Sunday, September 6, 2009

Three Disconnected Blog Topics

1) One of my favorite things to do on a weekend is to do an inventory of our produce and make something that uses as much of it as possible at the same time. Lately SNG’s been doing green curry vegetables, but this week was my turn to do some cooking. And I’m proud to report this recipe, which consists entirely of stuff from our CSA farm and stuff from my front yard. A recipe for Creole Ratatouille from Richard & Rima Collins’ (now out-of-print but still most excellent) cookbook provided the general inspiration. Like most of my cooking, I pulled a lot of it out of the seat of my pants.

4 T butter (aww, come on, do it)
4 shallots, peeled and sliced
4 small green onions, sliced
3c. fresh small okra, sliced
6 bell peppers, seeded and julienned (I told you, I have to use up this stuff and the farmer’s gone nvts with the peppers)
2 tomatoes, sliced
large bunch of fresh basil, chopped rough
a pinch each of Konriko/Tony’s, salt, and sugar to taste, or several drops of Tabasco

In a big pan, sautee everything in the order shown above, 5 min on shallots/onions, 10 min on okra/peppers, 5 more minutes on everything else, then cover and cook low heat 10 or 15 more minutes. Serve over rice (or couscous, which is all I had in the pantry today).

2) I want to get some opinions about Moon Sand, as compared to Play-Doh , Silly Putty, and good ol’ modeling clay. I like Play-Doh as a toy, but it dries and since I keep it outside in the gazebo, even sealed cans of Play-Doh sometimes die out there in the heat. So I decided to get some Moon Sand and try it out. It claims to never dry out and be easy to clean up. I trust they’re right about it never drying out, but easy clean up? We only used it outside and it was messy by backyard standards. I also got some Silly Putty, and it has some excellent tactile properties but it doesn’t mold and it REALLY doesn’t come out of wool carpet. And it doesn’t pick up newspaper cartoons anymore! WTF?

So if you have/are/play with kids, what do you think? Moon Sand? Play-Doh? Other toys of that kind that I don’t know about? I vaguely recall seeing something that was like tiny foam-looking balls that could be shaped and molded. Anyone familiar with those? What do you like best and why? What do you hate most and why?

3) SNG is a magician. E-baby is transfixed. He can make things disappear. His magical reappearing trick uses the incantation “Hey, look over THERE!!”


PartnerInCrime said...

Everything in the recipe sounds good except bell peppers, which I am firmly against in all forms. But omitting those, I might try it.
About moon sand versus Play-Doh: I have absolutely no opinion, since I have the kid that won't touch anything squishy or with an odd texture. She'll poke Play-Doh with one finger, but that's about the extent of it. Sorry, no help here.

Granny said...

Back in the early '70s, when play-doh was something our kids liked, there was a recipe around for making your own play-doh. Of course at my advanced age I can't remember anything about it except that it did exist.

TexasRecyclingQueen said...

That recipe uses baking soda and it still exists. The major advantage to it was that it was cheaper than the Play-Doh was at the time -- not necessarily better. When I was a student teacher, for example, we made gallons of it for the third graders. If you REALLY want the recipe, I can find it for you, I am sure.
As per Moon Sand, I never heard of the stuff. Sorry.
However, I am sorry I wasn't in the neighborhood for lunch! Recipe sounds yummy -- even WITH bell peppers!