For the past month we have been busy sifting and stirring for our upcoming Family Bake Sale. On Fridays, when the three oldest grandkids join me for the day, we bake up a frenzy of cookies, mini banana bread loaves, muffins, brownies and more.....one third to eat, one third to take home and one third to freeze for the sale. This grandma has also been busy constructing little vendor's carts for the bakers, and Nana (Bree's paternal grandmother) has been sewing up a storm, embroidering names on the aprons the kids will wear while they sell their home baked goodies!
Somebody loves to lick the mixer blades!
Even though it can get a little crazy at times, I feel like I am the luckiest person in the world when I'm at the kitchen counter surrounded by my little buddies. They all respectfully wait their turns to measure or mix, but I'm most impressed with the way the boys "surgically" crack the eggs we need. Lots of skills are learned when kids join grandma in the kitchen!
And lots of things are also learned by grandma when we bake together. For example, there is a reason why muffin recipes advise you to stir only until ingredients are blended. "Do not over mix!" When you don't have the heart to force a little helper to yield while he gleefully operates a "cement mixer," you discover that the baked texture of that muffin is decidedly a different one. Still edible, but "different!"
And I think we all know that if you trust your "roll-out-to-1/4"-thick" cookie dough to the enthusiastic operator of a "steam roller" you can probably cut baking time short by at least 75% !
But enough about baking! That's not what I'm here to gobble about today! Our vendor's carts need to be a visual feast of colors, tastes, and textures. A few gift items might be a good way to show off our crafty side too. So, what's quick, kid-friendly, "kitchen-y" and likely to sell like hotcakes early in the month of November? I know! Hand print turkey potholders and chocolate chip cookie fridge magnets! Think mommies, daddies, aunties, uncles and grandparents would gobble those up along with the edibles? I do!
Last summer, we made "Happy Helping Hands Potholders"
to sell at the gift shop of our art show.
I found it easiest and cheapest to build them right on top of dollar store purchases and I still recommend doing that. But one more step makes a nicer finished product. Make a "turkey sandwich" of a 9" hand printed muslin square, a layer of thin quilt batting, and a second muslin square for backing, Hand quilt around the basic shape. Draw an eye and legs with fine point permanent marker. Add the year and child's name. Proceed to complete the potholder with instructions you'll find here.
Once again, I used fabric paint, although none of our art show customers actually used
what they bought from the kids! Unless someone totally "clueless in the kitchen" comes along (grandpa?) you might be able to get away with using regular acrylic craft paint. Adoring relatives will probably just decorate with them anyway!
I also recommend printing the turkeys in several steps. Make the brown body first, then add the feathers one at a time. Use a red finger tip to print the wattle. This method gives you more control over not only the design, but the squirmy little artist too!
I am delighted to have many young moms as readers. If this year's plans are to go "over the river and through the woods to grandmother's house" for Thanksgiving, may I suggest that she would love to be presented with a potholder like this as a hostess gift? And chances are, she won't actually use
Now let's see what Brielle is up to in the Chocolate Chip Cookie Fridge Magnet department!
See these? They are real chocolate chip cookies! After they're baked, you can eat them!
But on the right are cookies my cousins and I made from air dry clay.
After they're dried, we paint them. Don't you dare eat them! Yuck!
Here is how you finish them. First, it's just a coating of light brown paint. Then you dot them with dark brown spots. Those are the "chocolate chips!"
When the paint's dry, grandma takes over and glues a magnet to the back of each cookie! Yummy! They look good enough to eat!
And we're not done yet! Next Friday we will bake the last of our goodies to sell and also do some custom packaging of the dog treats we made last week. This family of animal lovers has eight (8) dogs between us. Five of those are large, one is medium, and the two little gals, Sandy and Maggie, are mini balls of fluff. They are all rescued. They all love treats. Their families all love them
......I think we'll sell out of dog treats even before the "human" ones go out the door!