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Showing posts with label Mothering 101. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Mothering 101. Show all posts

17 December 2012

Chocolate mint ice cream

When I ordered ice cream at a big lunch I hosted in 2004 for (m/l) 300 family and friends at my father's funeral reception, I also wondered how it was made. I like to have an idea of how something I'm eating came to be. The recipe I'm sharing comes from Rita on Food: Home of the Home Cook.

She says her son likes chocolate mint ice cream and she made this for his birthday. In the meantime I can only buy scoops for my son and for a slightly different reason - to bribe him to eat veggies. The plan though is to try this recipe myself when things at work calm down.

Ingredients:
2 ounces unsweetened cocoa powder, approximately 1/2 cup
3 cups half-and-half
1 cup heavy cream
8 large egg yolks
9 ounces sugar
2 teaspoons pure mint extract
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions:

Place the cocoa powder along with 1 cup of the half-and-half into a medium saucepan over medium heat and whisk to combine.

Add the remaining half-and-half and the heavy cream. Bring the mixture just to a simmer, stirring occasionally, and remove from the heat.

In a medium mixing bowl whisk the egg yolks until they lighten in color. Gradually add the sugar and whisk to combine.

Temper the cream mixture by stirring cream into the eggs and sugar by gradually adding small amounts, until about third of the cream mixture has been added. Whisk in the remainder and return the entire mixture to the saucepan and place over low heat. Continue to cook, stirring frequently, until the mixture thickens slightly and coats the back of a spoon and reaches 170 to 175 degrees F. Pour the mixture into a container and allow to sit at room temperature to cool for 30 minutes. Stir in the mint extract and vanilla extract. Place the mixture into the refrigerator and once it is cool enough not to form condensation on the lid, Cover and store for 4 to 8 hours or until the temperature reaches 40 degrees F or below.

Pour into an ice cream maker and process according to the manufacturer's directions. This should take approximately 25 to 35 minutes. Serve as is for soft serve or freeze for another 3 to 4 hours to allow the ice cream to harden.

Rewind to (circa) 1989
Miss Rallos, a vintage, fat old maid, very strict you don't want to cross her, was the manager of the dormitory I lived in when I was in boarding college.  My  roommates and  I would queue up for her signature on our clearance slips before we could take final exams.  Once my turn was about five girls ahead; I made use of the time observing things in her lair...err...kitchen. On the wall near the bathroom there was this picture poster of a mommy koala and her baby looking cheeky. I still memorize what it said, and I'm using the words nowadays to make a little story of how the kiddo is so difficult to feed. 


Fast forward to 2008
This chocolate mint ice cream was actually my choice, not the kiddo's. At first he was timid about it. I introduced him to some of life's sweetest things by telling him a story about how that pretty nun Mommy saw in Dalby Forest (England) ate an ice cream just like this one. This was also his reward for trying to eat salad during lunch earlier. By the time he finished eating, the melting ice cream had dripped from his little fingers down to his elbow and soaked his shirt, and I found out I had no more Kleenex in my purse so we rushed home by taking the sky train.

21 November 2012

The cake that cost me an overseas holiday


Links:
Wordless Wednesday HQ, Rednesday, Create With JoyMomspective, 5 Minutes for Mom, A Mother's RamblingsMama to 4 Blessings,

The Can't-Shut-Up version: It was the kiddo's 5th birthday. I was busy at work and didn't have time to look for a cake that was not as girly as this. I feared he wouldn't like it and he didn't. He was then on a tantrum-at-every-turn phase. When he saw this cake he gave me an appalled look. What? no Ultraman, Mom?  He cried. I felt so sorry for him. Guilt was written on my forehead while tantrum was looming on the MacDonald's horizon. The guests have arrived and in a snap I promised him all the heroes on his next cake and bribed him with Hong Kong Disneyland if he would not make a scene at his party. He managed to show enough decent behavior the whole time. The next year we flew Air Asia to Macau and ferried our butts to Hong Kong. Boys!   

12 October 2012

Socks and signs

Polski: But 
A child's feet grow rapidly. It's a fact known to many parents or those in child care. So it is safe to assume that your child's shoe size is not the same as the last time you went on a shoe-shopping trip.

The American Podiatric Medical Association suggests measuring your child's feet before every new shoe purchase. I fall short of this. And even if I did measure, I still would not have known we were to measure 'no matter how recently the feet were last measured.'
I don't remember my kiddo regularly wearing typical socks while trying on shoes. And I don't remember myself inspecting his feet for signs of irritation after trying on shoes.  You may join me in making a note to self: socks and signs (of irritation)

If you don't mind secondhand shoes, the advice is to avoid them as they 'could cause fungal infection.'  I remember a colleague proudly telling me how she bought her daughter's shoes for 25 cents at a garage sale. And I remember wondering if there were garage sales like those in my neighborhood. Glad there weren't any as my adventurous self  who is open to trying things at least once may have fancied purchasing a secondhand pair.

Do you notice signs of uneven wear? Sometimes they are unmistakeably present, but we may not know that they could be 'indicators of a foot problem.' A child's foot can be bigger than the other. We are to 'choose the size that fits the larger foot.' That would ensure space to wiggle the toes, and therefore less chances of hurting the feet. If you are good at determining shoe sizes you still may need to take your child along to the shoe store as you could miscalculate. I remember how delighted I was by pretty strappy sandals bought for me when I was sleeping. The dismay? They were impossibly larger than my feet. This is why now with my turn to be a parent, I normally allow my kid to hop along for the shoe-buying experience.

I guess you would agree with this tip: "shoes that are comfy in the store are good bets that they would be similarly comfy when you are wearing them outside the store."

Photo Credit: Wikipedia

26 September 2012

Knight's kiss


In a fairytale world, she's the damsel in distress and he's the gallant knight in shining armor who comes to rescue her from the tower of the evil witch.

Enter reality -

CJ in a golden steed green bike and Pinky gallop to the sunset head to the lift of a six-storey apartment building. They speak different languages. They also have different personalities. He is an introvert; she is obedient. And sweet. When asked to kiss him she obliged. Click!  goes the knight's little professor's very first kiss from a girl besides his mom.

20 August 2012

Save * Share * Spend



Divorce wiped me off something I would have been entitled to. That didn't bother me a hoot thanks to financial independence. But when the almighty ex-MIL cancelled my son's trust fund (long story, complicated) I had to look beyond mall windows to think.

The realization that I am responsible for the loss of what is due the kiddo (we're talking more than a few digits here) horrifies me. Add the thought of giving up fine dining and entertainment, holidays abroad, and I'm twirling a nightmare in manicured fingernails. 

The situation provides a steady supply of adrenaline as I scramble to adjust priorities hopping from one advice to another, experimenting, analyzing and trying out examples. Who wants a nightmare when life can go on nicely with some practice of what has been an option all along? Saving it is. A Yahoo Finance article shows readers how to live well on $40,000 a year. It looks feasible and motivated me to set a financial goal for CJ that will teach him how to spend, share and save money.

Three S's - save, share, spend: two in water canisters and one in a cookie can. We upgrade to proper jars or milk cans later. I will be giving CJ $10 a week =  4 dollars to save, 3 to share and 3 to spend.  

Things are about to change for my Little Professor. He will earn his money by doing chores. It's time to appreciate hard work that goes with money acquisition. This is all new to him, and to me as well. But I'm eager to execute the plan. If he wants things badly enough then he will have to sort out schoolwork regularly and take violin lessons.

Times indeed have changed. When I was my kiddo's age I was forced to take up piano lessons without pay. Now he is getting paid for doing things he is supposed to do anyway. But since the goal is to teach him about money, this means will be an exception.

If all goes well, i.e. this money management runs smoothly and CJ does well in his job on top of the trust fund I set up for him myself to make up for the one canceled by his grandma, he will be like little Ava in that Yahoo article that inspired this plan, 'wealthy in more ways than a fat bank account can show.'
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