Thursday, January 31, 2013

Colonial jobs and Benjamin Franklin

We've been busy continuing our study of colonial times. This week we focused on colonial jobs as well as our important colonial person of the week- Ben Franklin.

A learned all about the many different jobs needed to keep a colonial town running with this book that I downloaded onto her I-Pad. 
After reading it, we put her knowledge to the test with this worksheet (which frankly I have no clue where I found it...somewhere when I was googling late one night I am sure).
I then asked A to pick a job that she would like to have done if she lived in colonial times, and write about it in first person. She asked if it had to be a job women could do, or could she pick anything. Of course I said any job she wanted, so she choose to be a cooper- also known as a barrel maker. LOL.

Today she worked on a poster project of Benjamin Franklin. She finished reading the biography "Who Was Ben Franklin?"

She worked for a long time on this and completed it entirely on her own. She was very proud and I think she did an amazing job on it. She gave a great report to go along with it. I learned several things I did not know about Ben Franklin today.
 ...a few close ups of the poster

 And just for some added fun, a little white board doodle from A of a Brownie Girl Scout holding both the American and Alaskan flags.
Tomorrow we are dipping candles...stay tuned, this is going to be fun!

Monday, January 28, 2013

SNOW DAY!....Part 3

SNOW DAY!...Part 3

After lunch and making snow ice cream, we headed back out for some more fun in the snow. 

I had shoveled a clear spot on the porch earlier, but all the feet of snow that had been resting on the roof decided to foil all my hard work and crash down. Welcome over 4 feet of snow! How nice of you to give me a chance to shovel again! LOL

Well at least A had fun.

Monster face!
We took Bella out this time. She has to stay on her leash around the house. I don't know why, but we can take her out in the tundra and she will ALWAYS come when called...around the house, she completely ignores us, and I did not feel like trying to chase her through thigh deep snow. As it is she had to hop like a jack rabbit or basically swim through the snow. She loved it.
 Hmm...can you tell what she is thinking of doing in this pic?

...I also got snow  down my back while I wasn't paying attention. Evil LOL!

Best buds enjoying some play. Bella likes to eat snow, so A obliges her and throws it in her face.

On the table in our play area...
 not much of a jump today!

A helped me to shovel us a path.
 There we go...we can get the door closed now!

 Happy Snow Day!

SNOW DAY!....Part 2

SNOW DAY!....Part 2

So as I said, after playing outside this morning, we headed in (with a bowl full of fresh snow) to try out hand at making snow ice cream!

 Add sugar...and vanilla
 Stir in the milk...
 Mix well...
 and serve with sprinkles...
 Or sprinkles AND strawberry syrup!
A delicious snow day treat. Here is the recipe for those who want to give this a try.

Snow Ice Cream 
A large bowl full of clean fresh snow- about 6 cups
3/4 cup of sugar
2 tsp vanilla
1 and 1/2 cup milk (add more if need for the right consistency)

Add sugar and vanilla to fresh snow. Stir. Slowly add milk, stirring and adding more until you get the consistency you want. 
Serve with sprinkles...and strawberry syrup of course!

SNOW DAY!....Part 1

2 days ago almost all the snow except in the high elevation had melted....yesterday it started again. It snowed, and snowed, and snowed. We even got a blizzard warning. 
This morning I woke up to this. 
No wind, but still snowing...almost 2 feet at this point.

The kids here still had school (our town NEVER cancels, not even last year when we had 3 inches of ice.), but I made the decision that A and I would have a snow day. Ah the joy of homeschooling!

It was gorgeous outside. This is the most snow this southern girl has ever seen in one snowfall! A and I just had so much fun.

Look at that snow!
A even tried her hand with the camera. She snapped a pretty good pic of me.
We found little dins to play in. We are blessed to have some of the few trees on the island right here in our yard. They create magical play areas.
After about 2 hours we headed in for lunch and to make snow ice cream!
Stay tuned to SNOW DAY!...Part 2

Thursday, January 24, 2013

A snapshot from our life

How I often find my daughter...curled up, in a comfy spot she creates, engrossed in a book.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

adventures in making butter

A had a friend spend the night this weekend. Needless to say, there wasn't much sleep going on. That was okay though, this is DD's best friend L. L and her family are headed out of town for nearly 2 months. (That's how we roll around here. If you are going to spend the money to get off the island, you better make it worth it!)  A won't see L until March, and 2 weeks later we leave to head to the 'real world' for a month. These two girls are going to miss each other, that is for sure. So after playing all evening, getting very little sleep, and spending all day Saturday playing outside in the fresh snow, setting traps for ground squirrels, and playing with their American Girl dog sleds, they headed inside to warm up.

I figured it was a good time to make butter. Both these girls are studying colonial times. (L is homeschooled too, and it's cool to watch them both learning the same thing. It comes out in there imaginative play each time) 
They were super excited about it, so we grabbed a mason jar, some heavy cream, and 2 marbles. Filled the jar with the cream and marbles, screwed the lid on tight and....
 and shook some more....
 And some more.... this took a really long time! Finally the butter rose to the top, separating from the pure, fresh buttermilk left behind.
We scooped out the butter, and dug the marbles out of course, then on a cutting board mixed the butter around with a spoon, pressing out the excess liquid. Added a little salt and ....
 Nothing better than homemade butter on fresh bread made by A and I the day before.
 No two colonial girls could have been cuter!

Saturday, January 19, 2013

101 Ways to Cook Fish- Catch-up post 2

Alright, time for some more 101 ways to cook fish recipes, Like I said in the last 101 post, I am terribly behind on posting these. I will try to do better, but the holiday season definitely got the better of me.

Mexican Style Cod

1 large cod fillet
2 cups frozen corn
1/3 cup chopped red bell pepper
1/3 cup chopped green bell pepper
3/4 cup chunky salsa
1/4 cup chopped cilantro

Cut a large piece of aluminum foil. You will use this to create a packet to cook the fish in, so it needs to be large enough to do so.
Spray one side of foil with cooking spray. 
Season cod with salt and pepper. Place fillet on foil and top with corn, bell peppers, and salsa. Bring up sides of foil and fold to create foil packet. Bake at 450 for 20 minutes or until fish flakes easily. Top with cilantro.

 Simple Honey Glazed Salmon
This recipe is so simple. 3 ingredients and your done.

1 salmon large salmon fillet. I used red salmon for this dish...also known as sockeye.
1/3 cup honey
1/4 cup ketchup

Whisk honey and ketchup together in small bowl. Coat salmon with the honey glaze. Bake at 450 degrees on foil lined baking sheet for 15-20 minutes or until salmon flakes easily with fork.

 Island Style Salmon Burrito Bowl
This tuned out to be one of Dh's favorite dishes that I have made so far in this journey. It was amazing.

1 medium salmon fillet
1 tsp oil
1 1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp season salt
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp cinnamon
dash of salt
2 cups cooked rice
1 can black beans (rinsed)
1 can corn- drained
1 mango peeled and diced
1/2 of a run onion- diced
1 avocado diced
lime juice
I bunch of cilantro- chopped

Mix spiced together and rub on salmon. Pan fry salmon in oil in cast iron skillet, starting skin side down. Cook 3-5 minutes on each side, adding more oil if needed. When salmon is almost done, removed skin and break salmon into pieces. Continue to pan fry until salmon is cooked through.

Combine mango, onions, avocado  cilantro and lime juice in a small bowl. Stir to mix, seasoning with a dash of sea salt.

Heat beans in a large pan, stir in drained corn, when warm stir in rice.

Fill bowls, layering rice and beans, salmon, and topping with mango salsa.

PS... DH and I are going to try this with peaches next. Yum!

Friday, January 18, 2013

This moment

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. 
 inspired by SouleMama

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Making our own quill and ink- a colonial activity

We are in the midst of studying Colonial America, and we are really enjoying it. Today we decided to get into the act by making our own quill and ink set.

We talked about how colonist would use what was abundant to create their ink. Some colonists used walnuts, which of course we don't have here. So...what would we use? Well blueberries of course!

Here's how we created our ink...

Blueberry ink
1/2 cup blueberries (we thawed ours since they were frozen)
4 tsp apple cider vinegar

Smash blueberries with spoon until they are all crushed and juiced. Stir in the apple cider vinegar  Use cheesecloth to strain juice into a small container.

And here it is....blueberry ink!
 We used scissors to cut one side of the tip of the feather into a point. It worked surprisingly well. A practiced on plain paper for quite a bit and even doodled some pictures...
 but then she got down to business and decided she would write a poem on the scroll parchment paper I had printed out.
 ....and here it is. Written in blueberry ink and ready to be hung in our school room.

A declared this activity a lot of fun, but informed me that writing this way is a lot of work. Constantly dipping the quill into the ink takes a lot more time than she is used to, and she couldn't erase so she had to be very careful. This lead to a discussion on the origins of lead, the history of printing, and the art of penmanship which was so highly regarded in colonial time.

On tomorrows agenda....bread baking, and making our own butter to go with it. Stay tuned.