Friday, November 2, 2012

Something to Gobble About!

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 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 it either!

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!


  1. Oh, those do look good enough to eat. Cute idea! And I never thought about handprints on a potholder. Another grand idea.

    I must ask (and I truly am curious), where do you find the energy for all you do? Honestly, do you take vitamins? Drink pot after pot of coffee? I want to know your secret as I'm so darn tired so much of the time, and I cannot imagine getting done all that you do, especially with the grandkids. C'mon...share the secret. :-D

  2. I had a hard time getting to the rest of the post after cracking up at the cement mixer and steam roller! ROFL !

    But I am glad you posted about the turkey art...because it reminded me about the hand art ...I am going to do something with the kids like that and use for little Xmas gifts, I think....

  3. You are so full of energy and creativity I think that really you are identical twins! Come on and fess up! Seriously though, if there were an award for the most fun and creative Grandma you would be the winner hands down! I love your bake sale idea and I may have to give that one a try. Perhaps in time for Thanksgiving? Giving the kids a chance to earn some Christmas present buying money. Let's see if I can pull that off! Thanks again Joyce for a wonderful post and linking it with me :)

  4. Oh how cute! And I love the idea of using Dollar Store craft items - wouldn't this be adorable on a little tote bag as well. Thanks for the fun ideas!

  5. As stated above you are the most amazing grandmother and those children will have the best memories ever -- as will their parents! You are setting the bar mighty high for when it is their turn! Your family events are just spectacular! Good Job Grandma J!

  6. Again, I love this post. Thank you for sharing it in the GRAND Social! ♥

  7. Wow. You are one busy grandma. Love the pics.

  8. What a fun day with grandma, love it! And I love those pot holders, may try to find some today so we can make them when me and my husband go babysit my grands Friday night:)

  9. These potholders are too cute! And so are your grandkids! Oy! Thanks for sharing!

    1. I loved these so much I shared them on my Some Kind of Wonderful Saturday Party! Please come by and share some more. I know I will definitely be back here!

  10. Congrats Grandma!! You and your precious grandbabies have been featured over on the Feature Friday Bowdabra blog today! Thank you for linking this up last week in our showcase. Our Bowdabra Designers picked your post as one of their favorite!

    Stop in and see your feature:

    As always we will give you a Facebook/Twitter and Pinterest shout out today, too!

    Have a great weekend and stop in Sat-Thur to share more of your goodies!

    Susie @Bowdabra

  11. Aw...I'm a granny, too, and this looks like so much fun! I'm eager to try them with my grandbabies! Your sweeties are sure adorable.

  12. The potholders are adorable! The artists are too-enjoy:@)