by Andrea Mulder-Slater
Allow me to preface this post with the following words:
If you have a weak stomach, you probably shouldn't read this.
Having an animal-lover for a child means I'm learning far more about animal behavior than I care to know.
For example, just recently, my daughter informed me that naked mole rats like to roll around in their own urine; grasshoppers spit brown goo when they are nervous and owls - after eating small mammals whole - regurgitate the indigestible parts in the form of pellets.
Yeah. Raising children is disgusting. Almost as disgusting as owls. Especially when they come to you, with their little voices and sweet faces - wooden spoon in hand - asking, "Mom, can you help me make Owl Puke Balls?"
You say yes to the owl barf because frankly, you are far too intrigued (and exhausted) to say no.
To make your own, you will need a small rodent. And, an owl.
Or, you can substitute the following ingredients, like we did.
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 stick of butter
1 tsp cocoa powder (Cuisine Camino makes a fair-trade, peanut/tree-nut-free Dutch processed cocoa powder)
1/4 cup milk
1/4 cup of peanut butter (substitute soy butter or sunflower butter for kids with peanut allergies)
1 1/2 cup oats
1/2 cup pretzels (for bones)
1/4 cup coconut (for fur)
Mix brown sugar, butter, cocoa powder and milk in a pan and heat on the stove.
Heat and stir mixture until smooth.
Allow to come to a boil. Then, remove from heat. Try not to hear your child when she tells you it looks like poop.
Hold back the tears as you add peanut butter and oats to the warm combo while your kiddo breaks pretzels into tiny bone-sized pieces. Attempt to block any and all images of mice, squirrels and baby rabbits being devoured by the Barred Owl who lives in your yard.
Add the broken pretzel pieces to the mixture and stir, stir, stir.
Finally, wrestle the coconut into the sticky goop while regrettably hearing the words, "It does look like bones and fur mommy."
Drop spoonful sized chunky lumps onto a parchment paper lined cookie tray and refrigerate for an hour or so.
Display proudly on a plate and enjoy the flavor (and texture) while holding the family's pet hamster on your lap.
Store the remarkably tasty morsels in the fridge for a week or so, or at least until all unsuspecting house guests and members of your household are offered the opportunity to eat "animal vomit."
No, really. And, you're welcome.
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