Of Plagues and Pinterest Fails

I never knew what these masks were all about until I sat down to write this.  They are costumes that Plague Doctors wore during the Middle Ages.  Creepy eh? The Cloak and mask were suppose to protect the doctor from breathing in the germs then attributed to the spread of the plague itself.  The beak was stuffed with a myriad of herbs, mainly lavender, which were thought to filter and help protect the doctor.   Another interesting note was that these doctors were hired by the towns and the city was paying their salary so everyone rich and poor was treated.  The bad news is they were 2nd rate doctors who hardly if ever ended up curing anyone and there is apparently some documentation of some who charged families extra for false cures and such…people suck.


On that cheery note, we just returned home early today as Baby Bat got sick at school with a stomach bug that has been going around our school.  I had my bout on Monday, but since my boss had hers over the weekend and a second yesterday I’m hoping that is my lot and Baby Bat doesn’t suffer from it too badly.  We seem to be doing alright though, with some apple juice down and relaxing with some Paw Patrol and Floam.

I don’t know if its due to some kind of retrograde or maybe I’ve just hit a snag in my kitchen prowess but things I’ve been trying lately haven’t been working out.  It started out fine.  I had this Hot-New-York-Minute of inspiration where I thought “I’m going to go vegan again and it’s going to be awesome!”  followed shortly after getting back from the store with the mad desire for Meat Lovers Pizza.  I should explain that last year I went vegan twice.  The first time I didn’t do the vitamins and felt horribly depressed like I was underwater or something and then got some kind of food poisoning (yay!).  The Second time I did the vitamins and everything was going smoothly until my desire for eggs got the better of me…I nearly made my month mark too, I was very disappointed in me.

Anyway I stuck to my decision for a week, enough to run out the ingredients I bought.  I asked Baby Bat what she would like for dinner and she said “Hot Dogs!”  so we got vegetarian hot dogs…I don’t know why I do that, every time I do I think they’ll be great but they are never great they are rather gross and don’t seem to cook properly (at least on the stove).  I also made a batch of Vegan Baked Beans and these actually turned out really good, had a bit of a kick to them.

I made some vegan meatballs which turned out really good and I have a bunch of them stashed in the fridge for future consumption:

20170326_155549 I was on a roll, still wanting to go back to my omnivorous nature, but this could work for a week.  It all seemed to go south with my attempt at spaghetti squash hash browns.   I dunno if I expected too much out of something simple but they didn’t stay compacted like they look in the pictures.  Don’t get me wrong, they were delicious and I might even remember them for a summer brunch idea, just not as pop in your mouth friendly as tater tots (more like fumble into your mouth).

I also had a recipe for Vegan Mac and Cheese that I had made last year and it had been rather good with the exception of trying to be really low carb about it and made it with cauliflower instead of pasta.  This time around I found Banza Pasta which kept it low carb and higher protein.  I also substituted soy sauce for coconut aminos (inspired by a child at my center who can have neither soy nor dairy).  Not sure if it was also because I used fresh veggies this time as a pose to canned but it didn’t come out in taste or texture.


That was the end of my vegan streak.  I spoke last time about having great and wondrous culinary plans for Easter/Ostara  and I attempted these this past weekend:

I have been wanting to make owl shaped marshmallows since last fall but never got around to it until Easter season rolled around and I finally laid out my plans on how to accomplish this.  I smashed some orange slices flat with a bowl and cut them into little triangles for the beaks and found some candy googly eyes.  Unfortunately I killed my immersion blender *sob* it was getting old and slow anyway I will remember our run of pureed soups fondly.  I think one of these would have done the job better:


Without the fast mixing speed they came out like this:


Like a marshmallow pancake or something like Japanese Mochi…not bad just not anything like what I was going for.  I was going to pipe them into tear drops and give them cute ears; when it became apparent that piping them wasn’t going to be an option I was inspired by a bouncy seat we have at the center which has a triangle shaped owl dangling from it…suffice it to say this was a fail.

I also took it into my head to make licorice wands.  It all seemed so easy, I followed the directions to a T.  The only thing I can think of that went wrong was my candy thermometer and it got too hot because this happened:


20170408_132911 Licorice Toffee???  The wax paper stuck fast to the bottom of the candy so I couldn’t even break it up and “bill” it as Licorice Imps (?, the ones in Goblet of fire that “have a bit to them”).  I can’t re try the marshmallows (no blender) I do have enough stuff to redo the licorice wands but I think I’m throwing in the towel for a bit on candy projects.  Will probably grab some green and purple peeps for the baskets and calling it a day (got the jelly beans and chocolate already).  My next big project is making robes for Baby Bat and I as we’re going to Harry Potter Weekend Festival in Ithaca at the end of October.

In other, less disappointing, news we had a Harry Potter Night a couple weeks ago and it was a big success!  People showed up!  So much so that one of my friends drove past my house because they didn’t think that the house with all those cars was mine (haha!)  It was April 1st and though I did get my copy of Fantastic Beasts in time I did not go all out for it as I wanted to as it was hit or miss whether I would or not…Elderflower liquor is apparently on the pricey side too but I’ve been coming across more and more recipes that call for it so it might need to be a summer treat!


I did my usual Pumpkin pasties, Jelly Beans and Chocolate Frogs and recently I’ve been incorporating “Cauldron Chips” (Kettle Chips…heh, get it?) and “Dragon Bites” (Flammin’ Hot Cheetos) as it was remarked upon that there was an over abundance of sweet on the menu and I whole heartedly agree.  The other additions were Sweet & Sour Double headed jelly snakes (Baby Bat loved these) and Extreme War Head Heat Worms (these were great! everyone was worried about the jelly beans being the gross kind they didn’t see these coming, April Fools!)  I also made the standard Chicken and Ham Pie and batch of Shepard’s Pie it was a good night.


Now that we have the American Wizarding school I took the sorting and ended up with Thunderbird and feel about as happy with it as I do with Hufflepuff (it feels right to my soul).  I’ve been doing some serious thinking on what it means to be Thunderbird, We don’t really have a lot to go off of the way we did with Hogwarts.  I started making a playlist…if you were also sorted into Thuderbird I’d love to hear your take on this or why you feel its a good fit for you, and if you have any playlist suggestions.  Here they are (it’s not long, its a work in progress):

  1. Freebird by Lynard Skynard
  2. Wake Me Up by Avicii
  3. Lightening Crashes by Live
  4. Holocene by Bon Iver
  5. Hurricane by Halsey

I was trying to find lyrics and sounds that get at one “being” the storm as a pose to embracing or weathering the storm as well as the freedom and adventurousness of youth and finding your soul’s own specific rhythm and path…

Well, its that time of year where its getting nice out again so we’ve been going to our favorite playgrounds and going on more outdoorsy adventures.  Our first time out Baby Bat fell asleep in the backseat on the way there and I had to entertain myself for a bit since I didn’t bring my book.  Me pretending to be a Ravenclaw (crossing my fingers for good luck or ASL signing “R” because I’m a dork):


Have a great week! Stay Magical!



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