Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Zoe and Max made jam

Recently Max Raccoon acquired some kumquats. We aren't sure how he got them, he says it's don't ask don't tell. Jeez. Anyway, they are the ideal citrus fruit for the animals, being relatively tiny. Max asked Zoe Rabbit to help him make jam. After some consideration she agreed.

Max helped Zoe slice the kumquats.

There were a lot. Whenever they found a seed they took it out. Also they took out the little stem pieces.

"Here Zoe," said Max, "don't forget this one!"

"Or these other ones!"

Max had also provided some excellent jars.

Finally, they put all the slices in a pot on medium heat, and added about a cup and a half of water.

They didn't want to be photographed for this next part, and we try to respect their wishes. But here is what they did. They stirred the pot from time to time as the kumquats cooked down. They added about a cup of sugar and kept stirring. It took about a half an hour, and then amazingly all the things had turned into jam. To test if the jam was ready, they dribbled a little bit onto a cold plate and let it cool. When they tilted the plate, if the jam still dripped it was not ready yet. But if it was too gooey to drip, then it was ready.

So then they put the hot jam into the jars.

They had SO MUCH JAM! They had enough to give a jar to all the other animals, and still they would have some to store.

Totally worth it. IMPORTANT FACT! The animals are immune to botulism, BUT HUMANS ARE NOT! If you do this project as written, don't keep the jam out, even in unopened cans. You can keep it in the refrigerator for a couple of months, or in the freezer for six months. 

But really it's too delicious for that. Kumquats have less bitter peels than other citrus fruits, so even if you don't like marmalade, as I do not, you might well like this delicious orangey jam.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Winter Tea Party

Here is Hugo Owl waiting for his scones
Last weekend the mice Mortimer, Annicke, Simon, and Catalina had a Winter Tea Party for their friends. They wanted to avoid the cold ground, and fortunately Hugo Owl had offered his house, high in the top of the tree.

The mice, being mice, were a little nervous to visit Hugo Owl by themselves. Just to be on the safe side, Mortimer asked Owen Fox to come with them. Owen had indigestion so he preferred to prop himself on a branch nearby and read while he kept watch. The mice busied themselves preparing a fire, bringing blankets and warm stones into the hole to keep paws warm, and setting the table. Well, Annicke was supposed to help but as she was rummaging through blankets she found her dolls Alice and Sophie from when she was a baby and got distracted setting up a separate tiny tea party for them.

When the other animals arrived, everything was ready. Smoke was curling from Hugo's little chimney, and Ella Toad commented on how toasty it was inside the hole. Frogs particularly hate the cold, you see, because they get embarrassing goose bumps. Flora Fox was really impressed with the walnut tea cups that the mice had served peppermint tea in.

With all the animals inside Hugo's house, Hugo himself didn't fit! He sat outside on his branch, watching the wintry sunset. But soon enough, the animals brought him a plate of biscuits and tea. Hugo was ecstatic! He loved the ginger cranberry scones, and he was so full that he had no room left to even think of mice anymore. When the stars came out and the little animals started yawning, Hugo flew each one home, and waited until each was safely inside and tucked into bed before going back to finish the scones.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Triple Mice!

 Around Halloween, some of the animals got their portraits taken with a small child. And guess what she was for Halloween? Minnie Mouse! It was double mice, sometimes triple mice, needless to say very mind bending for all involved. Mind bending and cute.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Back from the harvest and GRAND EXPOSITION

We know, we haven't added any news in a long time. What can we say; it was the harvest! Now we are getting ready for a grand exposition: We will be at the Brooklyn Flea's Gifted market in two weeks. It's 9 days long, from December 15th to 23rd, in the Williamsburgh Savings Tower in Brooklyn. You can read more about it here.

Friday, October 1, 2010

We are in a blog giveaway!

Today is the first day of our giveaway on the Made By Bedtime Tales blog. We did an email interview with our new friends Becka and Carrie, and you can read that too in the post. Actually just Jane did the interview; the animals were seen but not heard. Sheesh.

Anyway, if you do the survey that's in their blog post, you will be entered in a drawing to win any animal you want. It's going on until October 15.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Thursday Updates

We finished the four-animal order this morning and sent it off. Also we sent a Mortimer to Australia. It's amazing how very far and wide these animals are traveling.

We have new business cards! We got them from Vistaprint. This is the image on their fronts. It's an old nature illustration but it looks uncannily like our village meadow home. In case you were wondering what it looked like. The cards are almost blank on the back, they just have our URL on the bottom. So we can write messages of any kind on the back, or use them as gift tags, etc. Also a nice thing about them is their matte finish. The card stock doesn't have any coating at all, so they're easy to write or stamp on.

Casey is in fact taking our portraits! We're excited. As soon as our new fabric comes in the mail, we will form a small community of ourselves and travel to Casey's house. We hope to leave on this excursion next Wednesday.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Excursion to the Brooklyn Indie Market

We have an excursion to the Brooklyn Indie Market on Sunday, October 3rd. You can shop for all kinds of handmade things there. It's at the corner of Union and Smith Streets in Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn, under the big striped tent.