Friday, August 27, 2010

As American As Apple Pie . . . Bars

I receive "Family Fun" magazine each month. I usually cut out recipes of meals that look appealing and would probably be enjoyed by my family. I rarely cut out dessert type recipes, because, I'm not the best baker. Sure, I can bake a cake from a box and spread some store bought frosting on it and it's alright, but it's not 'homemade' in the sense that I gathered all the specific ingredients to make the cake batter and frosting.

My cousin once told me that it's still "homemade" even when it's from a box because I still took the time to add the final ingredients to bake the cake and open the top to the frosting and spread it over the cake myself. So, when you put it that way, I'm actually not bad at baking.

Reading through my "Family Fun" magazine the other day I came across a recipe that caught my eye. It was "Apple Pie Bars". I was intrigued. It called for me to make the pie crust from scratch, not just use a store bought crust. I also cored, peeled and thinly sliced the baking apples, not just buy apple pie filling. The final touch to the Apple Pie Bars was an icing drizzle, also made from scratch and not just thinned down store bought vanilla frosting.

It was all a little more time consuming then I anticipated, but, completely worth it. It took most of Jessi's nap time, but my day was going smoothly as far as housework and laundry, plus, John and Jessi didn't completely destroy the living room during play time before nap/quiet time. I was able to actually relax and enjoy the process of making and baking this yummy looking dessert.

As it was baking in the oven the warm comforting smell of apples and cinnamon began filling the house. When it was finished I placed the pan on the counter to cool and took a picture with my phone to send it to Charlie, teasingly telling him "If only this picture could tell you how good this smelled".

It cooled for an hour before I cut it and tried a small slice. It . . . was . . . Delicious! Everything I hoped for. Jessi and Tabytha both shared the slice I cut and really liked it. As soon as Charlie got home he tried it and said it was the best apple pie he'd ever had!

I guess I'm starting to get the hang of this baking thing after all!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

A New School Year

Another school year has begun. Today Tabytha went off to her first day of 3rd grade. Sometimes it seems like time has flown by and other times it seems like it's going by in slow motion.

I got a postcard earlier this week stating Tabytha's new school bus pick up and drop off times for this school year. She would be picked up at 8:12am and dropped off at 4:10pm. This morning the pick up time was WAAAY off. Unless 8:58am is the new 8:12am. But, I didn't get that particular memo.

The first week or two of school is typically filled with a lot of waiting for the bus to show up at an undetermined time after they say the bus will be there. It's understandable. There's new students to be included in the bus route meaning new houses to drive to in order to pick up the new students. After a week or two when the bus routine has been established the bus driver is pretty consistent with the pick up and drop off times.

Long story shortened. Tabytha, Jessi and I (while John was still asleep) made our way outside about 5 minutes before the bus was scheduled to be there, so I could get some pictures of Tabby on her first day back to school. Charlie called to wish Tabby a good first day of school and then we sat and waited.

And waited.

And waited.

Around 8:35am I started trying to call the Dept. Of Transportation to find out how much longer the bus might be. Busy signal. I waited a few minutes and tried again. Busy. Again. Called back again (now around 8:45am) and got through. The gentleman on the phone called the bus driver over the 2 way radio and the bus driver said he was about 7 minutes away. I thanked the guy on the phone and went back to waiting. But, now, with the knowledge that the bus was in fact on its way.

The bus finally made its way down our road and stopped in front of the house to pick Tabytha up. The clock read 8:58am. That's 2 minutes before school is scheduled to start for the day! No biggie, really. At least we didn't miss the bus completely ending with me packing all the kids up to drive her to school.

A little extra waiting (45 minutes) wasn't the end of the world and Tab is now at school as an official 3rd grader. I'm looking forward to hearing all about how her day went when she gets home tonight.