Wednesday, April 22, 2015

A Happy B'Earth Day Cake


This is my daughter's favorite cake to make. It doubles as an Earth Day/Birthday celebration. If anyone is interested in making it, what I did was quite simple.

1) Make your favorite cake recipe. I used the one-bowl chocolate cake from Craig Claibourne's New York Times Cookbook. You have to make two batches for each half of the globe.
2) Find two bowls of the same diameter. Oil and flour the insides of both.
3) Cook as directed and when finished cool and use a spatula to pop the cakes out of the bowls.

4) Frost. I made a no-cook butter cream frosting. Frost the two halves together forming the globe.
5) Put a light coating of blue-dyed frosting over the sides leaving a small area on top for the polar ice caps.*
6) Lastly use a globe as a guide, with a different color frosting "paint" on your continents.
7) Go for a run. That butter cream frosting is just that, butter.

*I couldn't find my blue dye and berries made the "world" too purple so I borrowed from a friend! So either borrow from a friend, go to your natural food store or go online for some natural food dye alternatives.


Monday, April 20, 2015

Saratoga Museum Poster Contest for Kids

Add a descriptionCalling All Kids pre-school through Grade 2
For the Children's Museum at Saratoga's 
Annual Big Truck Day Poster Contest

Contest Rules:
  • Open to children pre-school through Grade 2.
  • Design the poster at the museum's own Creation Station art room, at school, or at home.
  • Submissions must be on white paper between 8.5 x 11 and 11 x 17.
  • Please include child's name, school grade, name of school, & contact info (address & phone number) on the back of your submission.
  • Deliver submissions to The Children's Museum by Tuesday, May 19th, 2015.
Prize Package:
The winner will have their design featured on all promotional materials and will receive a prize package including: 
  • A $50 gift certificate to G.Williker's! 
  • FREE tickets (2 adults and 3 children) to the Big Truck Day Event!
  • And more to come!
Big Truck Day is always held the first Saturday in August. This year Big Truck Day will be held August 1, 10 am - 2 pm at the Maple Avenue Middle School, Saratoga Springs

For more information please call the Children's Museum at Saratoga (518) 584-5540.

Friday, April 17, 2015

Cherrypatch Pond Springtime Snowshoe - Wilmington NY

 One minute it feels like we have so much snow and the next moment it seems to all melt away. It is this tricky time of year that we have to choose our wooded walks with care. There is plenty of snow still hidden among the trees when we make a quick stop to take in the beautiful view from Big Cherrypatch Pond. 

 I’ve only ever noticed the sign for Cherrypatch Pond heading west toward Lake Placid from Whiteface Mountain. Little and Big Cherrypatch ponds bookmark Rt. 86 and we’ve never given the ponds their due. With only a passing glance from our vehicle, the ponds always seem more marshland than open water.

The trail to Big Cherry Patch pond starts on the south side of Rt. 86 with its outflow crossing beneath the road to the northern Little Cherrypatch Pond. We park at the small designating area and make our way over the remaining snow bank. The whole hike is less than ½-mile round-trip, but since we are searching for signs of spring, we plan on taking our time.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Clarinets for Conservation in Saratoga Springs April 19

Last year at Saranac Lake's BluSeed Studios, my daughter and I went to see a concert that blended beautiful music with the origin of the clarinet. Since my daughter is just learning to play the clarinet, it seemed like the perfect way to strength her love of playing. It did so much more, for both of us.

With world-wide trading at our fingertips, eBay and auction houses, it feels like we have lost touch with the beginning of things. We have certainly lost sight of our food source and we've also lost sight of our resources.

An organization based out of East Berne, NY has been working to preserve the wood source of the clarinet, piano keys, bag pipes and more. Since 2010 Clarinets for Conservation has run a program in Moshi working with school children and teaching music, conservation and tree planting. 

Clarinets are made from the Mpingo Tree, commonly referred to as African Ebony or Blackwood tree, also the National Tree of Tanzania. It takes 80 years for a Mpingo to grow to full size, which is only 26' in height. The twisted slow-growing tree has been ruthlessly cut down over the years with no thought for sustainability.

Tanzania is bordered by Kenya and Uganda to the north, Mozambique, Zambia and Malawi to the south, the Indian Ocean to the east and Rwanda, Burundi and the Democratic Republic of the Congo to the west.

(Fun Fact: Kilimanjaro, Africa's highest mountain, is in northeastern Tanzania.)

On April 19 from 3-5 pm Clarinets for Conservation will continue another of their programs uniting music with the origin of musical instruments. Tickets are still available for the Saratoga Springs Soiree For Earth Day  at the Universal Preservation Hall. 

Be A Nature Detective: Making Maple Syrup

We only have five maple trees on our property and each year we produce two gallons of maple syrup, just enough for our family's consumption.

Making maple syrup is a rewarding experience for children and families. It is a wild foraged food source that does take a lot of time, but is always worth the effort!

Can syrup be made from any sap out of any tree? 
Well, it depends on what you want to use the syrup for. If you want something to sweeten your morning pancakes then maple trees have the highest content of sugar. Syrup has also been made from birch trees, 

How do you get the sap out of the tree? 
A person has to drill a hole into the tree and tap in a spiel, a small peg that will let the sap drip out. A bucket or jar is also attached to the tree to catch the drips of sap.