John and Jet went to church, and when they were getting ready, John asked me if I wanted to go or if I just wanted to sleep in. So I slept in and got the house to myself for the morning. I loved that.
I ate my donut, made some coffee, and basically tried a THIRD batch of fudge.
The second batch, after we'd gotten home from Costco, had crystallized. The gooey stuff had crystallized into big-grained crystals of sugar amid the fudge matrix. The ONE piece that I'd kneaded turned out to have excellent fudge-like consistency. It was creamy smooth and perfect and I kept kicking myself for not having kneaded all of it while I could... bleh.
Anyway. I tried a third batch, but with no half-and-half, I decided on milk and extra butter... and only half a batch so that if I fouled it up, I could throw it out with no hesitation. Sadly, I think the third batch, because of its small size and maybe other factors, actually crystallized while it was cooling. So that's a third batch of failed fudge. For all that I am so proud of my cooking skills in other areas, fudge defeats me still. Maybe I should just buy it by the quarter pound when I find it and leave it up to the professionals, or something!!
When that failed, I thought I might as well try my other experiment, and started blending my soaked scrap paper. I'd put a bunch of recycling paper in a bucket to soak, added some construction paper scrap from Jet's projects, and all of the lint from the dryer from yesterday's laundry binge. I blended all that up with lots of warm water, threw it all into a roasting pan, and then did the big mistake of taking the web page's advise of adding gelatin to the water and NOT being absolutely sure that the stuff was well dissolved in the hot water before adding it. I got gluey blobs of gelatin all over my pages. Bleh.
But when I could pick those out and throw them away, it was like magic. I could just dip my frame in, let the fibers flow over the screen, and I'd have a sheet of pink paper. The construction paper was red, so the main body of the paper is pink, but with the lint I had all different colored threads floating through the paper as well. The edges were all ragged, which I've heard the edges called 'a deckle edge', but I think it's actually what you get if you don't have a deckle on the mold. I had no deckle, just the one picture frame with mesh on top of it. And I had to adjust the mesh constantly as I'd just taped it on using masking tape, which hated the water. Bleh. I should have used duct tape or something as I spent a lot of time trying to get the mesh back on.
The actual motion of dipping a page was magical, though, and I think I'm bitten with the bug. I will have to do this again, with better equipment, or even a whole kit. There's a lot of mail-order kits that have the frame and some beginner's materials that can be used in conjunction with recycled paper. I don't want just gray paper, anyway, but the many different fibers are just fascinating.
John and Jet came home at 1, and Jet hadn't fallen asleep until they'd gotten home. John had to leave for a big meeting in the afternoon, so he left Jet in my care. When Jet woke up, we cuddled for a while, and then he started playing, so I started prepping the roasting chicken.
In the midst of which my Mom called to figure out what the hell the message was about. *grin* That was pretty fun. I had really gooey hands, so when Jet demanded to tell Mom what had happened, I was glad to relinquish the phone, get things finished, and wash my hands to finish the conversation. That was actually a lot of fun for Jet as he got to talk about the fact that everything was fixed, now. Wow. I'm really glad he has a reason to WANT to talk on the phone now.
The chicken turned out perfectly. I made some stuffing. Jet got chicken nuggets, but pre-empted with a whole banana and a smoothie as well. Then we watched "Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory" instead of the Oscars. A fun and quiet evening. John went to bed when the movie was over. Jet went to sleep soon after. He's been so quiet at night, now, that I haven't heard him even with the monitor. He actually came down, into our room and closed the door last night without waking either of us, and it was only when he grabbed my knee that I woke up. Maybe that's all we needed, a chance to get used to a routine of not waking up, so I can sleep without worrying about waking up enough for Jet. He'll just get us when he needs us. Whew.
The dried pages of paper are beautiful. Unexpectedly so. Jet likes them, too, as they're pink. So we may do some of his thank you notes with them and some vellum for liner paper to actually write on.