Saturday, October 19, 2013


Tonight was Jackson's first trunk or treat! I thought long and hard about Jackson's Halloween costume. He's at the age where he refuses to wear anything crazy. Hats, bandanas, funny shoes--all out of the picture. I also wanted to get something that he would be able to wear again.

So this is what we decided on:

Skeleton pajamas! He was really excited to put them on when he saw that Mom and Dad had matching shirts.

A family of skeletons.

I exclaimed that we were a family of bones! Ryan asked me what bone I was. I didn't really get what he was saying, so I said, "I'm Mama Bone!"

In which he replied, "I've never heard of that bone before."

I told him he was a "funny bone".

Jackson had a good time at the trunk-or treat. We arrived near the end thanks to the BYU game. Jackson was a little shy, but soon perked up when he realized that people were handing out CHOCOLATE. He had this small little pumpkin basket that we bought at Target last year for $1. He had that thing in a death grip all night.

There was this one kid, probably around 7 years old, that wanted to give Jackson candy. He reached out and tried to put it in Jackson's basket, but Jackson kept desperately pulling away. The poor kid tried 3 or 4 times to give him a Snickers. I'm pretty sure Jackson thought the kid was trying to steal his candy.

By the time we were done trunk-or-treating, most of the kids had left. We hadn't even gotten our huge Costco-sized bag of candy out yet.  So we put Jackson in a wagon and went around giving adults handfuls of candy.

At one point, I had put the half-empty bag of candy next to Jackson, and he started frantically stuffing chocolate in his basket. When I tried to give the missionaries chocolate, Jackson did not want to give me the bag. I think he was worried that I was going to give all the candy away. Poor kid--he has no idea that his Daddy will probably eat most of his candy while he's sleeping anyways. :P

When we put Jackson in his car seat, he refused to give up his chocolate stash and kept his prized basket of candy next to him all the way home.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

How NOT to Cook Butternut Squash

A couple days ago I tried to make a butternut squash and leek pasta sauce.

*Disclaimer* I have never touched an uncooked butternut squash in my life before this attempt (or a leek, but that's another story).

It began when I went to the store to buy my butternut squash. There was a whole pile of different kinds of squash. I could have chosen the wrong squash, but I didn't. 100 points for Gryffindor!

What I did do, however, was not read the recipe more carefully. I should have bought a prepeeled, presliced squash. That would have saved me from a whole lot of trouble, but I didn't. Who knew such a thing existed in stores? Not me.

I got it in my head that I could make my own peeled, sliced, squash.

Lesson #1: Do not try to peel your squash with a potato peeler.

Bad idea. I had no idea the skin was so deep.

After I sort of peeled the squash, I came to the harsh realization that in order to slice the squash into squares like the picture in the recipe, you have to be a world class weight lifter or someone equally as strong.

So I thought that I would be smart and partway cook the squash in the microwave to make it softer. With my super strenth, I sliced the stubborn squash in half and put it in a casserole dish with water and stuck it in my trusty microwave.

Caution: squash is hot after it cooks.

Result of the half cooked squash? That brings us to

Lesson #2: A half cooked squash is still super hard to cut, but it is also even more slippery due to cooked squash juice. Fail.


Lesson #3: Do not...and I repeat, do not attempt to cut a half-cooked, semi-peeled squash with dull kitchen knives like I did. After discarding 3 knives, I finally got a long, serrated kitchen knife and started sawing the thing.

I probably should have quit when I accidentally caught my thumb with the knife. Ouch Charlie.

BUT I DIDN'T! I was like the little engine that could.

After several minutes of subpar sawing and much complaining, my husband took the knife from me, distanced me from my enemy, and sawed through the dang squash like it was wood. I was afraid he was going to cut his thumb off the whole time.

Then, I boiled it.

When it was soft, I shoved the squash pieces into my blender (Lesson #4: use food processor instead) and pressed the on button.

*Cue Jackson running in in excitement, grabbing a spoon, and begging to be put on the counter*

Yes, my child thought it was a delicious smoothie. He was in for a big disappointment.

The stubborn squash clogged my blender, and required extra love and care for it to liquify.

I finally added leeks and seasonings, put it on my pasta, and after much blood, work, and Jackson's tears (just kidding, he didn't cry) I took a bite, ready to savor my hardwork...until I came to the harsh realization that I had forgotten one important detail.

Lesson #5: I don't like squash.