Friday, May 27, 2011

Favorite Children's Books - Part 4

The Princess and the Pea by Janet Stevens
A lion prince travels abroad with his mother to find a real princess.  But none of the foreign princesses satisfy the queen.  And so mother and son return home.  During a thunderstorm, a tiger comes to the castle, claiming that she is a real princess.  The doubtful queen puts her through a test -- with charming results in this freely adapted old tale.  Check out Janet Stevens’ website for more of her books.
Monica’s Activity
This is my favorite book from childhood.  I loved the story and the illustrations in this adaptation.  I received it as a gift when I was in preschool and I still have the same copy.  It is a valued item in my house.
Since I have all boys, I couldn’t really do anything too girly.  They’re not as excited about the story as me.  Imagine that.  So I decided it would be fun to build a castle out of cardboard boxes.  While we built the castle we ate popcorn and watched Tangled, my favorite princess movie.  The boys even like it.  
I took 8 boxes, 4 large and 4 medium and cut them down one side, so the writing would be on the inside.  I then taped the 4 large ones into boxes and cut an opening for a door and, on the opposite wall, a window.  These would be our towers.  I took the 4 medium boxes and taped them to the towers, creating a courtyard.  Before doing this, I cut out a drawbridge on the box that would be used for the entrance/front of the castle.  

Voila!  Instant fun.  Well, it actually took me about 1.5 hours, but close enough to instant fun.  It was fun building anyway.  I'll add a banner, some curtains and stone walls later.  They're boys though, and would probably prefer no frills.  When the last wall went up, the boys immediately started looking for weapons to defend their kingdom.  
Lindsey’s Activity
I wanted to make my girls a princess and the pea doll play set.  I had an idea of what I wanted to do in my head and it's exactly what was being done everywhere else.  Examples that I saw can be found here and here.  This was a fun craft to do.  My girls helped and I even let my 3 year try the sewing machine.  Luckily she got bored and I was able to speed things along.  Here's how I did it.
1.  I found 10 different scraps of fabric.  Some of my fabric choices were old pajamas and an old shirt.
2.  Then I cut the scraps into 7" by 10" rectangles.  2 of each fabric.
3.  After putting right sides together I sewed them together leaving a small opening (about 1.5"-2").  I didn't worry about pinning them together, the less steps the better.
oops!  I skipped #4
5.  I turned the fabric inside out.
6.  Take a chopstick, pencil, or other utensil to make sure the edges and corners are sharp.
7.  Then I used some stuffing from a pillow I made a while back (I never finished it).
8.  I finished them off by putting a top stitch around the edges. (no picture)
I found my doll pattern here.
And here is what we ended up with...


Monica mentioned she has the same copy from when she was in preschool.  That's true and I wanted to fight her for it.  One day at my parent's house we were going through all our old books from when we were children  I kept waiting for this book to come up.  I saw it and snatched it immediately (you see, I love it more than Monica, therefore I deserve it more).  But unfortunately, Monica claims she likes it just as much as me, and it was her book, so she got it.  I was really sad.  But, like the good sister that she is, she found a brand new copy and bought it for me.  Aren't sisters the best?

Remember yesterday when I went to the farmer's market?  Well I bought fresh peas and potatoes.  When I was a little girl my mom used to make this dish, she called it cream potatoes and peas.  Or something like that (my memory is not as good as my sister's).  Since we read The Princess and the Pea (and my family LOVES to eat) I thought I'd share the recipe.
This is a little out of order but I hope it will make sense.
1. Melt 4 Tablespoons of butter over medium to medium-high heat.
2.  Add 4 Tablespoons of flour to the butter and whisk until it starts to bubble (bottom right photo that is pictured above).
3.  Let it bubble for about a minute.
4.  Add 2 cups of milk, stirring while adding.
5.  Now here's the tough part, stir constantly until the sauce thickens.  I'm not joking but this could take 10 minutes.  Don't let it come to a boil and watch the temp.  You don't want it to burn in the bottom of the pan. 
6.  Now here is where I am out of order.  Before you made the sauce you should have peeled the potatoes, rinsed the peas, and added them to a pot of water to boil until just tender.  (If you're using frozen or canned peas add the last minute or so of boiling).
7.  Drain and add sauce.
8.  Season with salt to taste (trust me, you'll need it)
I love this recipe because it's basic and you get to taste the flavor of the potatoes and the peas.  Yum!!!

What's your favorite version of The Princess and the Pea?

1 comment:

Bridget said...

You guys are AMAZING! Seriously! How you manage to acomplish all these things in a day and still have time to post about them, very nicely done by the way, I don't think I would be capable of all that!! Kids keep me so busy! I can't wait to build my castle out of cardboard boxes though!