Improvised Eggs

For now, my kids are still into dying eggs for Easter. Usually we cover the kitchen table with newspaper, hard boil the eggs, and rely on Paas for all our egg-dying needs.

But when Easter falls in March and your March looks somewhat like this…

We are not driving anywhere today...

We are not driving anywhere today…

Driving out to Walgreens to pick up egg dye just isn’t the best use of your day.

So we improvised.

Bad tasting but makes a great dye.

Bad tasting but makes a great dye.

Earlier in the month my daughter needed packages of sugary water flavoring for a school project. Long story but, since the dollar store didn’t have Kool-Aid, we bought some FlavorAid instead. At 99cents for a pack of twelve it looked like a great deal. However, there is a reason FlavorAid is so cheap. Imagine the worst fake fruit flavor ever, multiply that by 100x and then sweeten it up with twenty tablespoons of sugar and you might come close to the flavor of Flavor-OMG-this-tastes-awful-Aid, (named for the fact that the flavor needs help?)

Cherry FlavorAid made the egg speckled red

Cherry FlavorAid made the egg speckled red

Needless to say we had a lot of it left over. So that’s what we used! Dissolved in a cup of water and three tablespoons of vinegar, it made a fine egg dye. Some of the eggs came out speckled too, which was an unexpected, but not unwelcome effect.

The Kiwi Watermelon flavor made green eggs. The Lemonaid flavor made yellow eggs. For some reason the Grape flavor made brown eggs, but they kinda looked like chocolate, so we didn’t mind. The longer the eggs stayed in the dye bath, the darker they came out.

It took a little while for them to dry and until they did, they were susceptible to smears. So if you do this project, expect some finger color transfer.

Now there's a nice looking Easter egg.

Now there’s a nice looking Easter egg.

My youngest had the idea to wrap some of the eggs in rubber-bands before submerging them into the dye cups and those eggs had great results! I think the rubber-band trick would work with any type of dye.

We’ve gotten similar results marking up the egg with a white crayon or a wax candle, but the rubber-banding was less labor intensive.

The blue coloring came from the Berry Punch FlavorAid.

Also, the colors did not seep through the shell into the egg itself, which sometimes happens when using regular food coloring.

 

Would we do it again? Yes! FlavorAid + Egg Dying = Project Success.

Are you thinking what I'm thinking? If this stuff can color eggs, what's it doing to your body if you drink it?

Are you thinking what I’m thinking? If this stuff can color eggs, what’s it doing to your body if you drink it?

Photographs © Karin Blaski, 2016

What’s to Like About Rockford: The Kroozin Kooler

Kroozin Kooler comes when you call!

Kroozin Kooler comes when you call!

This summer I had one of those BIG BIRTHDAYS. You know, one of the ones that end in “0”. My kids thought it was a big deal, even if I was in denial. “Who me? I cannot possibly be that old. Must be a clerical error.”

Alas, my mother confirmed, I was indeed that old. She insists she was there at my origination.

After briefly considering accidentally dropping my drivers license into the shredder, I decided to embrace my inner child. What better way than to gorge on ice-cream? And rather than imbibe in the dark, alone, with a quart of double fudge brownie delight and a very large serving spoon, I scheduled the Kroozin Kooler and invited my neighbors to join me.

The Kroozin Kooler?

Yep.

I’m old enough to remember when ice cream trucks drove around the neighborhood twice a week in the summer time. My brother and I would turn off the sprinkler and dash, dripping wet, down the street with hands full of change. Our goal?

The Bomb Pop.

The Bomb Pop

The Bomb Pop

Now that I live in Rockford, I can just call up this local company, Kroozin Kooler and schedule an ice-cream truck to come to my house. My ice-cream lady carries the good stuff too.

Some of the selection

Some of the selection

I love this idea. A fleet of ice-cream trucks ready when and wherever you are. I love this company. The drivers are cheery. The trucks are bright and clean. The music is nostalgic. The product is divine and the price fair.

Their website: http://www.kroozinkooler.com/ Their phone number: 815-708-1558 Their event request form: http://www.kroozinkooler.com/event-request.html and Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/Kroozin-Kooler-Frozen-Treatz-106807652815/timeline/

You know you want one right? No matter what your age, your orbitofrontal cortex will thank you.

What’s to Like About Rockford: Magic Waters Water Park

Magic Waters, Rockford, IL, Photo by Karin Blaski, July 17, 2013

Magic Waters, Rockford, IL, Photo by Karin Blaski, July 17, 2013


Okay, so it’s the hottest day of the year. Heat index 101, heat advisory in effect. What’s the family of four to do?

Go to the water park of course. It’s half price Wednesday, why not? $12 to get in. A few thousand of us lunatics lined up at 10am, July 17 to spend the day alternating between baking in the sun, dashing for our scraps of shade, and diving into heavily chlorinated water.

If you live any where near Rockford, you really need to take advantage of Magic Waters. Crammed onto 48 acres are attractions for daredevils to toddlers. I’m a lazy river fan, but my girls love Typhoon Terror (daddy takes them) a partially enclosed slide you ride with 2, 3, or 4, that spins you nearly upside down. On a scale from 1 to 5 with 1 being “Relax” and 5 being “Makes You Scream,” Typhoon Terror is rated 5.

Managed by the Rockford Park District, the Magic Waters park rates are inexpensive. The park even allows you to bring in one cooler per family, so you can save by not having to purchase the park food. Additional coolers can be brought in at $10 each. We usually splurge and rent a cabana which includes a refrigerator stocked with bottled water, a ceiling fan, eight free tubes (normally you have to rent these if you want unlimited laps in the lazy river), a private entrance into the lazy river, a satellite T.V., patio furniture with table, and a locker with key. It’s $100, but if you split the cost with another family, it’s well worth it.

My only, only caveat, is you must time your restroom breaks. Especially us girls, ’cause as is the case with most public venues, there are not enough ladies restrooms. Right after lunch, there were lines a block long. IMHO, another restroom at Magic Waters would be money well spent = fewer people peeing in the pools = less money spent on chlorine. It’s the business woman in me; always thinking of the “bottom” line.

Tiki Island at Magic Waters, Rockford, IL, photo by Karin Blaski, July 17, 2013

Tiki Island at Magic Waters, Where more adults stand under the dumping bucket than kids, Rockford, IL, photo by Karin Blaski, July 17, 2013

Restroom issue aside, we love Magic Waters. Even before we lived in Rockford, we made a summer weekend day trip to enjoy this award winning Water Park. The park is smoke and alcohol free. The season is June 8 through August 25 (closed August 19 – August 23). Hours 10am-6pm, except Mondays and Fridays when they stay open until 9pm.