Showing posts from June, 2009

Menu Planning Monday - June 29

Monday -
Tuesday -
Wednesday -
Thursday -
Friday - Challah, Roast Chicken,

A Pair of Red Clogs

Our Five In A Row book for this week is A Pair of Red Clogs. Given our family connections with Korea, I am not sure how I am going to address the cultural issues.

Social Studies will consist of at least Geography
Language Arts will consist of vocabulary and story-telling
Math will consist of counting and playing store
Science will consist of Weather and Weather Forecasting

Daring Challenge June

The June Daring Bakers' challenge was hosted by Jasmine of Confessions of a Cardamom Addict and Annemarie of Ambrosia and Nectar. They chose a Traditional (UK) Bakewell Tart... er... pudding that was inspired by a rich baking history dating back to the 1800's in England.

Bakewell Tart History and LoreFlan-like desserts that combine either sweet egg custard over candied fruit or feature spiced ground almonds in a pastry shell have Mediaeval roots. The term “Bakewell pudding” was first penned in 1826 by Meg Dods; 20 years later Eliza Acton published a recipe that featured a baked rich egg custard overtop 2cm of jam and noted,“This pudding is famous not only in Derbyshire, but in several of our northern counties where it is usually served on all holiday occasions.” By the latter half of the 1800s, the egg custard evolved into a frangipane-like filling; since then the quantity of jam decreased while the almond filling increased. This tart, like many of the world's great foods h…

WFMW - Learning Through Literature

Some people call it story stretchers, unit studies, add-ons, tie-ins. What ever term you use, it rocks our socks. Basically it means using a story as a starting point for all your other studies. The key to principle is that the story is repeated multiple times. This works well for us since we read the weekly Torah portion every morning. For each Parsha/holiday, we try to a craft. We have done all of our phonics/reading and math practice around the Parshot.

This week we begin Five In A Row, which is a curriculum created around the concept of learning through literature. We chose to start with Madeline. Here are some of the activities we will do related to the story.

Monday Geography
Locate France on world map
Locate Paris on map of France
Show Seine river
Talk about river transport
Tuesday – LA – Vocabulary
Wednesday – Math
Grouping – use manipulatives - Madeline cutouts
Thursday – Art
Look at photos of Paris …

They have arrived

Cucumbers have arrived in our garden. I had been checking and checking but seeing essentially no progress is the development of the fruit. Yesterday we discovered some that were finally starting to develop some. While looking at these emerging fruit we found two beauties hidden deep under the vines that should have been picked at least a few days earlier. Now at least I know where and how to look for all my hidden gems.

For dinner last night we had a green salad with the last of our lettuce and the first of our cucumbers. We will not be buying any more cucumber from the store for the rest of the summer. As you can see, some one could not wait for dinner to sample the goodness.
We took out the remains of the lettuce and added in some additional tomato plants. We will see how they do. So far the count from the garden is

Lettuce ++
Spinach ++
Cucumbers ++
peas +
beans -
strawberries -
Potatoes ?

Menu Planning Monday - The In Laws are coming

My in laws will be here for Father' s Day and will be staying for about 10 days. I do not do any menu planning while they are here as my mother in law loves to cook for us. I will make Shabbat dinner since they are not Jewish and anything else would be awkward.

In preparation for their coming, we eat foods we know they won't enjoy sharing with us or we pretest things to share with them. Regardless we try to make sure we have no leftovers when they arrive.

So here is our menu this week

Monday - Pasta with Homemade Sauce
Tuesday - Dinner at the Amusement Park
Wednesday - Tofu Stir Fry
Thursday - Salmon Burgers
Erev Shabbat - Challah, Brown Sugar Salmon, Sugar Snap Peas, Rice, Keem. A neat parve cake

Menu Planning Monday - June 8

Most of the experimenting in my cooking right now is in my search for the perfect supper salad for my family which does not seem to like salads at all. This week it takes the form of pasta primavera salad.

Monday - Chicken Salad Primavera, basically this recipe for the dressing with our own mix of veggies.
Tuesday - Burgers, corn, green salad
Wednesday - Concernt in the park - Picnic Dinner - a wonderful selection of breads, spreads, meats,salads and fresh fruit with some small cookies and brownies for dessert.
Thursday - Pasta, homemade sauce, green salad
Friday - Pot Roast, acorn squash, green beans, ,melted ice cream cake

Our PreK Year

I just ordered the last of our curriculum for the new school year. Since we run a year round program here we just started our new Judiaca studies, Jewish Values, having finished Alef Celebrations with sadness as it missed. We will continue with our current two parsha book, restarting My First Parsha at Simchat Torah. I am not sure whether or not we will restart My Weekly Siddur probably though.

We will be using Five In a Row (FIAR) as the focus for our secular studies. We are also giving Singapore Math and Story of the World a try. Since this is our preK year* I am only testing the waters with both of these. I have yet to figure out how to add them into our daily routine but at least I know what pieces I am working with.

The current plan is to keep the morning school routine focused mostly on Judaica and add in Math only. The FIAR story will be her bedtime book with the activities placed through out the day/week according to practicallity. I have no idea what we are going to d…

Garden Harvest

Our little garden is doing amazing things. The lettuce and spinach took off like gang-busters. We have plenty to eat. There is something about lettuce and spinach coming from HER garden that means Froggy will eat at least a few bites of it.

Today we harvested the very first of our peas. The peas have been a serious hassle as they do not seem to like my trellis material. Still they are growing. It was fun showing Froggy how to open the pods to get at the peas. She ate all the peas right there in the yard.

Our squash-family plants are growing phenomenally. Unfortunately the fruit is developing at a glacial pace. I am concerned that some how I planted a winter squash rather than the desired cucumbers.

Our tomato plants are growing but not producing anything yet. We just had the first flowers appear. We have a couple of spots vacant in the garden. I am going to add either tomatoes or cucumbers in these holes.

WFMW - PJ Library

Everyone likes to receive unexpected presents in the mail. Right? Well PJ Library sends my daughter a book every month. So not only does she get mail but she gets a new book. She gets a great book. As they say, "The PJ Library program sends Jewish-content books and music on a monthly basis to children from age six months to five, six, seven or eight years depending on the community." The selection process is rigorous. The only books we have not liked are because of our family's strange indosyncracies. PJ Library helps me finds books I would never even know exist.

This month's selection, First Gift, was so good and so sweet it made me cry as I read it. This is not the first time I have had that reaction to a PJ book. They touch a very special place in my heart. It is about our name, the first gift your parents give you. The text of the story is short and funny and sweet yet the end notes delve into Jewish naming customs and the reasons for these customs.

Last …

Menu Planning Monday - A Summer Showdown

I am trying out some new recipes this week, new conceptual plans for family dinners that work better with our summer life style.

My plan for the summer is to cook as little in the house as possible and to turn the oven on only once a week for Shabbat.

Our general dinner plan will be
A Supper SaladSomething on the grill - kebobs, burgers, etcpasta or pizza or leftovers
stir fryShabbat
leftoverssurprise - ie whatever I feel like that week.The trick will be finding supper salads and grill items the whole family is willing to eat. Here are the specifics for this week. I have the specific menus but since my evening plans are greatly in flux with several possible meetings, the order of the meals is not set yet.

Hamburgers, corn on the cob, green salad with lettuce and spinach from our garden
Black bean and rice salad using either this or this recipe, fresh fruit and crusty peasant bread (hopefully homemade)
Pasta, homemade sauce and a green salad
Tofu Stir Fry, Rice and Keem

Shabbat -
part of preppi…