Fun for kids

Well, in looking at my calendar, I realized that not only is our year over half over, so is the month of July! It has been a marvelous weekend as two of my daughters were able to come in for a visit. One daughter came in around 2:30 or so on Friday, and after she spent about an hour or more on the phone with AT&T trying to find something out about my phone bill, we headed to Cuero to the phone store. We got home in time for an appointment, that I had, and in the meantime, she spoke with her sister, who decided she would go ahead and come in also Friday evening, rather than having to get up really early on Saturday. We had just called my friend to see if she was interested in a game we were planning to play and she and my daughter got here just minutes apart. My daughter brought the pottery she has been making with her and we admired it. She does a beautiful job, making everything by hand, rather than using a wheel, and is really artistic with her work. She will be marketing it under the name “Ms. Liz’ Clay Dayz” and will have a business website. Unfortunately, at this time I don’t have the online address.
We all three managed to sleep in fairly well Saturday morning, breakfasted, dressed and headed for downtown Yoakum, as there were a couple of stores that I wanted them to see. They enjoyed both of them, spending the most time at the one that has lots of handmade glass jewelry, and I think even finding something beautiful to buy. After we got home and had lunch, we began the arduous task of defrosting my freezer. It is an old chest type, and believe me, we all three prayed that it would come back on after we finished our job. Luckily, I had permission from a family member to use the freezer at their house while we worked on mine. Believe me, it took almost all afternoon before we finished and replaced the things that were good and disposing of the stuff that wasn’t.
The daughter who came in late Friday had to return home on Saturday as she had a Sunday School Class to teach on Sunday. By the time Sunday morning rolled around, the other daughter had not only stripped the beds and washed the linens, she had also cleaned labels off some bottles for my bottle tree and vacuumed my entire house!
Summer vacation for our children is nearly half over and they are beginning to whine for something different to do. You hear, “Mom, I’m bored, there’s nothing to do”. Am I right?
Below is a recipe for the younger crowd that they might like to make, and it is something that needs just a little help and anyone can have fun with it.
Also, there are a lot more children out riding bicycles and walking; they need to be made aware of the dangers of riding in and out of traffic, pulling out in front of cars, and in general not watching where they are going. As adults, we need to be aware of the children! We have to be on the lookout when we see one or two or more on bicycles in front of us because we never know what they are going to do, they may decide to all cross in front of you to get to the other side. Tell your young riders to be careful and ride with the flow of the traffic, to stay as close to the curb as they can and not to decide to cross the street without checking if cars are coming. A car cannot stop as quickly as a child on a bike can.
If you are walking, and this goes for adults as well as for children, walk facing the traffic. This will enable drivers to see you more easily. Also, if you walk late in the day, wear light colored clothing so you will be more visible. I know this is difficult as so many of the young folks wear dark gray or black t-shirts with some type of motto on both sides. These are nearly impossible to see, especially when paired with dark jeans or black shorts or pants. Friday afternoon as I headed home from exercise, there were two young men walking, with the traffic, on a narrow street, and with traffic coming toward me, I basically had to almost a stop to keep from running them over. They never missed a stride and continued on their way!
When my grandchildren were small and we were living in Devine, my daughter gave me the recipe for this bubble stuff. It would not be long before there would be ten or more children in my yard chasing bubbles. Everyone loved it, and times have not changed all that much, now, when my granddaughter was here with children during spring break and again at Easter time, I dug out the old bubble wand made by my son-in-law all those years ago, and a large bottle of this bubble stuff and all the children had an absolute ball! My middle granddaughter was about 1½ or 2 years old when we first got this recipe and she is now 33 and we still use it every summer. Back in May when I spent time in Galveston with the two great-grandsons, they chased the bubbles all over the yard, just as their Dad did when he was that age!
Super Duper Bubbles
6 cups tap water
2 cups dishwashing liquid (according to my daughter, Joy is best, and is recommended, but you can use whatever you have on hand. I use Dawn!)
¾ cup white corn syrup (this makes the bubbles last longer, but can be omitted if you don’t have any)
Mix all ingredients in a clean 1-gallon milk or juice jug. Stir to mix thoroughly.
Pour some of the mixture in a shallow pan on a flat surface outdoors. One of the 8-inch clay pans (that are used under a flower pot) works great. An aluminum pie tin works well, but tips over easily! Dip wand into mixture and wave gently through the air. If too many bubbles form on top, blow excess off. This happens if you stir it too much while using it. This mixture can be poured back into the container to use again another day. The best bubble wands for this are the new larger ones that are on the market, or a simple wire ring with a handle attached. Get dad to help with this! Have fun.
Now, Moms, here is something for you. It is definitely salad time with the temperature being in the triple digit range and it’s no fun heating up the kitchen to make something hot. This is simple, easy and can be made early in the day and refrigerated until ready to serve. This is a chicken salad that I was served a sample of at a cooking demo several years ago. It tastes really great and is pretty healthy also. The good thing is that you can use canned chicken, chicken halves or quarters, or chicken breasts, that you cook yourself or you can use one of the rotisserie chickens that are already cooked. A member of the family brought a large amount of fried chicken to the house one weekend, the next day someone suggested using the leftover to make this salad. So, we picked off the skin and crunchy stuff, picked the meat off the bones and used that. It worked, and tasted good, which was all I was interested in.
Chicken Salad with Apples and Walnuts
3 cups diced cooked chicken
1 Granny Smith apple, cored and chopped*
½ cup finely diced celery
2 to 3 tablespoons sweet pickle relish
1/3 to ½ cup chopped toasted walnuts
3 tablespoons roasted sunflower seed kernels (you may use either salted or unsalted)
Light mayonnaise to moisten ingredients
Dice the chicken and place into a bowl; add the remaining ingredients stir lightly to mix. Add the mayonnaise and gently toss together to coat all ingredients. Chill before serving. *I like to chop the apple and place it in a small bowl with some 7-up to prevent darkening.
Super Easy Coconut Custard Pie
½ cup all purpose flour
½ cup granulated sugar
2 cups whole milk
4 eggs
¼ cup butter, melted
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
¼ teaspoon salt
1½ cups flaked coconut
Preheat oven to 350ºF.
Combine everything except coconut in blender; process 10 seconds and stir in coconut. Pour into well-buttered 9-inch deep-dish pie plate; place in oven and bake 40 minutes or until set. Pie will puff up and then fall slightly. Serve when cooled.