Meringue ghosties

October 26, 2011

So we have a Halloween dessert potluck at our homeschool co-op tomorrow. I had planned on making owl cookies, but it turned out we were out of butter (what? shocking, I know! I always assume that I have several pounds of butter in the freezer).

“Let’s just make meringues,” I said. Mostly thinking that cookies that are more-or-less two ingredients would simplify my life. And thinking that I maybe don’t care if they’re not actually Halloween-themed (confession: Halloween is not my favorite holiday).

“Yeah!” said Eli. “And let’s stick on little chocolate chips and make them into ghosts!”

Well, yes! Let’s! Suddenly these were going to be even better and more Halloween-themed than the owl cookies, even.

You can see that everyone was very, very serious about sticking on the chocolate chips. You can see that it is not actually that easy to fashion meringue into a ghost shape using a pastry bag. But! They do look appropriately spooky. As long as your definition of “spooky” is “tilting, haphazard ghoulish-type figures.”

If you’re in any sort of situation where you need to make Halloween goodies, I recommend these. Just make any old meringue recipe, glob the stuff into ghost shapes, and stick on mini chocolate chips. Easy.

In other news, am I the only person who continually mixes up the spelling of meringue and merengue? Maybe these are dancing ghosts, doing the meringue merengue.


CATEGORIES: baking, holidays

Twelve Annoying Things (My) Kids Do

October 20, 2011
  1. Walk one centimeter behind me.
  2. Use markers in a manner which is potentially harmful to the walls and furniture.
  3. Fake cry. They think it’s hilarious.
  4. “Help” by “refolding” the laundry. I let this one go because I feel like one day it will turn into actual helping by actually folding the laundry, but I can barely breathe I’m so stressed out while the unfolding/bad refolding is going on in its current incarnation.
  5. If everything is going well, someone seems to hurt themselves in a random, self-inflicted way (e.g., whipping around a rope, which then whips the whipper in the eye), which leads to the need for five minutes of patting and soothing.
  6. Climb into my lap while I am trying to type.
  7. While I am cleaning up one room, they are making a mess in another room.
  8. Wake me up in the middle of the night to tell me they just peed in the toilet.
  9. Ask me, at 6:55 a.m., “What’s for dinner tonight?”
  10. If I am thinking adult thoughts for the first time all day, all four will suddenly want me to make them food.
  11. Make a mess, and then when I ask them to clean it up, say, “It wasn’t only me! They helped too! It’s not fair! I’m not gonna clean it up all by myself!” and then sit down and read a book.
  12. Say “Help me with this! I need help!” and then as I stop what I’m doing and am 6 inches from them, say, “Oh! I got it! Never mind.”

And still, I love them, and think they are super cute and fun and funny.


CATEGORIES: Bad Kids, Julie, Parenting

Library Book Sale

October 17, 2011

Oh evil, evil library book sale. I have avoided it the last few years, because I just don’t have space for new books. But I used homeschooling as an excuse to go this year. $20 later I had two enormous bags of books. You can see some of our finds here. There were also some grownup books too (Shopgirl and Unconditional Parenting), and a big bag of books that I’m giving the kids for Christmas (lots of Calvin & Hobbes, and also Adventures in Cartooning, which we just checked out from the library last month, and loved). Oh, and also Sixteen Cows! It was one of the first ones I found, and I actually yelped and said out loud, “Oh! This is why I came here today!” (I know it’s ridiculous that we didn’t own Sixteen Cows, considering how much Zuzu and I are in love with Cowboy Gene.)

Some gems you can see in the photo: Snips and Snails and Walnut Whales is one I had when I was a kid, and it’s got all kinds of great nature crafts. Those Family Creative Workshop books are part of what must have been a fifty-volume series or something (since these barely cover one letter of the alphabet) and have such activities as carving your own walking stick and wine making (now there’s a family activity I can get behind). We’ve already ordered a bunch of supplies to work our way through the Electricity book, which is just what everyone here seems to be into right now, so it’s perfect. And I’m also super-psyched to finally have our own copy of Simms Taback‘s There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly — it’s the best version of the story, and I can’t read it without hearing Cyndi Lauper in my head doing the video version. I love love love Cyndi Lauper. “She’s So Unusual” is definitely one of my desert-island records. And I want her to take me clothes shopping.

Now I have to go clear a bunch of bookshelf space.


CATEGORIES: books, homeschool


October 14, 2011

You know, I just don’t get it when our kids act like we’re the meanest parents on earth. Like we’re such horrible monsters for making them clean up their messes, or for not biting or hitting each other. Now, at least, when the boys act up, I’m going to pull this out: “Hey, remember when we let you ride on Dave’s motorcycle?”

I’m sure they won’t get it, though. We’re still uncool meanies.


CATEGORIES: Eli, Henry, Parenting
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New review on Brain Burps About Books today!

October 12, 2011

Hey! Check out my review of Chris Van Dusen’s King Hugo’s Huge Ego on Katie Davis’s podcast today. All the details about this episode are here, and you can download or listen by clicking here. Enjoy!



Vegetarian Trial

October 10, 2011

So, as long-time followers of World of Julie know, I am sick of making dinner for people (children) who burst into tears when I put dinner in front of them. I am sick of making a seemingly kid-friendly meal, like spaghetti and meatballs (something I don’t particularly care for) only to have everyone burst into tears and reject it.

So a while ago, I mostly decided to completely ignore what they might want to eat, and just make what I want for dinner. If they’re going to get mad about it either way, it might as well be stir fry. (Note that I forget this sometimes, and still stupidly make something that none of us likes.)

For the month of October, we’re going vegetarian. If I didn’t have these meat-loving kids (except Henry, who isn’t that into it), I would be vegetarian all the time. So we’re trying it out.

Eli: “We need to get some of those meatballs.”

Julie: “Actually, we’re going to try to be vegetarians for the month of October.”

Eli: “WHY?!?”

Julie: “To see how we feel. To see if we feel better.”


So I made bean and hominy pot pie for dinner. Either the girls are starving, or they are warming to our new eating plan.

Zuzu helps herself to raw squash.

Ramona helps herself to raw onion.

Yeah, honey, when you eat raw onion, it's going to make you cry.

How do you all do it? Do you eat what you want? Do you make five different dinners?