Friday, June 25, 2010

Birchtree Summer Camp Circus Festival

What a fantastic afternoon! The campers did a great job showing off all of their neat new tricks from this week of learning circus arts- juggling, Chinese yo-yo, spinning 'plates', spinning rings, and something where they balanced a ball on top of a tube (yes- that's the technical term).

After the performance families hung out, played, listened to great live music, bought goodies from the bake sale, popcorn, soup & bread, made flower fairies and daisy crowns, took aim with a slingshot,  and kids had their faces painted with tiger stripes, butterflies, flowers, and spiderwebs. There was a puppet show and then more low key family fun. The weather even cleared up for us!  I'm really enjoying getting to know the other families who are involved in the school and becoming part of this community. There are some neat people here!

As much fun as the festival was, the run-up to it was crazy. I experienced baking fails and knitted lamb fails all in the same day. I burned a cheesecake and my frosting just would not behave. I used this recipe for the vanilla cupcakes with lemon curd but....I used regular flour instead of gluten free flours (1.5 cups white and 1.5 cups whole wheat replace the first 5 ingredients). Then I cheated and used store bought lemon curd because it was already in my pantry and totally effortless. I used sucanat instead of white sugar- I don't have any in my house. The frosting was kind of a disaster. Miss V made caramels earlier in the week and the candy thermometer died, stuck forever at 218 degrees. Since I didn't have a thermometer and didn't have the time or inclination to go get one (since I was already behind) I decided to just wing it. I'm pretty sure that my syrup wasn't cooked enough but its hard to know by look when using sucanat. I also only had beaters that aren't really that great for frosting and I'd attempted to use the evil microwave to defrost my butter- since I was behind- and over-melted it. So I was pouring inadequately candied syrup into my egg yolks then beating in butter that's too warm and trying to compensate by adding more butter that was still half frozen. I finally hit a point of desperation and whipped a pint of heavy cream and folded it in with my fail frosting. That got me something edible and of decent taste but it was still kind of grainy looking and I kept getting chunks of butter in the end of my piping tip. This makes for some ugly piping!

It all seems to have worked out in the end- all the baked stuff sold. Some of the knitted things sold, others didn't but can go into the school store. One of my lambs ended up getting a last-minute crocheted tail and becoming a panther. The other one was being marketed as a polar bear last I saw. Neither of the hats had sold but I'm not too surprised- its tough to think of buying hats when its hot and the end of June.

There were beautiful silks for sale and crazy cute little gnomes. T2 bought me a beautiful scarf that I tied in my hair. Someone made a little felted house with two little dolls. So so so so cute! I would love to learn to do those. T1 got a Chinese Yo-yo of his very own.

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