Thursday, September 4, 2008

Diaper Cakes and Soybeans

My sister in law sent me a bizarre text message that had only a picture of what I believe to be a diaper cake. She JUST sent it, so I'm still in the process of deciphering what exactly it is. My Reluctant Farmhusband is away, all the chores are *gasp* done, and I can't sleep yet, so I'll talk about Diaper Cakes and Soybeans.

Diaper cakes make GREAT unique babyshower gifts and they are not all that hard to create. Sure you can buy one, but why not make one? It's fun and you don't have to be all that coordinated and/or crafty to make it. If I did it, you can do it. Trust me. The Wannabe Farmwife can be...well...not full of grace when it comes to such things.

My Diaper Cake "Recipe" was a little different than others that I found on the 'net that called for rolled up diapers. A cake made of rolled up diapers would undoubtedly be suitable for someone using cloth, or fewer diapers (unless you wanted to make a really really BIG cake) but I wanted a big impressive cake and to leave a lot of diapers for the new parents (who are my brother and sister-in-law).

So, without futher ado:

One large mirror from Michaels (you can decorate these so the expectant parent can use them in other ways if you'd like)
One package of newborn diapers (for the first two layers)
One package of the next size up diapers (for the bottom layer)
1-1 1/2" ribbon for the "holding together of the diapers"
Tall rose (which is what I used) or really skinny dowel for stability of the "cake"
Small decorative bears, pacifiers and other assorted doodads. I used Rose garland easily accessible at your local superstore. It went with the theme of the shower, which was butterflies and roses.

-Place your mirror or base on a flat surface that you can access from all sides. This is important, trust me.

-Get your ribbon ready by unwinding a large section - don't cut it yet, but have it unwound unless you have a lot of other hands to aid you

-Start by placing the larger size diapers on their sides with the folded end sticking out towards the edge 4 or so to a bunch in a N, E, S, W type of pattern (like a compass)

-Fill in the diapers between the "core set of diapers" as tightly as you can, bending them to one side as you go so they form a continuous loop - try to keep them straight, but they will need to bend a little to all fit

-When they are at the point where you don't feel you can fit any more, wrap the ribbon around the middle (you may have to hug the whole thing as you do it) and do a single knot tightly. The ribbon needs to be quite snug otherwise you'll start losing diapers.

-Rearrange any diapers within the ribbon that have become during the tying process, snip the ends long enough to make a pretty bow and tie :)

-If you're not too frustrated, start the second layer with the smaller diapers right on top of the first, if you are frustrated, breathe deeply, walk away and come back - I swear, if I can do this you can too!

-The process is the same the rest of the way up the cake. When you do the second layer, prior to snugging it up, insert the dowel so that when it is snug the cake pieces are really locked together. This will assist in travel.

-Insert your various doodads around the edges of the cake. They are particularly useful for hiding any "oops" diapers that you just couldn't get arranged correctly.

This was a huge hit at the baby shower, and I'm not a huge fan of baby showers in general but I thought this craft was fun for me too, and immensely practical.

And because I am feeling so immensely practical this evening, I am going to soak some soybeans in preparation for making some burgers for the boys tomorrow evening.

I grew up vegetarian, so soybeans are not foreign to me, but they are to many people and certainly cooking them dry is an odd thing. They are so easy to store this way though and nice to have on hand. (And cheap, for those of us who are trying to be frugal so that we can buy goats and such).

Simply rinse your beans under running water in a sieve or colander with SMALL holes (soybeans are quite small so you'll be chasing them everywhere if your colander's holes are too big). Then soak them in a pot in your kitchen (covered, unless you want bugs, which do add protein) with water overnight until you're ready to cook them. Then drain the water and add just 1" water to cover and simmer for an hour or so, depending on how firm you want your beans to be.

I'm going to be topping these babies with goat cheese (not the stuff I make (yet) that's waiting until the weekend, but I bought some :) and serving them sans bun on a tomato salad.

Summer Soyburgers

Your favorite frying oil
Goat or Feta Cheese crumbled
2 c. soybeans, cooked
2 sm. onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1/2 c. tomato puree
2 stalks celery, finely chopped
1/2 tsp. chili powder
1/2 tsp. cumin
soy sauce, salt and cayenne pepper to taste
Fresh Parsley
Cornmeal to bind

In large bowl, mash soybeans (once cooked) well. Add all ingredients and enough oats or cornmeal to bind. Make 10 patties. Fry on both sides in oil. Directly after frying lay them on a paper towel and add feta or goat cheese to the tops, then after a minute or two of melting lay them on a bed of sliced tomato or halved cherry tomato. Yum!

Off to soak my soybeans! Good night all!

1 comment:

Juri said...

Somehow I stumbled upon your blog, and was so glad I did! What fun posts, I have enjoyed reading a few of them and will go back and read more. I am so hoping you get the nubians (my favorite...I have a few) and some chickens (I have some). The Rhode Island Reds are great layers...but the rooster can be meaner than a pit bull!!! I lived in terror of ours!

Since I read your posts and enjoyed them, I wanted to leave you this little note so I would not appear to be a "lurker"!