Monday, September 7, 2009

We kicked off a before school Labor Day with an apple theme. Bracelets and baked apples were made and enjoyed. It is not often that we do organized crafts, so the girls enjoyed this. Especially Flurpee who has a very small wrist. She almost never finds bracelets that do not fall off.

The bracelet idea was from a book or magazine, but now that I'm trying to find it for the reference, I can't remember which it came from. And I have a lot of kid's craft books. The bracelets were made using:

barrel clasps
28 gauge beading wire
crimping beads
green glass beads
green leaf beads
14 mm wooden beads (I used a spray paint to paint them a warmish yellow--a little bit of orange in the color)
some larger beads to prevent the wood beads from sliding over the smaller green beads (I used some opal chip beads I had from a previous project)

I also used a flat pair of non-marking (no teeth) pliers, toothed pliers, and wire cutters.

Using non-marking pliers, I first tightened the loops on the barrel clasps so the the wire wouldn't slip out of the gap. Then I feed the wire into the barrel clasp loop, twist it, then feed on a crimp bead and squished it flat with the pliers. Then we started putting on the green beads (about four depending on the size of the bracelet), the larger bead, the yellow bead, and the leaf. Repeat until the bracelet is the right length. A few extra beads at the end will help if the bracelet is not quite long enough. There will be four or five apples per bracelet. Once the bracelet is the correct length (I checked by putting it around the wrist and comparing it the the end of the clasp), put on a crimp bead. Put the wire through the other crimp bead loop and back through the crimp bead. If you want it to be extra secure, you can wrap the wire end around the wire a few times. Squish the crimp bead and wear.

The baked apples were a delicious and easy treat. I think my older daughter, Hanover, may want her apples this way every time. Although many recipes did not call for it, I peeled the apples to make them more fork- (and kid-) friendly.

6 apples--An apple (or two) per person (we used Jona Gold, but tart apples work well too if you don't want that much sweetness), peeled and with the seeds removed from the center leaving a nice hole
3/4 C. brown sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
water (for the bottom of the dish while cooking)

The kids added a few shakes of cinnamon and two shakes of nutmeg and stirred. They omitted the raisins in theirs (what a loss). After they filled the centers of the apples with the mixture, they placed a dab of butter on top. Then I added the raisins and filled the rest of the apples.

We followed the recipe and baked them for 30 minutes at 350 degrees. I did not bother basting the apples at all.

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