Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Global cooking, unschooling and the care and feeding of nine year olds.

Nine year olds are feisty argumentative creatures and I have been banging heads with Angelica ever since she turned nine. ( Ben will tell you it has been going on a whole lot longer :) While we are both strong personalities it did help to realize that part of this comes with the territory. They are discovering that they are part of a big big world and are ready for big things because, they are really becoming "the big kids."

This, as a home/un-schooler, is a great challenge. How to make the world bigger when frankly we are, well, home so much. This is especially frustrating in the colder weather when we lose much of our outdoor time, hikes, etc.

We made a trip to the library three weeks ago and got out a wonderful, wonderful book (which I am seriously considering buying because I guess the Strasburg library will not let me renew it indefinitely), The One World Kids Cookbook. Angelica instantly loved the idea of cooking some meals for us and the recipes are very simple for children to understand. I also love that in the book they show children cooking over hot pans and doing all sorts of wonderful dangerous kitchen things that so many children's cookbooks forbid. (of course the children are school age, not three-year-olds) It also opened up a wonderful venue for discussing the third world, economic differences between our country and many impoverished nations, geography and history. Who would have thought cooking could teach so many lessons.

Angelica has cooked a Somalian curry and a Greek salad with tadziki so far. It has really boosted her confidence in the kitchen and when she had a friend spend the night this past weekend they even made crepes together. The picture above is her with the pizza she assembled when I was out last thursday night.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Lè Buerre

I spent all last week with my head buried in baking cookbooks. Here is the result. My favorite one was basically a primer on French style pastry. I love French desserts because they have twice as much fat as American ones and about a third the amount of sugar. Ben and I were talking about why this might contribute to the fact that Americans are as a rule heavier. As Ben said, "More fat, less sugar, and then they walk home." Ha! So true. . . . .