Sunday, August 22, 2010

Onion Rings

Onion rings are popular around here, and really very easy to make. Plus they're just plain delicious! Mmmmm, fried food...


a few large onions
1-2 cups of flour
1 teaspoon of salt
2 eggs
vegetable oil
basic seasoning

Other things you'll need:

slotted spoon
2 bowls
large pot (we used a Dutch oven)

Begin by pouring vegetable oil into your pot (so that it's about 2-4 inches deep depending on how many rings you'll be making.) Heat on high for a few minutes, then medium. While the oil is heating:

Peel and cut your onions equatorially. Make sure each slice is between 1-2 centimeters thick; you're going to have to pull each layer apart. This way you'll get lots and lots of rings per onion you use.

After preparing the onions, put about 1 cup of flour (we just play it by ear!) and however much seasoning (salt, pepper, spices, etc) and sift thoroughly. In the other bowl, crack two eggs and mix until it is the same color all the way through.

By now your oil should be hot enough. If you want to test it, wet your hand and fling a drop or two of water into the pot. If it spits, it's definitely ready. (Watch out so you don't get burned.)

Dip an onion ring into the eggs first, coating completely. Then roll gently in the flour mixture and place carefully into the oil. You can do this with your hand if you're brave, or just place the ring on a slotted metal spoon. Repeat.

Cook the rings in the oil until the outer coating is golden-brown. The good thing about these is that the onions don't have to be cooked before eating, like potatoes or meat. Let your finished product sit and cool on folded paper towels until ready to serve. Enjoy!

photos credit to Rachel

Saturday, August 14, 2010

A little advertisement..

If you have the time, please check out my daughter's photography blog. :) Thanks!

The Red House And Beyond

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Emma's Birthday List

Emma isn't taking any chances after seeing Ben's barrage of gifts yesterday. She has the advantage of having a birthday two and a half weeks after her brother, so seeing his birthday always gives her all kinds of ideas. For a couple of weeks I'd been asking Ben what he wanted, and his response consistently was, "Oh, I don't know, I'm sure I'll like whatever you pick out!" He ended up with quite a haul--and I don't mean from only Mom & that Rachel earns money herself, she bought him a new Calvin & Hobbes comic collection, which he loves and has already devoured, and then Julia and Emma both wanted to spend money on him, so Julia got him a Bakugan set and Emma got him a game called Cuponk, which involves trick bounces of a ping-pong-like ball into a cup that lights up and makes gorilla noises. Then, of course, there was birthday money and gifts from friends who spent the day with us, and he will get more when the family comes to visit.

Anyway, Emma got right to work making her list. Normally, I would scan it so the entire deliciousness would be understood--her handwriting adds a lot! However, our printer is not working with the new operating system--MATT, get on this problem, please!--so I am just going to type it in, spellings and capitalizations intact.
(My comments are italicized next to hers.)

My BirthDay LiSt

a shYoushYou this is one of Ben's gifts, those hamsters that run on wheels with their attachable habitats--it is actually ZHU-ZHU pets!

an iPod for once, her capitalization in the middle of a word is correct, but I don't think she knows that!

aNd A AQuAtic FRog LiKe Boeabuls at first I was impressed that she spelled "aquatic" correctly, but Ben said she asked him how to spell it. Oh, well. And "Boeabuls" is her version of "Bubbles," Julia's aquatic frog.

Going to Be 6 Years oLd

Monday, August 2, 2010

Happy Birthday, Ben!

Ben's birthday is tomorrow--he is turning 8 and I am crumbling. Yes, as usual, I am given to exaggeration, but every time my kids get a year older I find myself sad. I was just telling a friend that if you'd asked me five years ago if my life was going to change soon, I would have thought you were nuts. Five years ago Rachel was still 9, Julia 5, Ben 3 and Emma just 1. My life looked like an endless stretch of nursing, diapers, little sleep, ride on toys, chicken nuggets, Blue's Clue's and strollers. Bath time was a hurdle, forming a coherent thought just about impossible. What a difference five years make! Rachel is practically on her own, and Julia, Ben & Emma are a band of friends who play their own games, read their own books, talk on the phone to their own friends, and most definitely have their own opinions about everything.

Of course it isn't all bad! Independent kids mean I get plenty of rest, they do chores and can help me with things like gardening and painting things and can do a lot of their school work alone, too. Older kids are more reasonable and better able to empathize; they see the value in cooperation and although I sometimes despair over saying the same thing three hundred and ninety four times, in thoughtful moments I can see that overall they are caring, generous and will be lifelong friends. We can do a lot more now that we're unencumbered with strollers, diaper bags stuffed with snacks, extra outfits and toys--even Emma can walk all day now. We have more fun at museums, now that everyone can read and focus on signs and such, and we can do more programs geared to older kids, see shows and stay up late without worry.

But. When I think how sweet and gorgeous my babies were---when I think of all the hours spent rocking, nursing, cuddling, reading stories, playing silly little games, when I think of how a kiss could make the world right again and how easy they were to please---it just makes me sad. Sad because I know they have to grow up, sad because growing up means growing away before they can come back as adults, sad because having experienced it once already with Rachel, I am dreading the power struggles and inevitability of adolescence to make even the most easygoing child into a four headed beast with no coherent thought except, seemingly, to make everyone else in the family miserable. Sad, too, that no more babies means that I am no longer in the category of young mom--age doesn't matter here, either. Whether you're done breeding at 25 or 45, once all your kids are elementary school aged and above, you are in a different category of parenting. The fact that I feel young and look young for my decrepitude doesn't change the fact that having a teenager makes me...well, not so young. Let's face it, when you're toting a baby, you seem younger than when your kids are thinking about college.

So I am sad for many reasons. Why can't life stay the same, ever?

Happy birthday to my dear, sweet Ben. You are the boy I never knew I wished for, and my life could never be the same without you in it. I love you, and I always, always will.