Wednesday, April 25, 2012

If this, then that.

I really enjoy projects/recipes/finds that lead me down a path of creativity and ideas.  Like if you ever make butter, then you're left with buttermilk, so you figure out what to make with that and you learn new things along the way.

After Easter, I couldn't bear to throw out all the egg dye, so I froze it in ice cube trays thinking my daughter could have fun painting with ice.  I had had grand fun with this myself in my days as a preschool teaching assistant, so I was looking forward to sharing the experience with her.

I plopped the first set of ice cubes onto a sheet of newsprint on the back porch and expected... well, more.  :D*  She thought they looked neat and pushed them around a little bit, but didn't like how cold they were, so I gave her a bubble wand to move them with, but the momentum had begun to fizzle.

Juggling her younger brother and a bad back while this was happening prevented me from really getting involved in modeling what one could do with such a boon; but, I thought, surely, my brilliant daughter can figure out how to have fun with this given a few words of encouragement!  She seemed interested enough, so I got out the other trays.  I had lots of different colors and they were all melting differently.

She never really got into it and quickly became pretty non-plussed by the whole concept when she realized that the ice cubes were all going to melt and disappear.  She seemed more attached to the ice cubes as objects than art tools.

Me: (in a half-hearted attempt at reverse psychology) "Well, I'm sorry, I did this because I thought it would be fun for you, I guess I shouldn't have bothered."

D: "It was fun.  But then they started melting."
sorry kiddo!
                                             F+, Mom.  

It was still neat (for me) to watch them melt as it became a temporary art installation type moment on the porch.

A few days later:
After making (amazingly tasty) Osso Buco * I kind of fell in love with the oval slices of bone left over. I figured, I save shells for D to play with; why not bones?  I read up on how to clean them and it worked great. You'll notice them weighing our paper down during the ice cube painting.
I had a flash of inspiration and decided to draw sets of faces with chalk that had missing features and have her place the bones to "fill in the blanks".

I enjoyed seeing her placement of the features and we had fun figuring out which feature was missing.  I also drew many different face shapes just to mix up the perceptions and visuals.  She even took it a step further and drew her own face for me to figure out the missing feature on!

It was one of those easy, spontaneous whims that just felt particularly satisfying for this SAHMA (stay-at-home-mom-artist).  When we decided to wrap it up she looked at me and said "Let's go sit in the hammock and watch this NOT MELT."

* I've made this twice and it's actually really easy, forgiving and sooo good.  
I know it's supposed to be veal, but I've never eaten veal.  (changes to recipe) I used 8 smaller beef shanks, a bottle of tomato puree blend something, red wine, dried herbs and I think a little sugar.  I divided it up between two enameled dutch oven type pans.  I really just sear off the meat in some oil, take it out, sweat the veggies, then add everything in together and put the lid on and put it in the oven for approximately 4 hours, occasionally checking on it.

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