Saturday, March 9, 2013

Prizes and Pretzels!

A recent conversation:

Charlie: (pouting, petulant)
"Oh Noes! You mean these toys aren't for cute lil ole me? Some other cat is gonna get 'em?"

Me: (annoyed, but still in love)
"Oh Yeses Charlie, you greedy little ball of flufferoo! I think I've already spoiled you well above and beyond the call of duty! Those snakes are for the winner of our cat toy giveaway!.......

Both of us, in unison:

Wish I had a photo of the historic moment when the cats Polly is owned by became winners of our catnip toy snake giveaway but my camera doesn't move that fast! Last night I carefully folded each printed comment and placed them inside a box. Sat down at the table and summoned Charlie, my "officially certified raffle master." No answer. Rattled the box loudly. No answer. Dumped the slips out on the table in a raucous manner, but before I could call his name again, a blinding flash of white fur skidded across the surface, sending one - just one! - of the slips air-borne with the swift accuracy of a champion hockey puck. Off the table it flew, hotly pursued by Charlie, who landed with a solid thud right behind it.Yep, I'd say we had our winner! Never thought it would be that easy or obvious!

Polly, Charlie and I will mail your cat toy prizes to you and Handsome, Lucy, Baby Boy, Chuck, Jonathan, and Daisy as soon as we have your mailing address! And to everyone else - on behalf of 62 beloved pets! - THANK YOU for commenting and entering my very first giveaway. It won't be my last. Only this topic is my last - I am DONE with snakes! DONE! Done looking at their beady little button eyes and DONE shoveling stuffing (and catnip) down their skinny throats!

The grandkiddoes and I have moved we're into something else -

Once in awhile what really happens at grandma's isn't all smiley faces and sunshiney success. Sometimes we just tolerate each other - and deal with the imperfect fruits of our labor in our own way. Such was the case yesterday at Grandma's Pretzel Making Workshop.

Arose at 5 AM to knead dough that promised the same crusty, tasty pretzels I helped make as a volunteer in the Kindergarten classrooms of my daughters. Perfection on a plate. Easy to make from staples everybody has on hand. What could possibly go wrong?.....

While we wash hands and push up sleeves, Nick chats away about his personal experience with pretzels. So warm and good. Enjoyed by the entire family "at the mall." :) Nick knows his pretzels and he's pleased to be in grandma's kitchen making them for himself.

Busy little hands struggle to make smooth ropes of dough that stretch the required 18" for a tradtional twist. We roll 4" lumpy stumps. Fat on one end, skinny on the other. Learned long ago from a parenting mag not to jump in, grab, and re-do. I make the best of it, personally charmed by the plump chubby knots I tie to salvage a dozen floppy strings.

Baking. Ten minutes. After five, pretzel tops begin to burn. Oops. In the chaos I'd forgotten the egg wash. Who could blame me? Well....Nick. "Those don't look like the pretzels we get in the mall."

He won't eat them.

Take a bite myself. Hmmm...chewy...but bland. Good thing I'm resourceful. Drizzle honey followed by a good shake of cinnamon. Bree takes a long skeptical look. "Too sticky!"

She won't eat them.

Gather the troops back in. "Grandma made a mistake, guys. We're gonna try again." Flour everywhere. On sleeves, faces, the floor, and both the dog's ears. "When's mommy coming back?" asks Sae, and I wonder the same thing as I watch the last of the dough roll short and stubby.

I tie more knots and prep for baking while the pretzel team gathers to watch Caillou and I speculate that he's the little culprit who's encouraging them to whine and complain about everything today!

Recruit Nick to apply the egg wash. He loves his projects and usually jockeys for the best position. Today he covers three or four knots, puts the brush down and declares, "Grandma, this isn't any fun." Joins the others to find out what happens after Caillou says he doesn't like swimming lessons and isn't going back there any more.

I finish the job with a flourish of salt and slide the last sheet into the oven. Find myself agreeing, "This isn't any fun," and wistfully wondering again, "When's mommy coming back?"

But the mood changes when she does appear. I present each grandkid with a take out box stuffed full of wobbly knots. They insist that mommy try one, proudly describing how they were made, exclaiming that they had a great time with grandma.

Maybe it was just me. It had to be. All is forgiven. Oh, except for one thing! -the part where Sae rolled out his dough rope and paused to excitedly observe, "Grandma, this looks exactly like a SNAKE!"
Oh Noooooooooooes!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


  1. Aren't kids something! Making you laugh one minute, leaving you frustrated the next! lol I want some of those pretzels!

  2. I loved this! I didn't think you were human like the rest of us -- I didn't think you ever had failure at your house! Kidding! Isn't it amazing how they can do a complete turn around when telling Mom & Dad about what you thought had been a less than successful visit? Those are some lucky grandchildren to have you in their lives!

  3. Great Post...the same thing happens to me often with my little helper, he won't take a bite of the same dish he was so eager to prepare...but he is polite too..No "Thank You mommy" to love these kids!
    Hugs J,

  4. Done with snakes! Oh my! Congrats to the kitty winners! I think the pretzels looks pretty darn good!

    Hugs from Linda and her kitties
    Charlie and Mr. Toes

  5. LOL - I could SOOOOO relate - both with the kid project AND the cute kitty story - only in my case, it would be my granddogs doing the talking. Thanks for such a fun visit.

  6. Congrats to the lucky winners - I enjoyed your post (but now I am sure I will be dealing with pouting, petulant kitties all week - especially when they hear there will be No More Catnip Snakes!)

    I'm sure they'll get over it. But it might take a mighty long time, lol!

    Have a wonderful weekend and hope to see you at Inspire Me Monday!

    Create With Joy

  7. LOL!
    THIS reminds me of when my boys were little and I'd made a bazillion hand made pizzas...they were an italian recipe. FIRST you made and baked the bread, THEN you fried each one a little and THEN you made and baked the pizzas.


    Boys said they'd rather have Four Star Pizza the next time.
    They are lucky I didn't kill them that day! :)

  8. cute snakes, cute kitty , cute story , your cat is like mine , your grandkids are like mine , I could relate with a big smile. Thanks for sharing. I found you from Cuddlebug Linky party :)

  9. Cute, cute story. I found this from Cuddlebug Cuties. Normally my granddaughters & I are making cupcakes or something like chocolate covered strawberries & they have the batter or chocolate more on their face than where it should be. But if they have fun it is all I care about. (They are 6 & 3.)

  10. I love your blog! Such fun you and your grandchildren have! I am a new grand and am stashing away all your wonderful ideas. Thanks so much for sharing. Love the snakes!!!!!!!

  11. I love that you shared what worked and what didn't! And, in the end, it's all making memories with those precious grandchildren. Thanks for sharing!

  12. This is so cute. I can almost see the pet lip at the thought of losing his stash!

    I'd love you to link this up to my Caturday! Linkup. It happens every Saturday and it's all about kitties and thankfulness.

    Sarah @ A Cat-Like Curiosity

  13. Enjoying my first good chuckle of the day reading this. The grandkids were here for a sleepover Saturday and my grandson always wants the same mac and cheese. So, I pull it out and he looks at me and says "I can't eat that - it will give him cancer." So...we start the struggle to find him something he wants to eat besides candy. Then after the change in time, we headed out on a road trip. This was a big mistake because fifteen minutes into the trek he said "I wish we were home." Love them more than life, but you have to be strong and always maintain your sense of humor. :)

  14. Thank you!! My cats and one foster are the very lucky winners of the snakes (you know how that is, I just entered for them!) I actually screamed at work "We Won", some people just don't quite get it:( Enjoyed the story of how we were chosen and will take a picture when we open the box!! Thank you again!! Polly and bunch
    P.S. Sent you my address this morning

    1. Polly, your box of snakes goes into the mail today. Congratulations! I look forward to hearing about how your cats react to them.
      I have to give Charlie a lesson in geography, too. Since your cats are Siamese, he thinks we're sending the prizes to "some foreign country." He is still pouting, yet he's had half a dozen of his own snakes in a rainbow of colors. He's just greedy I guess. Cute - but greedy!

  15. What fun! Making pretzels with the grands looks like a lot of fun. Mine need to get a little bit bigger.

    Charlie looks less than enchanted with having to give up some of those toys. :)

  16. THANK YOU for making what has promised to be a long and stressful day fun by giving me a good laugh first thing! Love it!

  17. Those pretzels look amazing! Oh my! What fun!

  18. Hi, visiting from the blog hop. Nothing like grandkids, right! They will bless your heart. And my grandkids say things that are beyond their age, they really surprise me, and yes they just love having their hands into what ever I cook. My oldest grandson is 8 and he loves what ever I eat. He love all my healthy eats.

  19. Hi! I'm visiting from Friendship Friday :-) I hope you'll also join me for my Friday Flash Blog on The Jenny Evolution ( Happy weekend!

  20. Hi, I found you through the Meet and Greet Blog Hop. Your blog is great, it's funny and fresh. I love this post because it involves conversations with pets and adorable kids. It made me laugh. :) I'm following you now. :)

  21. Congrats to Polly and her furry friends! They are going to have so much fun playing with their new toys.

    Those pretzels look so yummy! What a fun idea to do with the grandchildren. I want some now. :)

    Thank you so much for sharing at A Bouquet of Talent. Hope you are having a wonderful weekend. :)

  22. Yummy Pretzels!
    Thanks for linking up and sharing your projects with us. You are always so inspiring!

    Susie @Bowdabra & SusieQTpies Cafe

  23. you're a phenomenal grandmom! my parents take the kids out to eat but you involve the kids, so much better

  24. i don't think there are any such things as bad days at your house J! :)