Teddy Bear Picnic Day!
I don't think I'll ever see those words without thinking of my Dad, bouncing his grandchildren and then his first granddaughter on his knee, singing all the while
Teddy Bear Picnic Day is a great excuse to throw a little party for the child in your life, nothing elaborate required ------
Come up here, O dusty feet!
Here is fairy bread to eat
Here in my retiring room,
Children, you may dine
On the golden smell of broom
And the shade of pine;
And when you have eaten well,
Fairy stories hear and tell.
- Robert Louis Stevenson, A Child's Garden of Verses
Other Tea Party Favorites:
Cinnamon Toast has been a favorite of Grandma's since she was a very little girl. Spread slices of bread thinly with butter, then sprinkle liberally with cinnamon sugar (make your own with 1/4 cup sugar plus 1 teaspoon of cinnamon). Place the slices of bread on a cookie sheet and bake at 325F for 10 minutes or so until the sugar is melted and bubbly. Slice the toast into four lengthwise strips.
Cucumber Sandwiches always seem to delight small children. Cut rounds of thin bread that are about the same size in diameter as your cucumber - white, wheat or a mixture of the two. Peel and thinly slice a bit of cucumber - you'll only need a single 1/8-1/4 inch slice per sandwich. (Grandma likes to use the relatively seedless European cucumbers for these.) Mix a few tablespoons of soft cream cheese with a few drops of milk to make it easy to spread, then spread half the bread circles with cream cheese. Top with a cucumber slice. Thinly spread the remaining circles with a bit of butter (keeps them from getting soggy), then place butter-side down atop the cucumber slices. Variation: Use spreadable cream cheese or substitute a soft, spreadable goat cheese. The ones flavored with herbs are particularly nice. (Yes, children like goat cheese!)
Almost everyone likes Egg Sandwiches. Butter small rounds of bread (whole wheat is particularly nice) thinly, then spread half with a tiny dab of mayonnaise. Top half the round with a slice of hard boiled egg, add a little bit of a ruffle of lettuce (Bibb, Red Leaf and Boston are all very nice) and top with the remaining bread circles.
No Teddy Bears' Picnic would be complete without the story. This version is beautifully illustrated.
Digital copies of A Child's Garden of Verses are available in several formats from Project Gutenberg. This Kindle version includes the original illustrations. Both iPad and Nook read this Epub version, also with the original illustrations.
Books make wonderful gifts for children. Here are a couple that Grandma particularly has her eye on with one special little girl in mind:
Just released back in May, Minette's Feast: The Delicious Story of Julia Child and Her Cat is sure to delight. Here's the description:
Minette’s Feast introduces the iconic American chef Julia Child to a new audience of young readers through the story of her spirited cat, Minette, whom Julia adopted when living in Paris. While Julia is in the kitchen learning to master delicious French dishes, the only feast Minette is truly interested in is that of fresh mouse!This one is right at the top of Grandma's Wish List!
Fancy Nancy: Tea Parties is an absolute delight.
One very generous woman that Grandma knows every now and then buys a Kindle , loads it up with age appropriate books from Amazon and Project Gutenberg's fabulous Children's Collection*, adds a nifty cover like this Kindle Fire Pink Butterfly Design Lightweight Leather Protective Case / Folio / Cover with Stand and passes it along to some lucky child!
*Project Gutenberg offers books in both Epub for iPad/Nook readers and Mobi format for Kindle. Often they are available with the illustrations that have been left out of the free versions offered elsewhere. some are also available as audio books.
For the Grownups
Grandma has noticed a rather large number of interesting cookbooks suddenly appearing for Pre-Order. Some she particularly has her eye on:
Margaret Fulton is the acknowledged Queen of Cooking Down Under. Grandma has been using her Plum Pudding recipe for more than 35 years and really has her eye on Margaret Fulton Baking: The Ultimate Sweet and Savory Baking Collection , coming September 18, 2012 - right on time for Grandma's Birthday!
This comprehensive baking bible with never-fail recipes is one baking book you need to own. Margaret Fulton Baking is the ultimate baking book and perfect accompaniment to any household. This is the first ever baking collection from Margaret and it includes her best tried and triple-tested recipes. With more than 320 sweet and savory options plus 140 variations, there are recipes for every level of baker, from beginner to advanced. From melt-in-your-mouth biscuits and rich cakes to light-as-air sponges and fluffy scones, there is a recipe to suit every occasion . . .
Coming September 16, 2012 - The Complete Step-By-Step Guide to Making Sweets, Candy & Chocolates: 150 irresistible confectionery recipes shown in over 750 exquisite photographs
Usually associated with childhood indulgences, the taste of candy and chocolate is a pleasure that we enjoy all our lives. This volume evokes all those memories of long-forgotten tastes, with 150 recipes for sweets, candies and chocolate confections, whether hard, chewy, soft or sticky. From salt-water taffy, homecomb and vanilla fudge to pear drops, chocolate peanut butter cups and champagne truffles, it includes old-fashioned treats and some modern twists on traditional classics, and every tried-and-tested recipe is shown in step-by-step photographs.
Grandma has already pre-ordered Vintage Cakes: Timeless Recipes for Cupcakes, Flips, Rolls, Layer, Angel, Bundt, Chiffon, and Icebox Cakes for Today's Sweet Tooth. It will arrive on July 31, 2012!
Hot Off The Press - Other books Grandma would love to have . .
OK. I'll admit it. I want Marshmallow Madness!: Dozens of Puffalicious Recipes for the cover! Wouldn't this make the most spectacular wall paper in Grandma's kitchen?! (Marshmallows are good too!)
If you've never tasted a fresh, homemade marshmallow, are you in for a treat! Marshmallow Madness! shows how to whip up dozens of fluffy, puffy flavors--from Strawberry and Vanilla to Buttered Rum, Root Beer Float, Maple Bacon, and more. Author Shauna Sever also includes easy recipes for homemade graham crackers, drinks for mallow dunking, and a host of irresistible desserts, including Lemon Dream Whoopie Pies, Blonde Rocky Road, and S'mores Cupcakes.
On Sale Now - Grab it While You Can!
I Scream, You Scream, We All Scream for Ben & Jerry's Homemade Ice Cream & Dessert Book
A real bargain from my neighbors here in Vermont, the Kindle version is $2.24 today!
BTW, if you get to Vermont, be sure to stop by the Ben & Jerry's Factory, just up the road a piece from Grandma! They'll treat you to a tour of the factory& a dish of their great ice cream.
New Amazon Feature!
Grandma happend to be hunting around the pages at Amazon yesterday looking for the new Alyse Vina Stemless White Wine Glasses she bought for picture taking purposes (Grandma's glassware is still in storage!) and noticed something new. Now, when you send a gift card instead of giving a specific dollar amount you can send a gift idea.
Scroll down under the forum links on any item page and you'll see this:
Had Grandma sent those beautiful glasses to someone special by way of this new eGift feature, she would have seen this page
Your recipient gets a gift notice that allows them to either accept the gift you chose or to get credit to their Gift Card balance! Neat idea!
Tomorrow: A fantastic, easy but luscious brunch recipe you'll love!