Thursday, July 06, 2006

Our Summer So Far...

When planning our summer, with me working from home and Maya home as well, one concern that I had was too much TV/Video games. If we lived in a neighborhood full of kids, this wouldn't be an issue, because she would be out playing with them enough of the time to counter-balance the time spent on XBox or Disney Channel. But we don't. The other kids in our neighborhood are in summer day camps and their parents are at work. If I were a stay at home mom, I could keep her occupied for much of the day - we could go on day trips to the zoo, the park, the ocean, whatever. But I work, so while my schedule is pretty flexible, I can't go on day trips without taking vacation time.

So, on your average day, Maya sleeps in while I work. We walk the dog, have brunch, and I work some more. She watches TV or plays XBox while I work. During the schoolyear, the limit is 1 hour a day, but for summer, it's 2 hours a day. So, what else does she do? Yesterday, we made popsicles out of yogurt and fruit juice, she wrote a letter to one of her favorite magazines, she drew pictures, she played music on her zither, and she read her current book, The Witch of Blackbird Pond. I know that if she were allowed unlimited TV/DVD/XBox/Nintendo/Tamaguchi time, the temptations would be too great. (I know, she has a LOT of electronic distractions...that's where the belief that her own money is hers to spend crashes up against my repulsion for SO MANY plug ins.) But really, to be sitting quietly downstairs, reading my book, and hearing her play music upstairs? That's priceless to me.

Here's the recipe for the popsicles, from the Williams Sonoma Kids Cookbook:
Frozen Fruit and Yogurt Pops
1 cup strawberry yogurt
1 cup orange juice
1 1/2 cups raspberry juice

Set popsicle molds on work surface. Spoon an equal amount of yogurt into each mold, covering the bottom 1/3 of the mold. Cover the molds. Insert a popsicle stick into each mold. Freeze for 40 minutes.

Remove molds from freezer. Remove cover. Pour an equal amount of orange juice into each mold. Cover, return to freezer for 40 minutes.

Repeat this procedure with the raspberry juice. Freeze until solid, 4 hours or over night.
(We used either strawberry-mango or banana-cream yogurt, mango nectar, and strawberry banana juice. Our colors weren't as vibrant as the pictures in the cookbook, but I'm guessing the results were just as tasty!)

Oh, by the way, with all of the recipes flying around here lately, I have been remiss about introducing my sister-in-law (Ted's sister). She has started a blog, which is random ideas, but plenty about cooking...and she makes great cakes! So, if you're interested in learning about cake, or whatever else she might be thinking about, check out La Luna's World. Enjoy!

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