to run off all that extra energy outside. Tomorrow they'll hang for a while in the morning before some of them have to be at basketball practice for their pee wee league. The rest of them will go home after lunch and the boys and I will head for Wichita for the garden show. They are participating in the 4-H photo judging and workshops available there. They have classes in the evening and then get to shoot pictures after the general public leaves at 9:00. I'm guessing that my crew will be a little tired and grumpy by the time we head for home after the judging contest on Saturday. Hope I don't have to publicly beat any of them while we are among civilized people!
The days are warmer here this week. The nights and mornings are crisp instead of bitter. The garden seeds are sowed and some of their little heads are poking through today. The spirits are feeling hopeful. We're looking forward to the new season to come. In the meantime, I'd better go whip up some hot cocoa and popcorn for the guerillas. . . um, I mean guys before they storm my house!