Monday, March 24, 2008

Birthday Boy

Today is the birthday of the eldest child. The ever present smile (mostly) and willingness to make people happy are some of the many qualities that make our son a joy. He's just a lovely boy.

He also happens to be very allergic to a whole host of things that normal people take for granted. Wheat, eggs, peanuts, etc... Can make baking birthday cakes a challenge.

So we've become used to cooking for him. Fortunately, child number 2 came along with similar allergies, so no one feels left out. I was more than surprised when he said he wanted something chocolate cake for the big day. He normally doesn't like desert. More of a salty guy. Much like the momma. Hmmm.... How about Chocolate Cheese cake? He was in agreement with that. Surprise!

Started out with the chocolate gluten free biscuits. Scraped the fatty faux cream for the inside and smashed them to bits. Added some melted butter to hold it together and press into a spring form pan. Chill.

Next melt chocolate and a bit of gelatin to mix in with the whipped cream cheese and powdered sugar. Combined all the ingredients and spred into the chilled shell.

Sprinkle mini semi sweet chocolate chips in for interest.

Whip double cream until almost done, add more powdered sugar and cocoa. Spread that on the next layer. Chill for a bit, although you could serve it then.

It was very good and a wonderful day was had by all. At the park now, then back for a belated egg hunt. Hopefully it will stay partly sunny!

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Happy Easter


Hoping your day brings you meaning from the original day.

Wild and Wooly

Things have been amazingly busy in my world. Mostly Felt making things. Not much to show as it was a lot of teaching and large group projects.

Last week I did a mini workshop with the children in my daughters class at school. 24 kiddies aged in the 7-8 year old bracket. They are studying fabrics and textures. DD's teacher has noticed her sporting lots of felt and knitted things in school and asked if I would be willing to teach them how.

I agreed and with a month to prepare, I left it until the last week or so. Most of the fibre was donated from junk stuff that was nearly felted from being in the bottom of a bag. Almost unusable... Almost. One run through the drum carder and we have soft fluffy bats that are ready to use. After consideration of what type of project to do in 80 minutes time, I asked the teacher what her thoughts were on it. Large piece to keep at school or small individuals to take home. She opted for the take home things. It's hard to keep something hanging around after the children have moved on to the next grade. Wise choice.

I made things simple. Foam rollers, Bubble wrap all the same size, approx. 8x8 piece of fibre chosen for them by my glamorous assistant Sheila, bits of yarn and coloured fibre for each table to share and 1 large milk jug per table with warm soapy water. Seemed well planned with minimal room for spatting. You never know, but I was amazed how well they shared the assortment of fibre.

I did a brief demo, making them count as I rolled each side 50 times. Get them involved 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. While rolling, I gave them the history of Felt, asking questions all along about what types of things could be made from wool. The answers are hysterically funny! Love that age! Roll on. Now it was their turn and with minimal repeating we set to work. You could hear the counting!

Periodically we would take a break to check the work and move on to the next step. Squishing the prefelted pieces, quickens the process and gets their grubby hands really clean. Love that!
Then the rinse and very pleased faces! I was astounded at the great work they did and the artistic designs that were created.

We all had a really fun time and a big thanks to Sheila, DD's teacher and class helper. Good to have extra hands to guide each table.