Saturday, January 16, 2010

Beaver Tail Bust.

So, Skip's 15th birthday was yesterday, and it was kind of a full day (for all of us), so I asked him if he'd mind if we had the *traditional* Beaver Tail Feast on the morning AFTER his birthday, so he wouldn't be so rushed.

It was a good idea. He approved.

So yesterday, I didn't have to get up at the crack of dark, and get out the fryer, and make a delicious-yet-unhealthy breakfast for the family. We just rolled out of bed at the usual *much too early* hour, and had breakfast while Skip opened his presents.

His haul was modest, in comparison to Christmases, years past, and the track record of some of his friends. But he seemed genuinely happy.

Up there, he's opening a movie. Harry Potter #6. Also in the pile, the shirt from the previous entry (Bought at I love that site!), another shirt, which I might steal, and Ken's old iPhone. To make the phone a bit more palatable for Skip, Ken got him an orange shock-absorber skin/case. He's quite pleased with the result.

Yesterday was a busy, busy day. Homer had to go in for the 45 thousand mile check-up, and I went over to Toni's house to un-deck her halls while he was in the shop. She'd helped me earlier in the week, and it was pay-back time. I ended up on her ROOF, pulling down a zillion linear feet of icicle lights, with her standing on the ground, fretting "If you fall off the roof and die, I'll KILL YOU!" She's afraid of heights, apparently... Heh. But she took me out for lunch as a thankyou. It was a lovely deli lunch. I must go back there some day.

One of the local libraries has a Friday after-school movie showing, and yesterday they were showing "Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs". I took Nate and Kelly, and Toni's kids Cole and Carrie joined us there. Toni had a big fancy shindig to go to with her husband, and their sleepover dates for both kids bailed on them, so I stepped in (because I am made of compassion. Hah!). After the movie, Ken and I took all five kids out for supper, as a sort of "Happy Birthday Feast" for Skip. Of course, it was to his favourite sushi place, where the boys sat at their own table, and acted like grown-ups. I was pretty proud of their good manners, but I probably should have monitored the coca-cola consumption of our guests. While my kids are caffeinated-soda heavyweights, our guests were nothing of the sort, and the evening probably went a little longer than it should have, after we got home, and before we got the kids into bed. Coke shines a magnifying glass on little flaws and makes them gigantic. And that's all I'm saying.

Of course, as you might have guessed, I FORGOT to make beaver tails earlier in the evening, so I ended up starting the dough at ELEVEN PEE-EM! I was wrecked when I finally dropped into bed at midnight. And when I was looking in my pantry-drawer, I saw a big bag of King Arthur whole wheat flour, and thought "Hey! Beaver tails are SUPPOSED to be made with whole wheat flour, traditionally, why don't I test it out?"

Note to self: NEVER make adjustments to the recipe that has ALWAYS worked in the past.

This morning? The dough was the wrong colour. The dough was the wrong consistency. The dough had NO elasticity. AND? I couldn't tell when to flip the tails when they were in the oil because they were already dark. Argh! It was Made Of Fail. And poor Skip, they're one of his fave things, and he could hardly choke one down before he said "WHAT HAPPENED?"

As I type this, at 3:30, a REGULAR batch of beaver tail dough is rising in the big mixer bowl. They should be ready to fry up for supper's dessert.

But first, I've gotta head off with Nate and his buddy Q. We just got back from a hike to the local pond, looking for tadpoles. I've got the classroom Toad Tank all set up and ready to go, in our laundry room, and I thought I'd see if we could do local tadpoles before I went out and bought a Fire Belly Toad from the pet store as the class pet for the spring. Alas, only little fishies and snails were moving around in the muddy water, so we've got zip-lock bags acclimating in the toad tank water, and we'll be heading out soon to PetSmart, to get a little poison-skinned pet for the class.

I'm kind of looking forward to it.

Film at eleven.

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