The Last Frontier

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Lunar Eclipse Fun

Last night, we got a special treat with the Lunar Eclipse. I've been trying the "star system" with my boys (more on that another time). I promised that as soon as both of them earned 100 stars, we'd do something really special. No surprise that they wanted to have a campfire with Homemade Marshmallows (click for my recipe). It just so happened that a full lunar eclipse was supposed to happen right about the time they'd probably meet their goal. Since I wanted to let the boys stay up to watch the eclipse, and since Zeke was a little short on stars, I needed to motivate him a bit. So, I promised that if both of them earned 15 stars yesterday (10 is their max so far in one day), not only would we have a campfire with homemade marshmallows and hot chocolate, but we'd make homemade ice cream. That did it for them! What a wonderful day we had. I've never seen them so anxious to do extra chores and to be so nice and kind to everyone! They were nearly perfect (spooky :) )

Here are some pictures I took of our campfire while we watched the lunar eclipse. We have about 5 1/2 feet of snow, and the temperature wasn't too bad --- about 5 degrees. Finally above zero. I apologize for the poor quality of moon pictures. Our camera is old, and by today's standards, very low end. I never could get the neat copper color that looked like the moon was glowing. But, here they are anyway.


Marshmallows
Drying Homemade Marshmallows to roast over
the campfire as we watch the full lunar eclipse.

Full Moon before Lunar Eclipse
Full Moon rising through the trees before the total eclipse.

Campfire
The fire kept us warm while we watched the eclipse

Tin Can Ice Cream freezing in snow
We made ice cream in a coffee can, and then used
snow and rock salt to freeze it. YUMMY!
Making Ice Cream
Jed and Zeke stirring the ice cream beside the fire.
Kind of ironic that they actually wanted ice cream with as cold as it's been.

Roasting Homemade Marshmallows
Roasting Homemade Marshmallows while watching
the total lunar eclipse. What a fun night!
Roasting Homemade Marshmallows
I can't resist roasting marshmallows!
Roasting Homemade Marshmallows
We had a great night, passing the time watching the eclipse.
The Lunar Eclipse has begun
The eclipse was starting, but my camera didn't capture it well.

Heating water for hot chocolate
Chuck had a hard time keeping the pot of water from tipping.

Drinking hot chocolate during lunar eclipse
Ahhhh. Nothing like hot chocolate beside a fire
to warm your bones on a cold night.
Warming beside the fire while watching lunar eclipse
Warming up with hot chocolate before
digging into the homemade ice cream.
Lunar Eclipse

Lunar Eclipse
The moon was glowing a copper
color at this point, but my camera
didn't show it.

Lunar Eclipse
This was the last shot I could
get with my camera. Too bad it didn't
show up as beautiful as it was.

14 comments:

Sally said...

What fun! We'll have to try your marshmallow recipe. Sometime. I'm already being begged to bake cookies, bake bread, explore foreign foods, and now, marshmallows, too. :o)
It IS scary when our kids are perfect, isn't it? lol
So nice to see you back. Love your photos!

Heather said...

What a wonderful adventure! Looks like everyone had a fun time. I found your blog through Lori's blog. I'm looking forward to hearing and seeing more about Alaska. Have a great evening! Heather

~Tonia said...

Interesting Marshmellows!! Well at least you have Plenty of ice to make ice cream! Great pics!

Illinois Lori said...

Jenny, what a fabulously RICH LIFE you and your hubby are giving those sons of yours! Wow. thank you so much for sharing it with us!

OK, that's it. I'm leaving Chicago, I want to live with you guys...

Blessings,
Lori

The Last Frontier said...

The marshmallows are really pretty easy to make, and the kids like cutting and rolling them in the powdered mixture. Messy but fun.
BTW, I used xylitol (birch and blueberry based rather than corn cob based), for the marshmallows for the boys, and rolled them in plain corn starch. They don't handle sugar well. I wish I could find a good substitute for corn syrup.
Lori, come on up! I told my husband about you and wonder how in the world you handle Chicago, of all places! You'd be in culture shock for a little while, but then I'll bet you'd settle in nicely. :)

Carol G said...

My family watched the eclipse too. Glad it was early for us! We didn't brave the cold, however, we watched it from home, with occasional stepping outdoors for a better view. It was fun memory making! I'll have to try making the marshmallows. I haven't eaten any since going Kosher. Tim used aguave nectar in place of corn syrup when he makes candy. We'll have to try it in this.

The Last Frontier said...

I buy gelatin from Azure Standard. They sell beef gelatin. There's a vegetable gelatin I've been wanting to try, but it's very expensive. Can't remember the name right now. It's actually from a seaweed that grows off the coast of Japan.
Thanks for suggesting the agave nectar. I'll have to try that. I hate using corn syrup, especially since most corn products are made with GMO corn now. I read an article on Dr. Mercola's site about agave nectar not really being nectar at all. I'm going to have to look into it more, but from what I've read so far, it's only slightly better than corn syrup, and only because it isn't GMO. It really burst my bubble when I read that.

Carol G said...

bummer. I didn't know and haven't done any research. I think Tim uses it because it isn't corn syrup. Does it help if it is organic?

Carol G said...

What do you think about the rabbis who say gelatin from pig hooves is fine because it isn't meat?

The Last Frontier said...

I would think being organic would help. I came home from a shopping trip with two jars of organic agave nectar. Chuck had never heard of it, so he did some checking. He showed me the Mercola article, and found another one at http://www.westonaprice.org/ Lots of good, solid information from the Weston A. Price foundation. I used to be a member and loved their quarterly magazine. Sally Fallon's book, Nourishing Traditions is one of my favorite cookbooks because of all the nurtition information.
Like you and Tim, I just want to avoid corn syrup. That stuff is about as bad as it gets as far as sweeteners go.

The Last Frontier said...

Oops. Somehow I missed your last comment about the rabbis who say that gelatin from pig hooves is fine because it isn't meat. I disagree. I believe the point is that we are not to ingest parts of unclean animals. I don't think Rabbis would say it's fine to make a soup broth or stock from pig bones that have been scraped of all meat (although they might. I really don't know). Gelatin, especially for something like marshmallows is certainly not necessary to sustain life. If it were, and if the only kind available was from pig hooves, then I believe YHWH would consider the situation and view it a little differently, although it would still be biblically unclean, in my opinion. I'm actually not even completely sure about using beef gelatin. Many will not eat anything that isn't labeled Kosher. I wish I had that luxury, but then again, if Rabbis say pork gelatin is fine, then it makes me doubt the validity of the Kosher labels.

Dawn said...

Love! Love! LovE!the pictures. So glad to find you friend. Come check out my new blog when you have a change.
Blessings,
Dawn

Carol G said...

Tim said he looked up a specific brand of gelatin to see if it was kosher and had conflicting reports depending on the rabbi. I don't know the source.

A Homemaker's Heart said...

Beautiful family time together! We couldn't see it where we lived because of our cloud covering with a downpour of flash flooding.

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