There is another ‘p’ word besides ‘phemomenon’ that could easily be used to describe me lately… it’s procrastinate. I am a master of it. It isn’t really intentional, but I never realized (until I didn’t have my old laptop anymore since Cole was kind enough to shatter the screen) how dependent I was on finding time to write on my blog while I was doing something else. Now that I have to carve out the time over at the desktop computer (which I am indeed grateful to have) it seems that finding time to write a post is next to impossible! Especially when we’ve been chasing Dusty around at his various skydiving demo’s lately!
Anyway, as you can tell from some of the pictures here, the lack of laptop and writing time isn’t the only thing that has been keeping me from writing. Summer has finally been in the swing of things here at the Hanks’ house and we’ve been taking advantage as much as possible by spending our afternoons out at parks and going to Dusty’s various skydiving events. In fact, the past three weekends have been spent at random places watching him jump out of helicopters and airplanes. We’ve been to an outdoor festival, a dirt bike hill climb competition, and yesterday a fireworks show at one of the prettiest golf courses in the area. Since I have been his ‘ground crew’ (running radios, taking pictures, coordinating with them in the air, clearing out their landing area, etc.) it has been fun, but busy – especially with three kiddos in tow! Thank goodness for great sponsors and wonderful friends and family who help out with the kids so I can do my ‘job’.
So. If you are anything like me during the summertime then you may be looking for seriously no-fuss, fast, easy and fun celebration ideas. I know this is last minute for your Independence Day celebrations for the remainder of the holiday, but if you are in fact looking for a couple more fun ideas, then I hope this helps!
It just so happens that these two ideas actually are easy enough to pull off with no preparation and pretty much no planning to speak of. To say that these are recipes would definitely be a stretch, but I’ve provided directions below, just in case.
The first idea is for the Candy Limeade – simply a lime with a piece of old fashioned candy stick inserted in the side, then used as a straw as you suck on the candy. Don’t ask me the science behind this, because I’m just not that smart, but I’d assume it has something to do with the citric acid in the limes helping turn the candy sticks into straws. This takes time and patience, and for some reason works best with the flavors that are generally in red or that sound like they would taste good with lime (in other words… black licorice+lime? probably not so much!). My favorite is the raspberry stick candy in the lime. Anyway, it couldn’t be simpler, but there are a couple of tricks I’ve learned (included in the directions below). Kids of course think this is a seriously awesome treat, and I have to tell you, since it keeps them occupied for a while, parents seem to love it too.
The second idea isn’t original so much in the idea as it is in the method, which isn’t really that original, other than the fact that I did this at the fireworks show, with no campfire to speak of.
When I was walking through the store yesterday I noticed that they are now making ‘flat’ marshmallows perfect for stacking in s’mores. I thought that would be fun to make with the kids around our charcoal bbq grill after dinner, so I grabbed some chocolate (Skor used in the pictures, but regular chocolate bars at the fireworks show), the stacking marshmallows (regular would work fine too), and some graham crackers.
The slight moment of ingenuity came when I realized we were out of time for getting to the fireworks show in time to help Dusty with demo. I didn’t want to disappoint the kids by missing out on the s’mores and that is when I realized that there was really no reason at all not to pack everything up and take my little kitchen torch with us. The fireworks show is out on a golf course so there isn’t really any way to take along a grill, especially since we had a ton of gear to haul along with us already.
The s’mores were fabulous out on the green thanks to my little torch and everyone got quite a laugh out of the fact that I packed the torch along with us! It is definitely a tradition I will repeat from now on.
Happy Independence Day!
What You’ll Need:
Large, juicy limes, rolled and squeezed to release the juices inside – 1 per person
Old Fashioned Candy Sticks in various flavors like strawberry, raspberry, blackberry, cherry, etc. – broken in half (1 stick will supply a ‘straw’ for two limes)
Cut a small hole in the side of each lime and insert one candy stick half at least half way into the lime – it works best to insert the stick into the side of the lime instead of into either of the ends. As you suck on the candy it will start to draw some of the lime juice up into the stick and create an opening through the middle of the candy for the juice to come through and be flavored by the candy stick to make a ‘limeade’ – it takes a few minutes before the juice works through. Enjoy!
What You’ll Need:
Aluminum Foil or a small baking sheet (such as toaster oven size, but the foil will work fine alone)
Flat Marshmallows, or other large marshmallows
Chocolate Bars (plain or with toffee, as long as the pieces are fairly flat)
Line up several pieces of the graham crackers on your foil or baking sheet in small or large pieces. If you are out and about doing this, make sure to place your work area away from anything else flammable – I laid our foil away from the blankets a couple of feet just on the grass. Layer the graham crackers with chocolate, then enough marshmallows to cover the graham cracker area. My graham crackers had 4 perforated pieces and I made small rectangular s’mores that were kid friendly sized for small hands. I used one piece of chocolate and one marshmallow each, but the process will be the same no matter what size you decide to make.
Once the marshmallow is in place, have enough other pieces of graham cracker in the same size to build the top of the sandwich once the marshmallow is toasted to smoosh it all together. Use your kitchen torch to heat and toast the marshmallows by waving the flame above the marshmallows till they are puffed, golden and toasted. It’s okay if some spots catch fire – just blow out the flame. Using the torch is just like a campfire that way, only faster and much more hot, so be careful to keep the torch well away from anything else flammable.
Once the marshmallow is toasted how you want it, quickly smoosh the marshmallow down with the top piece of graham cracker and serve your torched s’mores.