Thursday, April 01, 2010

A Few Foolish Ideas

Do you need just one or two more tricks to play on your kids?

Try this "Chore Camp" brochure from FamilyFun. Oh we got Ben so bad with this. "Wow," we said. "This seems so different from the online description. . . " "Yikes," he said. "It really does." I love this quote: "My favorite part of camp was when we got to clean up the mess that the kids in the other camp made while cooking smores." Brilliant.

Or this letter, adapted from FamilyFun:

Bwa ha ha ha. Or this "milk" adapted from the twisted recesses of my own brain.

Dissolve 1 packet of plain gelatin in 1/2 cup boiling water (stir until it's really dissolved), then stir in 3/4 cup milk, 2 tablespoons sweetened condensed milk, and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla. The kids loved it. Besides that it looks exactly like real milk, and so is an excellent trick, it also tastes a lot like panna cotta (crossed with a Jello Jiggler), and so is an excellent treat.

Have you played any good tricks yet? Or been tricked? Michael served me a steaming cup of "tea" that was actually hot water, milk, Diet Coke, and Jack Daniels. Yowza.

Meanwhile, in case you have some matzoh left over, this recipe is INSANE. It is so good it's criminal. Seriously. Toffee Buttercrunch Matzoh. Here. In fact, you should buy matzoh specially and make this, it's that good.

Also, I have an essay over at Brain, Child.

And we're going to do another book give-away next week. Stay tuned! And send me pictures of yourselves with your won book, and I'll post them here!

Happy Passover. Happy Easter. Happy Spring. Happy Life. xoxo


  1. Hahaha I just made some "milk" for when the kids come home from school. Thank you for the deliciously devious prank idea. ;)


  2. Chore camp is a hoot.

    And the milk. What a great idea!

  3. I just made this for dinner, using soy milk and cream of coconut. Hope it works!

    I also did two Family Fun ideas: the gummy worm in the apple for school lunch and the mock sushi for dessert.

  4. I just printed the camp brochure for after school! I didn't have time for any of the food ideas...but am saving them for next year!

  5. Anonymous6:41 PM

    I did the chore camp brochure this morning! And the Field Trip permission form, also from Family Fun, because we really do have field trip forms that need filling out. Kid's enjoyed it, and tried to pass it off on the teacher too.

    Ha! I'm almost as cool as Catherine!

  6. Jen L.7:02 PM

    I had the milk ready for the kids when they arrived home from school and they loved it! They almost fell over laughing, after recovering from the shock. Thanks for the great idea!

  7. I love the IRS letter! I will have to remember this for next year.

    We pranked the kids with the "snack switcheroo" from FamilyFun. I also got Alex (5 1/2) with an elastic around the spray hose at the kitchen faucet. It soaked him, as well as me because I stupidly stood behind him as he turned on the water. Doh! That pleased the kids more than the prank itself.

    I also put Alex's bedsheets on my daughter's bed. That was a good surprise because it came at the end of the day when she was least expecting it.

    I love April Fool's Day!


  8. thanks for the great idea-- LOVE it! it is *right* up my little four-year-old jokester's alley. i can already hear the belly laughs roll! happy everything to you, too! :)

  9. I ran a line of thread through my daughter's undies, so she got them all when she tried to pick up one. Also switched the cereal in the boxes, so they got Mini Wheats when the expected Rice Krispies. The camp chore thing is great--I'm saving that for next year! Also--great essay in Brain, Child.

  10. I did the chore camp thing on my kids yesterday with huge success. We had just started discussing summer camps, so they were ready for it. At first they were definitely unenthused ("Who told you about this??"). But as I was describing the chores ("and you learn good songs to sing as you clean") they actually began to get excited - "Will there be sweeping? I like to sweep." "What about outside chores - I don't want to be inside all day." By the time I told them it was fake, they were almost ready to sign up. Perhaps we can start a chore camp every Saturday morning ;)

  11. Stephanie10:41 PM

    I love the article...thanks for writing it.

  12. Libramom10084:16 AM

    Thank you for that beautiful essay at Brain, Child. Sometimes reading something great is like listening to music, as this was. I wish I had time to try more of your tempting recipes, but for an essay, I'm always able to steal a few dreamy moments...

    'Boozy grin from a barstool'.now THAT brought back memories, distant though they may be...

  13. Jennifer LB8:43 PM

    Clearly I need to work harder at the April Fool's thing in the future.

    We tried the chore camp thing on our 7 year old. He TOTALLY wanted to go. Maybe people really need to make this camp happen. :)

  14. I did. I got Matzoh just to make the butter crunch. And it was.completely.insane. Yum.

    1. Anonymous11:00 PM

      Where did you find the recipe? I can't seem to locate it after scanning several pages from the link.

  15. For April fool's I froze the kids' breakfasts and their drinks.
    They loved it!
    Here's a fun trick. Put one drop of food coloring in the bottom of your child's glass . then pour juice and watch in amazement as the juice comes out the correct color but changes as the glass fills.
    anyway, I think I'll try the matzoh recipe we have 3 boxes left from the great Shop Rite giveaway.

  16. Love the essay. I'm going to be thinking about adaptation all day now. : )

    Geralyn Broder Murray

  17. Anonymous9:06 PM

    Catherine Newman!!!! Yet ANOTHER reason why I ADORE YOU!! And yet another reason why I, like 70 bajillion of us devoted adoring readers feel, another reason why I feel like YOU GET ME! You are just like me! I feel understood!

    here it is: It is now a full 48 hours AFTER Easter day has officially ended, and we have NOT yet dyed eggs! and I have, no joke, THREE DOZEN in our fridge!

    and, like you, I honestly think that we STILL WILL DYE THEM!

    but we went outdoors yesterday and today instead also!

    and, of course, do not need to point out, I did not have us dye them PRIOR to Easter day itself!

    wow. u get me. cool. neat. thanks.

    Love Love Love to your gorgeous gorgeous family.

    That photo of Birdy girl at the end, breathtaking. I adore her too!

    Are we friends and hang out, and I've just forgotten?!

    hee hee.

    Happy spring to you. smiles!

    (from 2kidslife. i can never remember my google info!)

  18. Laura1:51 PM

    Great essay - I sent the link to the author of a couple great books for parenting without undue religious influence.

    How cool is my verification word - monsta!

  19. Must check out this website:

  20. That is a really good essay you've got over at Brain, Child. I love your writing!

  21. Anonymous8:06 PM

    GOt me again with another yummy recipe! Do I have to share? yea for matzoh!

  22. Dearest Catherine~
    I write that as if we are the closest of friends...hmm...maybe the Meyer Lemons of Santa Cruz just bond us together that way.
    However, I've been following you since the early days of your BBC journals. And loved them then! But this morning when I logged in there, what do I see!?!? A sidebar pointing me back to you and Ben's third birthday. Go it and take yourself back.

    Continue on with your awesomeness.
    Hally, Silicon Valley, CA

  23. Whoa, Hally, that was fun! It's hard to believe it's been that long!

  24. Catherine, I just nominated you on for best food blogger under "who do you like?" Somehow they had missed you in their original research!

    Everyone go and vote for Catherine.

  25. Anonymous10:55 AM

    I am due any day now with my 2nd child and was handed your book. Ugh, I groaned inwardly, just when I swore I'd stop reading pregnancy books. But after the first page, I was utterly hooked. I am someone who NEEDS a book at all times (my version of a crack pipe I suppose) and have been so frustrated--nothing's funny enough, nothing's fast enough, nothing's interesting enough--in these last weeks of pregnancy. But then this comes along and I'm THRILLED!! I laughed, I cried, it was better than cats. Thank you sooooo much.

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