Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Montessori Division Work ~ Happy Thanksgiving!

I need to remake my division board and racks and tubes materials.  I'll paste my old photos below.  However, my racks and tubes took up a lot of shelf space.  This time I won't make them oversized, nor on corkboard.  I may just laminate them and put them on foam board like I make the pin maps.  Instead of the tubes I would love to have some stackable pill cups but will need to test that they hold exactly 10 beads.  Part of the beauty of the racks is that the dc doesn't have to constantly count out their ten beads and can focus on other aspects of the work.

Intro to the Division Board (using a booklet that my dc only use once but it's very valuable):

My old photos of the racks and tubes:

What's Cookin'?

Hamburger Buns:  I used this recipe and they came out great (it sounds boastful, but it's the recipe I'm boasting - not my cooking!).  I put the warm water and yeast in the bread maker alone for 5 minutes.  Then I added the rest and let it run on the dough cycle for about 10 minutes.  I checked it throughout to see if it needed more flour (I was using all white because I hadn't planned/soaked and started out with 2-1/2 C flour.  I added about 1/2 C more a little at a time as I checked it.

Frozen Biscuits:  The same blogger (Stacy) was a guest blogger on Katie's Kitchen Stewardship and we tried her frozen biscuit recipe. I made 2 batches of soaked flour because I just knew the first batch would never make it into the freezer :).  Everyone loved them and they easily "fork split."  The night before I soaked the flour, buttermilk (or kefir or yogurt or whey), and butter (melted and cooled).  Then, after soaking, I added the baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

Thanksgiving Dinner:

Sweet Potato Casserole:  I'm trying this recipe using fresh sweet potatoes and homemade marshmallows from the freezer.  I'll put the homemade marshmallows on one half and store-bought minis for dh on the other half.  I hope they bake well!  I have melted them to make the grotto with puffed rice cereal but have never used them in a baked recipe (I switched out real butter instead of the margarine they mention).

Cranberry Sauce:  I'm using this recipe and will wing it from there.  I may use 1/2 C water and 1/2 C orange juice instead of 1 C OJ.  For the sugar I'll use rapadura but wonder if I could get away with slipping in some molasses.  I'll start with 1/2 of the recommended sugar. [update:  turned out awesome.  I went ahead and used just OJ for the liquid.  Dd mashed it when it was cooked and we sprinkled about 1/4 teaspoon gelatin on it and stirred it in carefully.  It was fun seeing the cranberries pop :).,1955,143162-224201,00.html

Green Bean Casserole:  I made homemade french fried onions using this recipe below.  Then I used the grease/bits and a bit more flour and the soaking milk (plus a bit more) to make a gravy.  I'm just using the gravy instead of the "cream of mushroom soup" called for in the traditional recipe.  I ended up with 2 C gravy and will use that with 2 cans (sigh) of french style green beans with the homemade french fried onions on top.

Sourdough stuffing:  DH wants Stove Top dressing so I got him a box of that to make.  However, I'm also making stuffing from scratch with no msg, etc in it.  I happen to have a loaf of California Sourdough in the freezer and will use that to use with this recipe below.  I'll add 1/2 C apple and some spices.  Right now I'm doing a super quick bone broth just on the stove to use in the recipe.

Cocol:  Today is the feast day for Blessed Miguel Pro, one of my all-time favorite heroes.  Seriously, google him... wait, I'll do it for you.  When you see the thousands and thousands pouring out into the streets for his funeral procession, remember that it was ILLEGAL to even be a practicing Catholic in Mexico at that time and that many were persecuted for their faith.  Anyway, we somehow managed to make this sweet yeast bread for his feast day and talked about what he did and how he showed such courage, devotion, charity, and good cheer. Viva Cristo Rey!  The first link is a recipe for cocol but we just used the one from the Catholic Calendar yahoo group which was almost identical:

Yesterday we  read about Fr. Byles who went down with the Titanic and what heroism and devotion he showed to both the people on board and to God as he served them and refused to get on a lifeboat several times.  Here is a link to this other hero:

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