Foodie Friday: Fruit Salad

OK, I’m not a huge fan of fruit.  Or vegetables.  They’re just not as good as oh, say, Ben & Jerry’s Karmel Sutra ice cream {really, they’re not}.  However, if I can drench them in some vanilla bean simple syrup, I’m so there.  Sure, it adds some extra sugar, but that’s cancelled out by all the fruit.  Right?  A friend passed this Jamie Oliver recipe on to me years ago and it is now my number one favorite way to eat fruit.

Fruit Salad

1 vanilla bean pod

2 ounces water

6 tablespoons sugar

Grapefruit juice, reserved from grapefruit

Small handful blueberries

4 strawberries, halved

2 yellow and red plums, stones removed and cut into 1/8ths

Small handful raspberries

1/2 pink grapefruit, segmented and juice reserved

1/2 orange, segmented

1/2 melon, cubed

Remove the vanilla seeds from the pod and put seeds and pod into small pan.  Add water, sugar, and reserved grapefruit juice.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer to make a syrup.  Put in refrigerator until thoroughly chilled. 

Toss the prepared fruit in the chilled syrup.

You don’t have to use the fruit specified in the recipe.  I’ve just made the syrup using sugar, water and vanilla bean.  I’ve made the syrup and added it to any fruit I had on hand.  The recipe is so versatile.


Field Trip No. 2

For today’s field trip we headed to Bud’s Best Cookies!  Sure, it’s not very educational, but really, who doesn’t like fresh cookies?  And there was a train ride.  Through the cookie factory.  Need I say more?  Well of course I shall say more!  What fun is posting about a field trip to the cookie factory without going into every sweet detail about the cookie factory tour?

Generally you won’t catch me anywhere {except my bed} at 8:45 am, especially not heading into Birmingham that early.  But, I had heard great things about this tour, so I signed Babydoll and I up.  The drive really wasn’t that bad and as we got closer to the factory, you could literally smell the scent of fresh cookies creeping into the car

***Side Note***
I also learned a new shortcut to that part of town, which, with traffic the way it is on the main highway from our town into B’ham, is a super exciting thing.  Although, I don’t know that I’d call it a shortcut, as I don’t know that it really shaved any time off the drive.  However, if it means I don’t have to sit in stop-and-go traffic and at the lights that have been so “thoughtfully” timed, then I’m all for it. 
***End of Side Note***

We parked and made our way through the cookie-scented parking lot.  That is something wondrous on a fall day, let me tell you; smelling cookies in the crisp air with beautiful green trees around you.  After we checked in, we were asked to put on hair nets.  That was fun {not}.

We boarded the train and our conductor took us off into cookie land.

We were able to see the huge mixers, the huge ovens {up to 180 feet long}, the huge packaging machine, and the huge robotic arms that packed cookies.  Oddly, they were missing a huge cookie…  Go figure.  We were given fresh vanilla wafers, straight out of the oven.  I’m not a fan of wafers, but I tried it to say I had and gave the rest to Babydoll.  She absolutely loved them.

The train meandered through the factory, where we saw the boxes being loaded onto pallets and placed onto trucks.  At the end of the tour Babydoll was given a coloring book and two bags of cookies.  She definitely thought it was worth waking up for.

Weekly Wrap-Up: The One with the Random Stuff

Man, it feels like September flew by and was filled with all manner of insanity!  I hate to say that I’m glad it’s over because I got to spend it with my two favorite people in the world {always a good thing}, but my schooling was uber stressful, so I’m glad that part is over.  I start new classes in a week, so I’m hoping to enjoy this next week “off” and hopefully squeeze in a few things I would like to do.

There were not necessarily any super shining moments in this week’s lessons.  We worked on more geometry in Math learning about lines of symmetry and congruent figures.  Spelling consisted of words with various prefixes and suffixes.  We began working more in-depth with verb tenses in Language Arts and finished up a unit on folk lore in Literature.  We’re also just about done with our unit on medieval times in History and our unit on sound waves in Science.

We worked on Babydoll’s blog quite a bit, completing several assignments in her blogging correspondence course and her Challenge Yourself to Blog challenge.  Be sure to check out this post for a few of her favorite blogging assignments from the week.

While not necessarily related to Babydoll’s lessons, I had a major breakthrough in moving forward with the homeschool co-op I’ve been wanting to start.  I’ll be blogging about that soon.

I also won a blog makeover from Little Bitty Blog Designs, hosted by Meghan over at The Tuckers Take Tennessee.  I can’t wait to start working with Tracey to revamp my blog design!

As usual soccer rounded out the rest of the week.  We’ve got a rather busy week coming up full of more soccer practice, a play date, a Girl Scout meeting, and a co-op planning meeting.

September 29, 2010

My pretty girl!

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September 28, 2010

Making fruit kebobs

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