Monday, February 22, 2016

Checking for Soundness...

We have a toddler, and in the way toddlers do, she investigates things.  Friday I was working on school with the big kids, and heard her rattling in the silverware drawer.  I tell her to shut the drawer.  SLAM!

We go on with our day.  When I went to make lunch, I found the drawer off the track.  I was going to pull it out and reset it, but then found the drawer wasn't off the track, the track was off the back of the cabinet.  A little harder to fix, but it didn't tear the two screws out, so I thought maybe I could slide it back on.  On further inspection, I found that the bracket was actually broken.  The original installer opted not to put in all the screws, so with the force of a two year old tornado, the bracket broke at the narrow point.

This means I trip to the hardware store...with children.  So I find the aisle with the drawer hardware, but did not find what I needed.  I walked over to the cabinetry.  Nope.  I go back to the first aisle and search more earnestly.  I go to customer service.  The young man refers me back the aisle I'd spent half an hour in as my children played ring-around-the-rosie, really.  I go back a third time.  This time there is a man working there.  He has never seen anything like my bracket before.

On to store number two.  Another, "We don't have anything like that."  I did find something, knowing how the track looked, I thought might work--it was plastic and looked very different.  It was only a couple of dollars, so I chanced it, knowing we could put in a new track (this store had those) if we needed to.  Justin was able to finagle it to work to hold up the track by removing a bit of excess plastic.  He also saw to it that the other brackets were more properly attached.

So if you need a toddler to check and see if your drawers are properly installed, I know your girl!

Friday, February 5, 2016

Friday Funny

One child, under breath, about dinner: This is disgusting.

Ellie, happily: I eat 'scusting!

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Elderberry Leftovers

We have been using elderberry syrup to treat the flu for a few years.  We have not had that illness so far this winter, but when Ellie had RSV the nurse practitioner told Justin that it does seem effective against that, though not colds.  We didn't have enough berries left to make a batch, so he bought a tiny bottle (4 fluid ounces) at the pharmacy, for around $15.  Yikes!

He seems to have caught her illness, as it seems the childhood immunity does eventually wear off, so rather than continuing to buy the pharmacy version I went and restocked our elderberry supply.  I also bought some local honey.  I'd picked up some ginger at the grocery, and the rest of the ingredients I had on hand.  The total cost (for the portion I used, as I bought a large jar of honey) ran us:

Elderberries:   $2.50
Local honey:   $5.66
Ginger:            $0.50

TOTAL:          $8.66 for more than 2 cups

After Kate and I made the syrup we had the left over elderberries.  I always hated throwing them out, but she really prompted me to look for a use other than compost.  I saw a few recipes for muffins.  None of them quite fit, since we'd already stewed the berries.  I came up with this recipe, and it worked perfectly.  Note, we used 3 drops of clove oil, so we didn't have whole cloves mixed in, as you might, depending on your syrup recipe.

Elderberry Muffins
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup milk
1 egg
3 tablespoons brown sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
a pinch of salt
3/4 cup flax seed
1 1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup dried elderberries, after drained for syrup with other ingredients removed

Beat butter and granulated sugar.  Blend in all but the elderberries.  Stir in elderberries.  Bake at 425 degrees for 20 minutes.

Yield: about 15 muffins.