Thursday, October 31, 2013

Halloween Decorations

Today I didn't buy Halloween decorations. My teenagers made jack-o-lanterns.

They're big video gamers, so they turned their pumpkins into Pikmin 2 and Bowser.

For our scarecrows, we started with old wood, nailed together.

Then got old pieces of burlap or pillowcases, stuffed them with straw and drew on a face. Staple gunned them together. Stuffed old clothes with straw and stapled them on. You can use old clothes you have lying around the house or pick some up at a thrift store. Used string to tie off hands and feet and used string for a belt. Added a straw hat. Viola!

Unfortunately, our dog ate my scarecrow's leg.

Of course, I still have decorations that we've put out for years. I've never understood who buys all the new holiday decorations year after year. I have fond childhood memories of decorating with the same decorations year after year. New isn't always better!

Monday, October 28, 2013

Pancake syrup

I am learning about foraging, and was very excited when some kids at our homeschool group's nature scavenger hunt showed me how to find teaberries (aka wintergreen or winterberries) in the woods.

So I took my grandson out and we collected a small amount.

I wanted to make ice cream with it, but when I got it home I found I didn't quite have enough. So I found a recipe for teaberry syrup hereand followed that. Whipped up a batch of pancakes...perfect easy dinner.

The syrup didn't taste as fruity as I had thought it would be. Sometimes I put berries (strawberries, blueberries, raspberries...) in a pot, add sugar, maybe some corn starch or tapioca starch, and it makes a great fruity topping. This was closer to an actual syrup. Very good even though it wasn't what I was expecting.