All in Baby

Fruit Leather



Children do strange things.  I am not talking about the things they do when they are little and it’s out of their control, I am talking about the weird things they choose to do.  I am also not talking about my child but myself and (and I am sorry to bring her down with me) my sister.  Our preferred media was not worms or dirt but food.  We ate packets of Swiss Miss Hot Chocolate dry with a spoon being careful not to inhale at the same time and cause a coughing fit.  Similarly, we demanded pots of Kool-Aid mix in our care packages at camp so we could not make Kool-Aid but instead dip our fingers in and lick it off until our index fingers were indelibly stained with the sugary mixture.   Like most kids ( I assume), we made concoctions out of the condiments in the fridge from chocolate syrup to BBQ sauce, our earliest attempts at cooking you might say, which always, no matter the ingredients, smelled distinctly of vomit.  And then we made each other try it.  The worst offence, however, involved the fruit roll-up. 

We would peel the sugary goodness from the cellophane and wrap it around our, yet again, index fingers.  We would then suck it like a lolly pop until all that remained was a food colouring stained sticky finger.  That is, unless we fell asleep first or something equally gross.  I distinctly remember sitting in the bath with my pointer finger resolutely in the air, so as not to “mess up” my fruit roll-up.  At one point, they introduced cut-outs which made the process a little trickier but we remained undeterred. 

Fruit roll-ups are therefore both gross and packed with sugar but homemade fruit leather?  A different story all together.  The product of yet another attempt to preserve my seemingly unending glut of apples: apple and blackberry fruit leather.  Very easy to make, just takes a little time and patience, most of which can happen while you are asleep (maybe not if you are freaky about the oven being on).

Pretty Dresses



Growing up, my sister and I moved around a lot.  We weren’t Army brats or the daughters of oilmen: our parents stayed in the same place.  We just moved in between their homes, every week or two for over a decade.  Besides the obvious, this was not ideal for multiple reasons: the soccer uniform was never at the right house; there would be 8 hairbrushes at one and none at the other; and you hesitated every time someone asked you your home phone number.  Something I still do.   Two things, however, remained constant.  Frisko and Yaya.  Frisko arrived around the time that the moving began and was an even-tempered marmalade or ginger cat with dog-like tendencies.  Yaya is an even-tempered Jamaican woman who, for all intents and purposes, was our third parent.