Sunday, April 29, 2012

Paper bags

This is really the prime of excitement, folks. Brace yourselves.

Miss Ellen has been keeping herself occupied all week making "puppets" out of brown paper lunch sacks. She colors all over them, assigns them to friends and family, and makes piles of her "favorites" and "not-so-favorites". I even had to make a special trip home to make sure the bags and markers were packed in her overnight bag for a sleepover with the grandparents.

I wish I could take credit for this creativity, but the truth is that this must be all daycare. I've had the bags sitting in my pantry for ages and it never would have occurred to me to pull together this (simple) project. I consider myself a reasonably creative person, but I just can't get it together to do crafty things with Ells. Pinterest, be damned. I think there are a lot of positives that daycare adds to her life, and certainly the crafty / artsy / outdoorsy / adventure stuff is a lot of it.

By the way, I have the paper lunch sacks not because I am packing lunch in them, but because I use them now to make microwave popcorn. It is totally the best thing ever and very cost effective. Popcorn is a favorite treat around here and I hated the thought of the weird chemicals in microwave popcorn for Ellen, plus I don't think it generally tastes all that good. I usually would make it in a pot on the stove with a little olive oil, but let's face it, that requires cleaning a pan.

Now, though, this is perfect:
- take a regular old brown lunch sack
- add some popcorn kernals to the bottom, maybe 1/4 to 1/3 cup.
- don't add any oil or anything
- fold over the top of the bag a few times tightly to keep the steam in, but keep the fold small to allow for plenty of room for the popped corn
- don't staple unless you want sparks and/or fire
- set the bag standing up in your microwave and run it 2-3 minutes, however long your popcorn usually takes. Listen for the pops to slow down.
- Warning: I think I bought the cheapest brown bags ever and sometimes the steam gets the bottom of the bag wet and it tears, spilling some popcorn / kernals. Oh well.

That's it! A perfectly popped, whole grain snack. And, then you can add melted butter and/or salt and/or maple syrup and not feel (so) bad about it.

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