We made this simple syrup for Bea to pour over her pancakes this morning. She’s a lime fanatic! The mint flavour is extremely mild. Omit the mint altogether, and you have a lovely lime syrup! This syrup will also mix with your brunch beverages. St. Patty’s Day Mojitos, anyone?
.5 c white wine
.5 c sugar
1/3 c torn fresh mint leaves
Zest all three limes with a microplane.
Juice the limes, setting 1.5 tbs juice aside in a bowl.
Heat wine, sugar, mint and zest in a sauce pan.
Bring the ingredients to a boil, uncovered, over medium high heat.
Cover the pan, reduce the heat to medium low, and simmer for 8-10 minutes.
Remove the pan from the stove top and let the syrup cool completely.
Strain the syrup through fine mesh into a glass jar.
Strain the lime juice into the jar through the same sieve and compost the remnants.
Incorporate the juice into the syrup with a small wooden spoon or rubber spatula.
The lime mint syrup will actually look like a small pot of gold!
Store any left-overs in a well-sealed container.
Today, we finished reading and illustrating our book, A Study in Emerald. To celebrate, we munched on Frogwiches (homemade gingerbread sandwich cookies), and we made sock puppets of all the major characters in our story. When the kids were done, we got out the old doorway puppet theatre I made way back before Bea was born, and they put on a puppet production of the story! I’ve posted a Gallery of pictures just below, and a DIY/How-to for the puppets at the bottom of the page.
Sir Lochrann Holmes and Seann McUaitson
Detectives Gallagher and Na’Sraide
Siobhan/Cailloan and Haggerty
The Pythons: Strangerson and Drebber
Wiggins, the snake-urchin and Mrs. Houghston, the landlady
Mrs. Limerick and her son, David
(Seann Clancy was not availble for a photo today.)
DIY Snake Sock Puppets
Hot Glue and Gun
A large, old wooden or metal spoon
Choose a pairs of googly eyes, and a few inches of ribbon into a forked tongue for each puppet.
Wiggle the sock down over a large old spoon.
Glue eyes just below the seam at the foot of the sock.
Flip spoon around so that you can’t see the eyes/seam of the sock.
Glue about 1 inch of the ribbon down, pattern side down down the centre towards the tip.
Let cool for a moment before removing the puppet from spoon.
We just finished reading and illustrating A Study in Emerald! Today, the kids used chalk pastels dipped in water, oil pastels, and woodless coloured pencils to complete their cover pages for the book, as well as their illustrations for the seventh and final chapter. Afterwards, they indulged in Gallagher’s Favourite Frogwiches (ginger sandwich cookies) and they made Snake Sock Puppets, putting on a condensed puppet production of the entire book! I’ve provided something of a summary of our final chapter, below. A gallery of the kids’ illustrations follows.
Summary: A Study in Emerald, Chapter Seven, A Light in the Darkness
Na’Sraide shares the details of Strangerson’s murder. Since he hasn’t returned to the serpent police station yet, he has some of the evidence from the crime-scene with him. Insepcting a bakery box of Amphibian Farls, which, unlike Mrs. Houghston’s lovely frog breads, appear to be full of small bones and soaked in what appears to be some kind of syrup, Holmes exclaims that he has solved the case. He then feeds the farls to McUaitson’s pet doormouse, Edgar Allen, in order to test his theories, exulting in the dramatic conclusio to the old mouse’s life (no worries, he’s packing an antidote!). Gobsmacked, Gallagher and Na’Sraide appeal to Holmes to reveal the name of the culprit. Rather than naming the murderer, however, Holmes, with the help of the street-urchin Wiggins, lures the culprit right up into the coiling-room of 221B Barrow street. But who dunnit, in the end? And who was the murderer’s wily, female-snake of an accomplice? And just why were they bent on seeking “Revenge”? You didn’t think we were going to let the snake out of the bag, did you? …. Ah now, you’ll just have to wait for us to edit and publish our story… We WILL tell you, however, that while the case comes to a full resoultion, A Study in Emerald concludes with the suggestion of a fresh new adventure for McUaitson and Holmes. Later that morning, the mysterious Eireen Adder steals her way into the coiling-room at 221B, begging for assistance… It seems she thinks she’s being followed.
Cover Art & Illustrations