The Hidden Folk

The Hidden Folk: Stories of Fairies, Dwarves, Selkies, and Other Secret Beings
by Lise Lunge-Larsen, illustrated by Beth Krommes.
HMH Books for Young Readers, 2004.

Tomorrow morning, we will drive to Lindsborg for the annual Midsummer's Festival. It's officially the start to my Everything Fairy Week, even though we have no fairy house and will not have a party this year.

I need my whimsy, people!

I thought I'd share this lovely book, in observance of the weekend. The Hidden Folk is a collection of "Stories of Fairies, Dwarves, Selkies, and Other Secret Beings." Lise Lunge-Larsen is a storyteller and author from Norway, who has since settled in the U.S. The book contains one tale per type of magical being. The illustrations come courtesy of Beth Krommes, who won the 2009 Caldecott Medal for The House in the Night. Her scratchboard art lends a folksy feel to the book, much in keeping with the stories. The Old World European style makes it perfect for a midsummer night's read.

Let us take a moment to admire the beautiful endpapers. Oooooo, I just love pretty endpapers!

More selkies!  Woo hoo!

The stories are wordy, but are short enough to make a pleasant read-aloud. We actually own this one! We enjoyed it enough via the library that it was requested for Christmas last year.

I'll have more to share over the weekend: Lindsborg, Father's Day, etc.

In the meantime...

Merry Weekend! Happy Reading!

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Strawberry-Flavored Chocolate-Coated Fudge (In the Kitchen with Big Sis)

My oldest daughter, age 9, is guest-posting today. She has spent her summer learning her way around our kitchen! She looks up recipes on her own. She even surprised us with homemade cherry muffins one morning, using a recipe she found online! She won't be posting regularly like her sister, but I thought you might enjoy hearing from her once in a while. Today, she's going to share her experience making a Willy Wonka-inspired recipe: Strawberry-Flavored, Chocolate-Coated Fudge. - Danzel

Roald Dahl's Revolting Recipes, illustrated by Quentin Blake.
Viking Juvenile, 1994.

Hi, this is "Big Sis." I checked out this book because on our library summer reading logs, it says one of the activities we can do is "Read a cookbook and make a recipe from the book." I love Roald Dahl, so I thought it would be the perfect cookbook.

I chose this recipe because I thought it looked good. But when we made it, it didn't look that good, because my mom messed it up. She cut the fudge too early. She was impatient. I'm also impatient, so I think I would have done the same thing.

Making fudge involves a lot of stirring over a stove, and being patient. It's really boring, just standing there and stirring. It tastes good at the end.

Look, strawberry fudge! Hot strawberry fudge! It's very hot. Now let me give you some advice:

Don't do what my mom did. My mom always licks the spoon when we make cakes and stuff, and without thinking, she stuck a spoon of hot fudge in her mouth. She didn't even blow on it! She forgot it was hot! I didn't even feel sorry for her, because it was too funny. 

We melted the chocolate in a glass bowl over a pot of hot water. I really wanted to eat the chocolate.

 The picture in the book is much prettier. They cut the fudge in pretty circles and decorated them with the chocolate. My mom tried to cut ours, and it broke into little pieces. She just dunked them in the chocolate.

It tasted really, really good. We ate it all in a day. My mom ate some, too, even though she blistered the roof of her mouth.

Okay, I think the only reason she agreed to do this post was so she could be mean to me. Ugh. I dread the teenage years. Here is the recipe. You can find more Dahl-ian recipes on the official Roald Dahl website. - Danzel

Strawberry-Flavored Chocolate-Coated Fudge - adapted from Roald Dahl's Revolting Recipes

2 cups sugar
1/2 cup unsalted butter
4 oz. evaporated milk
2 oz. strawberry syrup ( Hershey's, if available)
4 oz. melted semisweet chocolate for dipping

Line an 8x10 shallow baking pan with buttered waxed paper. 

Put the sugar, butter, evaporated milk and strawberry syrup into a heavy bottomed saucepan and place over low heat. Stir occasionally. Once the sugar is dissolved, bring the mixture to a boil, gently, stirring constantly to prevent sticking and burning on the bottom of the pan. Boil gently until a little of the mixture dropped into cold water forms a soft ball, about 5 minutes. Or place a warmed candy thermometer in the saucepan and boil the mixture until it reaches 234F. 

Take the pan off the heat and stir until the mixture thickens and becomes granular, about 3 minutes. Pour the fudge into the lined baking pan and let set. With shaped cutters cut out the fudge and dip one side into the melted chocolate or decorate with piped chocolate, creating different patterns.

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I Like Unicorns (Little Sis Tuesday)

Today is Little Sis Tuesday, when my 7-year-old takes over the blog for the day. All photos are hers, and edited to her liking, with Mom's help. [I added links and supervised.] - Danzel

I like unicorns. These are some of my unicorn toys.

My mom took me to see The Last Unicorn. We met Peter S. Beagle, who wrote the book. He signed a comic and picture for me. My mom and I are reading the graphic novel.

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