"There is a garden in every childhood, an enchanted place where colors are brighter, the air softer, and the morning more fragrant than ever again."

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Someth'n Corny

As we were learning about the pilgrims these last few weeks, we have been learning that the Indians taught them (the pilgrims) to grow corn.

One of our activities was to pop, pop corn.

After feasting on pop corn, we made corn meal playdough.

Cornmeal Dough (uncooked)

1 1/2 cups white flour
1 1/2 cups cornmeal
1 cup salt
1 cup water about 1/4 C cooking oil
1. Mix all the dry ingredients in a bowl
2. Add water and oil mix into the dry ingredients.
3. Knead until pliable. (This recipe did not call for oil, but was to crumbly without it. I added a little at a time until I was happy with the texture.)

And last but certainly not least!! We made Caramel Corn!!

Add the following ingredients to at least a 4-quart saucepan (the mixture will expand when soda is added so you will want to have a little extra room).
1 C butter
2 C brown sugar
½ C karo syrup (white or dark)
Mix and Boil for 5 minutes
1 t salt
½ t soda
1 t vanilla

Pour the cooked mixture over 4-5 quarts popped corn and mix thoroughly. Pour out on buttered cookie sheet. Bake at 250 fro 45 minutes stir occasionally. Store in an airtight container.

Have a delightful day and a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

A is for Acorn

For the last month or so, we've been watching squirrels gather acorns. My little guy loves to watch them, and it is such a concrete way for him to see the signs of the changing season. We also enjoyed reading Chipmunk Song. He love acting out the story as I read it.
We've been doing a few Acorn Activities and talking about the letter A

These acorn guys were fun to make and look so cute hanging from our light fixture over the kitchen table.

I don't usually gather acorn to eat for the winter, but these acorns were yummy!! I borrowed the pan for these from my mom. It's from Williams Sonoma . I have also seen some really cute leaf pans at Wal-Mart and of course they cost a little less.

I used a gingerbread muffin recipe for these muffins. The recipe is adapted from a Southern Living cook book.

Last Minute Gingerbread Muffins

1C butter

1C sugar

1C Molasses

4 eggs

2t soda

1 C buttermilk

4C flour

1 T plus 1t ground ginger

1t ground allspice

1/2 t ground nutmeg

1/4t ground black pepper

1t lemon zest

Cream butter gradually add sugar,beating at M spread until light and fluffy. Add molasses, add eggs one at a time, beating after each addition. Dissolve soda in buttermilk.

Combine flour, spices, and zest. add to creamed mixture alternately with buttermilk mixture. beating well after each addition.

Fill greased and floured pans 2/3 full and bake at 350 for 20 minutes.

Batter can be kept in refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

I glazed some of the acorn with a mixture of granulated sugar and lemon juice.

This recipe was great for the pan. The muffin was firm but moist and I had no problem removing them from the pan. But I must say if you really want the best ever ginger bread you need to try this recipe. It is too moist to be used in the type of pan used above, but is by far the best gingerbread I've ever had.

Gather your little squirrels around and have a delightful day!!!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Fall Art Gallery

I've been wanting to create an art wall / gallery for my children's art for some time. I finally got around to it. There may be some changes and or additions, but at least I have a start. The idea is that each month or each season they will create new pictures to go in the frames. This month we went with a fall theme.

The first piece of art was created by Baby with a little help from me. I started by painting a simple trunk and branches. I then applied paint to her hand, I used a combination of red, yellow, orange and brown. I squirted globs of paint into a pie pan, being sure that the colors were close together. I then took a sponge and laid it in the pan, being sure to pick up all of the colors. I used the sponge to apply the colors to her hand. The leaves are made up of finger and hand prints.

Next up, Big Sis created this lovely tree using paint and brush. I think little brother helped with it a little too.

Turkey Time!! Little Guy made this turkey. I applied paint to his hand, just like I did the baby's. I helped him press his hand on the paper, added eyes, beak, legs and he helped paint fall grass. I love the way his thumb moved just enough, to give the appearance of feathers on the turkey's head.

Have a delightful day!!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

A is for Apple

We actually did this activity last week, and read the book Apples and Pumpkins (which is a Fall book, but ends with the children trick or treating).

A is for Apple, Apple Sauce
(this is soooo yummy with whipped cream)

enough cooking apples to fill your crock pot
add just a bit of water
red hot candies (add to your taste, I usually give in to my kids and add lots

Fill crock pot with apples (I used a little crock pot, you know the kind for dips and stuff). Add water and candies cover and cook until apples are tender and mushy ( we cooked it overnight and ate it for breakfast). This make a yummy chunky apple sauce!!

I first made this when I was teaching first grade. One of the other teachers shared the recipe with me. We saved some of the apple sauce and made fried pies with it the next day. If you would like to try making fried pies and easy way to do it is to buy refrigerated biscuits have kids flatten them out, spoon in apple sauce, fold over, seal edges and fry in hot oil.
Have a delightful day!!