Sunday, April 24, 2011

"Devil"ed Eggs

Our family was invited to a friend's house for Easter lunch.  We were thrilled at the invitation, and, as a respectful guest, I asked if there was something I could bring to the table.

This is a customary offer, is it not?  When invited for a meal, the invitee should always offer to bring a dish.  In addition to abiding by custom, though, I also actually love to cook and bake. So, I always enjoy bringing something to a meal.  I suppose in truth, however, I'm always hoping that I'll be the one who decides what exactly I will bring.  I'm always hoping for a, "sure, you can bring whatever you'd like!"  In which case, I generally bring a dessert--because that's what my skill and my taste buds favor.

In this case, I was asked to bring deviled eggs.... at which point I'm thinking:  deviled eggs?! You have got to be kidding.... I HATE making deviled eggs!

Deviled Eggs are named appropriately.  Because, when I think of the devil himself, characteristics like frustrating, difficult, aggravating, challenging and destroying come to mind.  And when I think of deviled eggs, I think of just those same things.

My anger towards the small white and yellow hors devours comes mostly from the act of shelling them.  I cannot, no matter how hard I try, seem to get their shells off without tearing much of the insides apart as well.  I have tried using a spoon; I have tried running them under water.  I have tried letting them sit in the fridge for a day.  Nothing works.  Most often, I am left with a mess of a white that hardly resembles an egg at all.  Sometimes the pieces aren't even whole.

The shame of it all is that I absolutely love the taste of deviled eggs.  Again, it reminds me of scenarios with the actual devil--sometimes, looking at someone's life of sin can look pretty appealing.  The taste of the egg is so good.....  but is it worth the price to get there?

In this instance, I didn't really have a choice.  I certainly didn't feel like I could tell the hostess, "no, I will not bring deviled eggs because they will be an absolute disaster."  I did, however, warn her that they will not win any awards for beauty.  At least I had a Pampered Chef Easy Accent Decorator so that all was not lost.  Otherwise, I'm not sure anyone would have even eaten my piles of goo.  Although, now that I say that, I don't yet know if the Easy Accent Decorator redeemed my eggs or not....  I still have T minus thirty minutes until I know the true result....

Will anyone even eat my offering?

And for anyone interested in the actual history of the word and concept of the deviled egg--here's a neat site that I found:

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Wrong Questions?

Sometimes life can be difficult in a house with a three-year-old-preschooler and an almost-thirty-year-old-physicist.  They want to have conversations, and, yet, at times, it seems they just can't get on the same plane...  Tonight at the dinner table, I witnessed one such discussion:

Preschooler:  Why is the sky the sky?

Physicist:  Well, what is the sky....?
                 The sky is air.

Preschooler:   Why?

Physicist:  You know, sometimes, "why" is not a good question... it's not a well-formed question, appropriate for the....

At this point, the physicist continues on with reasons as to why the question of "why" is insufficient, while the preschooler rolls his eyes, makes faces, and starts naming words that rhyme with both "sky" and "why."

My poor son.  Most Dads probably feel bad that they don't know the answers to the questions their children ask.  And then there are the children, like my son, who probably feel bad that their fathers do know the answers--because after about a minute, these children no longer really care.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

DIY flower clips

I recently got my hair cut at a salon in eastern PA.  Hanging on a rack opposite the sales desk were a variety of hair decorations.  My eyes immediately fell on some hair clips made of large silk flowers with a rhinestone center.  They were mesmerizing.  I took a pink and zebra print one and placed it in my hair.  I loved it!  And even better, it was made with an alligator-like clip so that the jaws actually gripped my hair....  I was definitely going to buy it.  No, wait, how about I get two?

I was thrilled when I got back to my mom's house to show her what I'd gotten.  Over the following days before my trek back to the Midwest, we discussed that I could make them myself.  It would be no big task. And I already love to craft. :)

At this point, I've probably made thirty of them.  Or at least, I have them 3/4 of the way finished.  I couldn't seem to find the alligator clips in any of the numerous stores I tried, so I resorted to buying them online.  So, I'll have to wait a few days to get the backs glued on.... in the meantime, here are some instructions so you can make your own if you'd like!

What you'll need:

*Flowers (can be paper, silk, other--you name it!)
*Rhinestones for center if you like (I'd say at least 18mm or larger)
*Clips--you can use the hair clips they sell at any craft store (or Sally's beauty supply), but if you want the ones with jaws, like I did, you may be on a real goose hunt.  Here's something like what I bought off Amazon)
*Hot glue/glue gun


1)  First take apart the flowers.  You will not need the stems, centers, or plastic dividers (these are sometimes placed between layers in the flower petals).

2) Prepare hot glue gun.  Glue the flower layers together, one by one.  Then, complete the top with a rhinestone.

3)  Glue clip onto back.

That's it; you're done!!  You didn't know it was that easy, did you??  Now, go ahead, make some of your own!  Mix and match the flowers for some fun.  And when you're done, put the flowers in your hair, or on a bag, or even around the house just to add a little fun to a room!  So many options!

Here are some of my creations:

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Before and After Syndrome

I'd never experienced the Before and After Syndrome frequently until I had children.  I am positive that everyone has experienced the Before and After Syndrome in some form at some point in their life.  But I think it's true to say that parents are especially prone to experiencing this phenomenon.

Before children:  You see an exasperated mother with her toddler and infant at the grocery store.  The toddler is whining for a sweet snack.  Mother says no.  After constant pleading from toddler, mother gives in.  You watch, shocked, how could she give in like that?  You'd never allow such positive rewards for such negative behavior....  what terrible parenting.

After children:  You're exasperated.  You've been up half the night with your infant.  Your toddler has been beating up on her all morning because he's stuck inside from the winter cold.  You're at the grocery store and you're mind is about to pop.  Just to quiet the storm, you let your toddler have the treat he's been pleading for, just so you can have at least fifteen minutes of fight-free shopping.  One less battle.

I used to have so many great ideals....  like, no eating in the car.  Right.  And then I gave birth to a son with a genetic disorder that necessitates his eating often.  So much for keeping food out of the car--unless I want to make frequent stops on any journey that takes us outside county lines.

It's amazing how strongly we feel about something at one time, and then, in another season of life, feel completely different.  It's almost like we become different people.  Sometimes it feels like that's really what happens.  But I think, honestly, that we're not really changing to such a great extent.  We're merely being refined.  We see more clearly where our priorities are and what we're willing to give up for them.  My sanity is important.  So I'm willing to give up a small mother-toddler battle for it.  My child's health and safety are crucial, and so I'm willing to give up the cleanliness of my car to keep him out of the hospital.

It is funny, though, to look at the before and afters...  to see how changing seasons have brought out certain changes in our outward attitudes and actions.  There are times that I'm glad I never wrote a book about all the opinions I used to have.  Boy would I be embarrassed to look back on it now...!