Books We Are Using This Year
  • The Story of the World: Ancient Times (Vol. 1)
    The Story of the World: Ancient Times (Vol. 1)
    by Jeff West,S. Wise Bauer,Jeff (ILT) West, Susan Wise Bauer
  • Building Foundations of Scientific Understanding: A Science Curriculum for K-2
    Building Foundations of Scientific Understanding: A Science Curriculum for K-2
    by Bernard J Nebel PhD
  • Math-U-See Epsilon Student Kit (Complete Kit)
    Math-U-See Epsilon Student Kit (Complete Kit)
    by Steven P. Demme
  • First Language Lessons for the Well-Trained Mind: Level 4 Instructor Guide (First Language Lessons) By Jessie Wise, Sara Buffington
    First Language Lessons for the Well-Trained Mind: Level 4 Instructor Guide (First Language Lessons) By Jessie Wise, Sara Buffington
    by -Author-
  • SPELLING WORKOUT LEVEL E PUPIL EDITION
    SPELLING WORKOUT LEVEL E PUPIL EDITION
    by MODERN CURRICULUM PRESS
  • Drawing With Children: A Creative Method for Adult Beginners, Too
    Drawing With Children: A Creative Method for Adult Beginners, Too
    by Mona Brookes
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Entries in cooking (2)

Friday
Jul232010

Making cherry bread

Cooking is still one of my favorite learning activities, and not just for Calvin, but for me as well. With cherry season upon us (almost over, really) I've had a strong desire to try a recipe for cherry bread that I've had on hand for a while now. I actually did try making this bread two years ago but it didn't go particularly well (too dry) and after spending an hour pitting all those beautiful fresh cherries by hand with a knife I was less than excited about giving it a second try. This year, however, Whole Foods had a row of neat little cherry stoners for sale right along next to the bags of fresh, organic, Michigan cherries. Someone was sending me a message.

Calvin helped stone the cherries, measure all the ingredients, crush the fennel with the mortar and psetle, stir the roasting nuts, and mix the batter. When we were done the kitchen might have looked like we'd murdered someone and cleaned up in the sink, but it smelled like heaven.

Sunday
Oct182009

Cooking together

I think cooking together is going to be my favorite homeschooling activity. It is an incredibly rich learning experience! On Mondays we sit together and plan our recipes for the week based on what ingredients we will have available, and what suits our fancy while meeting our nutritional needs, then we make a shopping list and go to the store, where we compare prices, read labels on packaging, and seek out the ripest, prettiest foods. On the nights that we cook (as opposed to making use of leftovers) we read the recipe, collect our ingredients, count and measure everything we need, and time the cooking. During the summer months an additional component, of course, is growing the food right in our own garden—nurturing it from a seedling or young plant, caring for it as it grows, then harvesting the fruits of our labor. So far our garden education as been pretty limited to our own back yard, but if we join a CSA next year we will be able to expand our horizons immeasurably when we go to pick up our food, and possibly help with the growing of it.

Last week, as we watched and felt the growing exuberance of fall on those chilly fall evenings and mornings, we decided that the plethora of green tomatoes as yet ornamenting our backyard garden were not going to have a chance to redden. It seemed sad at first—we can only eat just so many fried green tomatoes, after all—so Calvin and I did an internet search for ideas on using the leftovers. Canning green tomato salsa! We chose a recipe, listed the ingredients we needed from the store—just bottled lemon juice (to assure a certain level of acidity) and jalapenos, and the rest of the foods (tomatoes, green peppers, and onions) came from our own garden. Since we ran out of time to actually cook and can earlier in the day, it became a whole family activity when we tackled the job after dinner. Calvin washed while Jon and I chopped, and chopped, and made faces out of the food, and chopped. When Calvin ran out of things to wash he scooped our choppings into a glass 2-cup measure, then counted the cups adding up as he poured them into our pot (honestly I don't remember how many cups we had, but it was a lot). He helped measure and count lemon juice, too, and then watched as it simmered for thirty minutes, got scooped into sterilize cans, then boiled in a water bath canner (read: stock pot) for another thirty. There was just a little bit left after all the cans were full, so we tried our work, of course. Disappointingly, we were not particularly pleased with the recipe that we chose—too much lemon juice—but the experience was fun, and even if it's not chip dipping salsa, I'm sure we can find a way to use it while we're cooking this winter!