Mint Ice Cubes

If you have fresh mint, consider these beverage ideas. Harvest mint from your garden when it is about eight inches high. Wash thoroughly in warm water, crush leaves and stems with your fingers, place in a bowl, and cover with water. Let it set for twenty-four hours.

Strain the water through a sieve lined with a paper towel and pour it into ice-cube trays to freeze. Store the cubes in plastic bags.

Two or three cubes of mint-ice in a glass of water, sweetened to taste, make a refreshing beverage. It is also a delicious flavoring for fruit drinks or may be used in cold chocolate milk as a special treatHelen McRae, Orem, Utah

Puppets for Little People

Puppets are fun! And they come in all sizes and shapes, fit all types of moods and situations, and can be easily made with materials available in the home.

Studies have shown that children can expand their vocabularies, broaden their abilities to deal with problems, and increase their verbal abilities through the use of puppets.

For example, a very shy or quiet child may find a puppet a less frightening way to communicate. And children who may be experiencing frustration because of a new baby brother or sister, or who are having problems with friends or family members, or who just need to express how they feel through another, “safer” personality can use puppets. Not only are puppets able to help the normal child, but they have been used in many remedial programs for handicapped children and in a variety of child therapy situations.

Puppets offer parents and teachers an opportunity to correct and teach children through the personality of the puppet—perhaps a “super-clean” puppet who checks on jobs assigned to children, or, to introduce new ideas, a “bookworm” puppet who has just tasted a good book, or a nature-loving puppet who has just discovered a new insect or plant.

And a family-home-evening puppet could help with lessons on Monday and remind family members during the week of gospel principles and personal commitments.

Paper bag puppets. Decorate the bottom of an ordinary paper bag as the upper face, and work the side fold as a mouth. These are common in the classroom. Any size of paper bag may be used, depending on the character desired.

Finger puppets. Draw a face on a small piece of paper or cardboard and attach it with a rubber band, a spot of glue, or a doubled piece of cellophane tape to the tip of the finger.

Hand puppets. These are worked with three fingers of the hand, with one finger placed in the head of the puppet and one in each arm. A simple cloth body is made from a pattern, following the basic outline of the three fingers. The body can be hand or machine sewn. It should be long enough to cover the hand to the wrist, or even longer if desired. Heads for hand puppets can be made from paper-maché, styrofoam balls, or stuffed cloth or paper. Eyes, hair, or other facial features can be attached to give the puppet character.

Sock puppets. Constructed from men’s or children’s stockings, these are perhaps the easiest and most versatile to use. The hand is put in the sock, with the toe tucked in to suggest a mouth. The thumb operates the lower jaw, and the fingers operate the upper face, where all varieties of eyes, ears, nose, and so forth are sewn or drawn on. The upper part of the sock may be stuffed with cloth or paper to create a larger head and more opportunities for innovation.

If materials are assembled beforehand and supervision is available, children can make these puppets in thirty minutes to an hour, hand-sewing the seams and creating their own puppet personalities with scraps of cloth, paper, plastic, or felt.

Many children’s stories, including fairy tales, biblical stories, and even original scripts to fit specific needs, are readily adaptable to puppet dramatization and require a minimum of puppets and props. Teachers will see children’s interest and attention improve considerably when puppets are used to illustrate lessons. They are also successful in presenting programs in church, children’s hospitals, or homes for the elderly.Harold R. Oaks, Provo, Utah

Sock Puppet

1. Put sock on hand, heel over knuckles.

2. Tuck toe of sock into space between fingers and thumb.

3. “Tack” folded-in toe with needle and thread.

4. Add eyes, nose, ears, eyebrows as desired.

Wheat Storage Tip

Plastic trash bags should not be used to store wheat. According to reports, some chemical residues migrate from this type of plastic into the wheat. If you’ve already stored in this manner, probably you do not need to discard the wheat; simply transfer it to other appropriate containers.Clayton S. Huber, Department of Food Science and Nutrition, Brigham Young University.

Turning Out the Turnovers

Here’s another idea for feeding a large group. When we were ready to break ground for a new chapel after fourteen years of owning the hilltop property, our bishop wanted breakfast included. Our ward clerk (my husband) volunteered my services, and I improvised a menu from an article I had read. We fed over 300 people piping hot and delicious sausage turnover pies—mixed, stored, and baked in the homes of ward members. They were easy to assemble and cook, easy to serve, and economical.

We purchased thirty pounds of link sausages, thirty pounds of bulk sausage, fifteen dozen small or medium eggs, and fifty pounds of potatoes. This was to be the filling. We made six batches of soft pastry dough. Each batch called for five pounds flour, three pounds shortening, two tablespoons salt, and three cups ice water. In addition, we flavored the pastry with a tasty combination of fine herbs. The combination chosen was a commercial blend of thyme, oregano, sage, rosemary, marjoram, and basil. One tablespoon of herbs per batch of pastry gave a delicious flavor throughout.

The filling was mixed in three large plastic food-storage containers. Five sisters in the ward each boiled and mashed ten pounds of potatoes and brought them to my home. I precooked the link and bulk sausage in large pans on the stove. In each of the three storage containers, we mixed one-third of the potatoes, five dozen eggs, ten pounds of bulk sausage, dried onion flakes, salt, pepper, and a little sprinkling of herbs. Canned milk gave the filling a moist consistency.

A double batch of pastry, ten pounds of cooked link sausages, and a container of filling went to the home of each of the three “assembly team captains” and their two helpers. In each home, one sister formed the dough into balls about the size of golf balls and handed them to the next worker, who rolled and cut out circles about six inches in diameter. A metal saucepan lid made a good cutter. After cutting and removing the scraps, they rolled the circles a little more in one direction to elongate the dough into an oval. The third worker added the filling, using one whole link sausage and one-third cup of filling for each turnover. This third person then folded and closed the dough over the filling and placed the turnovers on a cookie sheet.

Another group of sisters picked up the turnovers (along with an instruction sheet) and refrigerated them until the next morning. This ensured a flaky crust. Each sister was instructed to preheat her oven to 425° F. by 7:30 the following morning. The turnovers required 20 minutes of cooking per sheet. After cooking, the sisters wrapped each turnover individually in aluminum foil (pre-cut and delivered to the homes), leaving an end open for steam to escape. They packed the turnovers in large, flat, foil-lined boxes, which doubled as serving trays, covered the boxes with a large towel, and brought them to the chapel site piping hot.

We added orange juice and Danish sweet rolls (made by a member of the stake), and served a quick and filling breakfast in fifteen minutes with no mess and very little clean up. Our cost per person was between fifty and sixty cents. The architect in attendance told our bishop, “This is the best organized breakfast and the best food I have eaten at any ground-breaking ceremony!” We sold the leftovers (there weren’t many!) and they stayed so hot that some people burned their fingers taking them from the boxesMarie P. Sharp, Sepulveda, California