"Improvisation Is a Parlor Trick . . . "

. . . And so long as you're willing to make some mistakes, it's worth it to try improvising.  That's what I did for dinner tonight, again.  I'm recovering slowly this week; and I'm beginning to accept that I'm not as young as I once was.  I'm not old, but I'm not 21 anymore, and this is the third (carried) pregnancy in four years.  So I think I do need to slow down a bit.  Oh well.  Nick has been amazing about helping with the boys and cleaning the house.  And cooking!  He did a wonderful pasta with red sauce the other day--I think he cooked the meat with sour cream, and then added the tomato sauce. 

And Nick cleaned the house today! I had asked him about the possibility of getting a "mother's helper" and he agreed, if we could work out the transportation.  Then he went and made lunch, washed all the dishes in the house, vacuumed the entire floor and changed diapers.  One of the things that he asked was that I start throwing away all of the broken crayons.  I decided that rather than throw them out, I'd get rid of them another way. 

My sister did this, and I didn't really like the look of it until I saw what my friend Katherine did with it.  She did this craft, and added it to the crayon art--the combination of the dark, thick crayon colors and the pastel salts looked wonderful.  So I decided that I'd give it a try.  I took some broken bits of crayon (mostly greens and blues) and taped them randomly on a canvas board, then I applied the hair dryer.  Thing Two was napping, and Thing One was afraid of the dryer, so I think I ended up having the most fun.  I figured that if I held the dryer different ways I could control which direction the crayons flowed.  Mine came out looking more like a splatter-painting than the crayon art, but I like it.  I've still got to figure out what shapes and colors I'll do the salt art in, but the crayon splatter leaves it open to whatever I can think of!

Oh, sorry, this is not a blog about crafting, it's about dinner.  So, I'll stop the craft and child occupation tutorials and move on to what I did for my dinner. 

I was thinking that I'd make French Onion Soup again, but I wanted something with a little more substance (and protein) than just broth.  Thus my improvisation.  I started with the idea of French Onion Soup, and added chopped carrots with the onions.  Then I opened a can of roast beef and gravy and threw it in.  I think I added about 2C water to make it go farther, and so I could throw in a beef bullion cube to enhance the flavor.  I tossed in some chopped mushrooms and let it boil for a few minutes.  And that was it.  Simpler than pie!  I served it with bread that had just come out of the oven, and it was good.  The meat/broth came out slightly sweet, which I found that I liked. 

Hmmm, Thing One is playing "Pick-Up Sticks" with the bendy straws, and threatening to get the broom!