Saturday, September 25, 2010

Paul Turns 4


I can’t believe my kids are 5, 4, and 2 now.  It doesn’t sound nearly as impressive as 4, 3, and 1.  Paul’s birthday was today.  When he was asked what he wanted for his birthday dinner earlier in the week, he replied, “Sausages.”  Oh, good, I thought.  Easy.  But then I realized he wasn’t done.  “And steak.  And pork.  And burritos.”  Then today he decided he wanted chicken enchiladas.  Unfortunately, he decided that he didn’t actually want the enchiladas when they were served, but I did try to please him.  Around here, we just don’t have five entrees at a single meal.  He’ll have to go to Grandpa Barnes’s house for that one.

For his activity, Paul wanted us to watch a movie together.  I like this age.  Easy to please and cheap.  So we watched an episode of the Iron Man cartoon.  Short and sweet, but very satisfying for a 4-year-old.

Aaron had a great time picking out Paul’s present.  He got him a track (with a loop!) for his matchbox cars.  It was a huge hit.  I don’t have any pictures of it since I was busy taking video, but all three kids got involved.  Averi didn’t quite get that she was supposed to let the car go as it went down, but she’ll learn eventually.

I also went with the car theme and made him a car playmat.  I ordered the pattern off of Etsy and thought, “This is so much nicer and cheaper than buying one from Toys R Us.”  WRONG!!!!!!!  That thing took FOREVER.  Seriously.  I spent at a minimum 15 hours working on it.  At a minimum.  I lost track of how long I worked on it.  There are hundreds of teeny tiny pieces to be cut out, fray-checked, ironed to fusible webbing, then ironed onto something else, which is in turn ironed onto something else.  The materials were not too much cheaper than buying a mat, and if you assumed that I make minimum wage (and I’m worth WAY more than that!), then my time cost me AT LEAST $112.50.  And of course it wasn’t nearly as popular as the car track made in China.  But it’s very cute and I’m proud of it, so I’m showing pictures.

Here are the individual squares:







And here is the completed project:



You can see that it’s quite large, so it should be really fun to play with.  Its made of a heavy cotton duck, so it should hold up well, as long as the fusible webbing stays put.  I’m hoping that this one will be something that grows in popularity the more they play with it.  Or maybe that’s just wishful thinking.

We had Raspberry-Peach Pie for dessert.  The raspberries were from our bushes (yay for backyard fruit!) and peaches were on sale this week, so I bought a million.  It was delicious!


Isn’t my lattice crust lovely?  I was very proud of myself.  And the crust was perfect and flakey.


Yum yum yum!

Here’s the recipe:

Raspberry-Peach Pie

  • 4 cups fresh peaches - peeled, pitted and sliced
  • 1 cup fresh raspberries
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 (9 inch) pie crusts
  • 2 tablespoons butter, softened and cut into pieces
  • 1 tablespoon coarse granulated sugar

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).  Place peaches and berries in a colander for about 15 minutes to drain any excess fluid , then transfer to a large bowl. Gently toss with sugar, flour, and cinnamon. Transfer to a pie crust. Dot with butter, and top with remaining crust. Cut vents in top crust, and sprinkle with coarse sugar.  Bake 45 minutes in the preheated oven, until crust is golden brown.


Basic Flakey Pie Crust

  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup shortening, chilled
  • 3 tablespoons ice water

Whisk the flour and salt together in a medium size bowl. With a pastry blender, cut in the cold shortening until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Drizzle 2 to 3 tablespoons ice water over flour. Toss mixture with a fork to moisten, adding more water a few drops at a time until the dough comes together. Gently gather dough particles together into a ball. Wrap in plastic wrap, and chill for at least 30 minutes before rolling. Roll out dough, and put in a pie plate. Fill with desired filling and bake.


Heather Wahlquist said...

Happy Birthday to Paul! The mat looks great Chels, even if you did put a lot more time into it. They may not realize it yet, but homemade gifts are wonderful. The pie looks absolutely delicious.

Brad and Lisa said...

I love that mat! You're so talented. Happy birthday Paul!

JorgenMan said...

Seriously, that pie was awesome. Warm peaches with cold vanilla ice cream is a great combination.

Karin said...

Happy Birthday Paul! That mat looks amazing, and the pie made me drool all night! Thanks for sharing the recipe!

Stef said...

I am impressed, all around! ARE amazing. And I am also really impressed that Paul asked for pie instead of a cake. I wish my kids would do that. By the end of April I am totally caked out. Sigh.