Tuesday, February 18, 2014

the time I chiseled a pretzel rod

Is this year flying by to anyone but me?  I can't believe Valentine's Day is already over and we are now officially in the second half of February.  I'm sure it's because I have so many things on the to-do list that I want done before spring, and so many of those things (nearly all, if I'm being honest) are still yet to be done. 

Even though it's over, let's talk about Valentine's Day.  I'm thoroughly disappointed in the results of the boys' Valentine's this year; I made a critical error at the get-go, but we did do some crafting in the weeks leading up to Valentine's Day that went okay...


When Mimi was up in January I made a run to Michael's to get the supplies for these arrows. We sat down with the big boys while Nolan was napping and from start to finish this project was a success.  We improvised the design a bit, but from cutting to gluing with just a bit of help they were able to make these all on their own. I know I'm biased, but I think they are adorable.  


I also did a bit of crafting on my own this holiday. I made this banner and these bath bombs (a couple of changes I made to the recipe: added quite a bit more essential oils and some epsom salt). The original plan with the banner was to make two - one to keep and one to give away on here, but when I got it done I wasn't quite sure I even liked it.  It has since grown on me, but by the time I decided I liked it, I was out of time to get a second one done (running out of time, this is a recurring theme in my life.) 


With the crafting out of the way the weekend before the holiday we set aside to be "all about Valentine's" We knew the boys would do best with tiny increments of work rather than long-drawn out projecting.  For the Grandparents and Godparents we made these birdseed hearts. And now the Godparents are reading this and tilting their heads to the side while scrunching up their noses a little: hmmm?  I didn't get a birdseed heart?  Well, no, you didn't. Not yet. Because they are still sitting in my pantry.... This project was super easy, it only required two ingredients: birdseed and gelatin and from start to finish (minus drying time) was done in about 10 minutes.  


The boys' Valentines however were a different story.  Let's just go ahead and get the elephant out of the room right now...yes, this year I was that asshole parent that made her kid's Valentines.  There it is.  I'm not proud of it, but there it is. I'm convinced that my critical error was this: I decided what the boys would make without asking their opinion on the matter first.  Let me back up a little....so the kids are really into hunting right now.  Their Christmas wish lists were shoot guns and bow and arrows (both of which they got) and I thought their love for bow and arrows tied nicely into Valentine's Day; specifically into Cupid's Arrow. So I started my search there and found a bunch of different options but ultimately landed on this one as my source of inspiration. A pretzel, marshmallow, and dove chocolate - that's easy right? I mean, even kids can make this. But I think in making this decision is where I went wrong.  I mean, if I had asked them what kind of Valentines they wanted to make maybe they would have chosen arrows, but maybe not.  Last year they insisted on deer valentines and while I was absolutely stumped as to how to do this I think they actually turned out pretty cute. So, that's where things started to go wrong and from there, they only got worse.

The directions said to melt the chocolate on the pretzel.  Hutt and I set about doing this, him unwrapping the chocolates and placing them onto the pretzels, me sticking them in the oven.  This was working well until I pulled them out of the oven and realized half of the chocolates had fallen OFF of the pretzels and melted.  Have you ever tried to shove a pretzel stick under a melted piece of chocolate?  Results were not good.  I was a little concerned about my ROI (return on investment) at this point, 50% that's.....less than I'd like.  But I trudged on and decided that while they were cooling we could at least test out the marshmallow portion of the project.  I figured this part, at least, would be easy and so I picked up a pretzel rod and a heart shaped marshmallow and I showed Hutton how we would do this: see Hutt, we just slide....the....marshmallow....down....like....oh crap, that doesn't look like an arrow fletching at all.  It was all squished and bubbled up into two little balls....on the end of a pretzel stick...I don't need to describe this any further, do I?

The pretzel rod was too big.  But I had already test run the small pretzel sticks and they were too small. I needed to somehow make the big pretzel smaller and this is what led to my experience in chiseling a pretzel rod.  Put that on your resume.

This story is already too long so let's just skip to the end....I used frosting to "glue" the chocolate and marshmallow onto the pretzel (Keaton's party was later in the week so I actually cut his marshmallows in half before "gluing").  Then I froze them so they wouldn't be in three pieces by the time the kids handed them out.  I think it worked; I'm not quite sure they actually looked like arrows but whatever, BEHIND US.  The kids did look cute writing their names on 17 different Valentines - which, come to think of it, was probably PROJECT ENOUGH.


Blow that picture up and you can see the arrows a little closer.  I'm too tired to post full size pictures here.

Our celebration did end on a good note, thankfully. Strawberries and waffles for breakfast Saturday morning, seafood alfredo and crab cakes that night (which the boys don't like, be WE DO so yay! Happy Valentine's Day!!)


Hope you guys had a good celebration! This weekend the red will be put away and soon, soon, the green will find it's way out.

3 comments:

CAS said...

You are supermom!!! That is all I have to say. These crafts are great! I love the Arrows and then your heartXOXO mantel display and I think the pretzel sticks totally look like cupids arrows- cute.

Makes me think I need to be "crafty" but when I make things I tend to not like what I make as it is not "good enough" to my standards and thus I'd rather buy something. I do not have a single Valentine ornament for our home- sad right.

Jill said...

I have to admit, I understand your determination to make this project turn out right. Once you start something like this, it's hard to just give up when it's not working EXACTLY the way you had planned it! Unfortunately, that happens to me more often than I would like :)

However, I can say without a doubt that I have never chiseled a pretzel rod, so hats off to you for even attempting such a thing!! :)

I do think the arrows turned out adorable and I applaud you for making special valentines! I go the easy route and use the store-bought ones, however as you mention, it is quite an accomplishment to just get the kids to write their names on them 17 or 22 times! (And that's not including the tattoos or pencils that you need to stuff into all of them as well!) What we do for love, I guess, right!??

Glad your Valentine's Day turned out well - your waffles look fabulous! We'll have to try that next year!

I do think I'm going to get some beignets to do with them for Mardi Gras - we all LOVE them! (That's my reminder to order the mix!) Have a great rest of the week/weekend! :)

Jill said...

I have to admit, I understand your determination to make this project turn out right. Once you start something like this, it's hard to just give up when it's not working EXACTLY the way you had planned it! Unfortunately, that happens to me more often than I would like :)

However, I can say without a doubt that I have never chiseled a pretzel rod, so hats off to you for even attempting such a thing!! :)

I do think the arrows turned out adorable and I applaud you for making special valentines! I go the easy route and use the store-bought ones, however as you mention, it is quite an accomplishment to just get the kids to write their names on them 17 or 22 times! (And that's not including the tattoos or pencils that you need to stuff into all of them as well!) What we do for love, I guess, right!??

Glad your Valentine's Day turned out well - your waffles look fabulous! We'll have to try that next year!

I do think I'm going to get some beignets to do with them for Mardi Gras - we all LOVE them! (That's my reminder to order the mix!) Have a great rest of the week/weekend! :)