Archive for the ‘Kitchen Chronicles’ Category
Fruit flies abound in my kitchen this morning- why? I have not committed to an in house compost bucket and so I have scraps of compost in bowls and plastic containers. Once I get tired of fruit flies in the house, I put the containers on the back porch- where my little problem becomes a big hassle.
Dreaming the perfect counter- top compost pail:
I am torn though, I also like this white plastic compost pail and my friends who have similar ones rave about how odor free it really is.
Today I am deciding between compost buckets and getting rid of fruit flies. I’d also like to take a walk in the woods and maybe I’ll pick some fall flowers or bring in some colorful leaves for our season table.
What are you doing to solve the simple problems in your life? What do you recommend for a compost bucket?
Fall is the season of the Harvest! September brings the Harvest Moon; a time to celebrate abundance. I enjoy recognizing the abundance around me: it fills me with gratitude, appreciate and contentment.
Here are a few ways to share this season with the children we love.
1) Make Pumpkin Muffins; here’s a healthy recipe from The Waldorf Kindergarten Snack Book:
2 c. unbleached white flour
1 1/2 c. whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 tsp. sea salt
2 Tbs. baking powder
1/2 c. corn oil
1 c. maple syrup
1/2 c. soymilk
1 c. apple juice
1 c. pumpkin or butternut squash (cooked)
- Cut pumpkin or squash and dice into medium sized pieces. Cook in a small amount of water.
- Using a food processor, puree the pumpkin or squash (make sure it’s not too wet) set aside.
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
- Oil the muffin pans with corn oil or set paper muffin cups in the pan.
- In alarge bowl, combine all the dry ingredients and mix well with a whisk. Set aside.
- In a separate bowl, combine all the wet ingredients and mix well with a whisk.
- Pour the wet mixture into the dry mixture. Using a whisk, stir them until just mixed. Do not over mix.
- Fill the muffin cups and bake for 50 minute to 1 hour, or until the edges of the muffins are golden brown.
(Shared by Diane Prusha Great Barrington Rudolf Steiner School, Mass.)
2) Make Leaf Prints
- Collect a variety of colorful leaves.
- Cut two pieces of wax paper.
- Place leaves artistically between the two pieces of wax paper.
- Gently place the “wax paper leaf sandwich” into a folded towel.
- Iron the towel (with the leaf print inside) to melt the wax paper.
- These make wonderful window decorations!
3) Go on a scavenger hunt for:
- Maple leaves
- Oak leaves
- wildflower seeds
- Deer Tracks
- Kindling (for an autumn bonfire!)
- Any thing else you are excited to look for!
4) Take a walk early evening of the full moon (October 4th this year) watch the moon rise!
5) Feed the birds.
- Make a backyard feeding station by covering pinecones with suet and birdseed, hang with strings or light weight wire from a tree.
- Use a pie pan (or bottom from a flower pot) and place on a stump or rock, fill with bird seed and watch the birds enjoy!
- Take a square(ish) piece of wood (1 foot by 1 foot piece of plywood is perfect) drill holes at each corner; using sturdy twine hang the board from a tree limb. Sprinkle bird seed on the “bird plate” each day.
- Buy a window bird feeder and attach to the outside of a window.
6) Find an orchard near to home, go apple picking. Come home and make apple sauce, apple butter or just slice ‘em and enjoy.
7) Outside Circle time (for young kids) sing this song to the tune of “Here we go around the mulberry bush” – at the end fall down like leaves from the trees!
“The leaves are green and the nuts are brown.
They hang so high, and will not come down.
Leave them alone till the frosty weather
Then they will all come down together.” (Author unknown)
Rake leaves together; save ‘em up as mulch for the garden. Be playful- have a leaf “fight” or play hide and seek. (remember there might be ticks in the leaves- so do a tick check when you’re done!)
9) Find a special place in nature. Take some time each week to sit and observe the sounds, what you see, hear, the temperature, which animals visit the spot too. Take a picture of your special place each time you visit. Make a nature journal and place the pictures in it with the dates visited. Keep this record as a special way to remember this season.
10) Hike to the top of the highest mountain in your area. From this birds-eye-view, look out and enjoy all the colors of the leaves.
Please share your ideas! Maybe we can get to 100 things to do in the fall.
One of the most wonderful aspects of my home daycare is snack during blueberry season. Earlier this week one of the littlest children that I care for decided to take care of herself by plopping down in the blueberry patch in our play area and eating.
I liked that she decided to take care of herself, and trusted me to watch out for her, but not smother her. She only ate the blue berries, none of the shriveled up rotten ones, or still green- late bloomers. She was so proud of herself too.
This same toddler, will pick her own cherry tomatoes and eat up!
Blueberry season is nearing its end. Luckily, we harvested pounds and pounds of delicious ripe berries, which are now frozen and ready for the winter pancakes, muffins, snacks and whatever we can cook up in the kitchen.
The end of blueberry season is one of the first signs of autumn. I enjoy eating them during the summer, but now I start to long for pumpkin pie and squash muffins.
Farewell blueberries… see you next year! (Yeah!)
Today, my dearly beloved son wanted waffles for breakfast.
So, I rediscovered one of my favorite recipes in Joy of Cooking and together we made fresh home baked waffles using my mother’s heart-shaped waffled iron.
Here’s the recipe:
1 3/4 cups cake flour (substitute whole grains for part if you like)
2 teaspoons double acting baking powder
1/2 cup salt
1 tablespoon sugar (can omit or add less)
In a separate bowl beat:
3 egg yolks (save egg white for later)
4 tablespoons melted butter
1 1/2 cups milk (I usually use cow milk, but try it with other milk)
Add liquid ingredients into flour mixture by forming a hole in the center and pouring in the liquid. With a few quick strokes, combine the liquid with the flour to make a batter with the texture of muffin batter.
Add about a handful of fruit or berries, cheese, ham, nuts.
Beat until peaks form, but not too dry:
3 egg white
Fold the egg whites into the waffle batter.
Cook and serve!
I highly suggest using a little butter and some local maple syrup (unless, of course, you choose to make savory waffles).
Garnish with blueberries, strawberries, peaches, apple sauce- whatever floats your boat!
Perhaps you have the opportunity to cook with your children, have them help! Jeremiah is “the stirrer” and has his own special spatula. We always remember to put on our “helper hats” and I usually have his 2 1/2 year old attention for long enough to cook.
This morning he helped separate the eggs (fresh from our chickens)!! He ate about 6 small waffles this morning; I feel confident that we will have a good day as his body is filled with healthy food; more importantly, his heart is filled with love and sweet attention from his mamma. It’s special to be a mom-son team in the kitchen. I look forward to the next morning he has some special breakfast he wants…. we’ll see what new adventure we have together.