Wednesday, November 3, 2010

The Farm (Montessori Grammar Work) ~ Creamy Mango Sorbet

Embracing the Chaos:
As I yearn for normalcy and seek out a normal schedule at home to get things done (housework, order, planning, work, schoolwork, meal prep, etc) I find that I am breeding discontent in myself through my frustrations (sigh). I am constantly anxious and stressed with the burden that our schedule has put upon me while grateful for those very things at the same time. I am now seeking to TRULY be grateful and PEACEFUL for those blessings.  In other words, I am now trying to truly... embrace the chaos.

What's Cookin'?

I had been wanting to try to make either ice milk or sherbet or sorbet for a few weeks since 1) I don't have an ice cream maker. Although we use the double bag procedure to make ice cream every summer it's sort of labor intensive and 'fun' just about... once a summer. The truth is that we were suppose to do this for our sodium experiment and didn't have enough cream for everyone to have a cup for their individual batch. We'll have to do that soon. That leads into 2) Ice cream needs a lot more cream than the others. Anyway... I found this recipe that I tweaked. I used honey instead of sugar and used 4 cups of mango instead of 3. Many of the other recipes only called for 2 cups of mango but it set fine. Fruit, cream, sugar, and ice cubes (recipe calls for 3 C mango, 1 C cream, 1 C sugar, 1 C ice cubes). I love 'treats' with very few ingredients - especially if they have fruit in them for dc. I didn't want to use rapadura for this because it doesn't always dissolve well (for example in the caramel for our caramel apples the other day). Next time I will use *powdered rapadura sugar* that I just learned to do and made successfully in the coffee grinder in about 2 minutes total. I'm thinking it would not be as crunchy even if it doesn't dissolve and it wouldn't have such a strong honey taste. I like honey but it overpowered the mango just a little too much.
Here is the recipe I tweaked (and will tweak again using powdered rapadura). Basically you blend the ingredients in the blender, put in a bag, smoosh every 30 minutes for the first 2 hours, and it's done. I poured it into a corning ware bowl and just stirred it instead.  I'm including a picture of making the powdered rapadura also (too cool!!)

The Creamy Mango Sorbet is part of Real Food Wednesday at Kelly the Kitchen Kop:

What Else is Cookin'?
Eggplants were on sale for 88 cents each. I put some sliced in the dehydrator overnight to use for mini pizza crusts. The dc thought it was weird but ate about 10 each, lol. Each dc ate about 1/2 an eggplant without even knowing it (he, he, he). Next time I will dehydrate them a little longer so they are not quite so chewy. I tried to go back and find the original comment to give credit but couldn't find it. I'll just have to say that it wasn't my original idea.

Also in the dehydrator this week: some apple rings, bananas, and "almond mush" left over from making dd's almond milk that will be almond meal for baking.

We made Boxty Bread and Boxty Dumplings.  Boxty Bread: good.  Boxty Dumplings: not so much - they fell apart, and let's just say that we're having potato soup tonight for dinner or a side.  For the Boxty Bread I made patties and baked them on a greased glass dish.

What's Schoolin'?

Here is a sequence of photos showing youngest dd's language work using the farm miniature environment. She is 8 and has gotten through the verbs in the R and D Language 1 manual so far.

The Civil War:  Today the olders had their last actual lesson for our Civil War unit based on the wonderful book Great Civil War Projects You Can Build Yourself.  They'll need a few days (read: a week) to finish up their lapbooks.  Next is the Reconstruction Era but I think for that we'll just read out of their textbook for that.  I'm flustered with our library's new limits on check-outs and I can't really check out a lot of books for that study. 

I developed a Wild West lapbook unit that we'll use next.  It's based on this book shown below (The Wild West by Mike Stotter).  The book is written a bit for olders (middle schoolers and up) due to a few conversation points and doesn't sugar-coat everything - that's my disclaimer (I'll use it with my younger as a read-aloud with no problem).  My lapbook unit is appropriate for all ages, although it uses the book as a resource to fill in some of the booklets.  I didn't use the first part of the book which talks about Native Americans because there are many quality units online for that and we did a very thorough study a few years ago.  I found nothing for the Wild West, though... so I made one :).


  1. Nice work with the grammar farm. Could you please tell me where you got the cards from? Mine are rather small and not as pleasing to the eye as yours. Thank you for sharing.

  2. I made them. So glad you like them. Unfortunately I lost all of those files when my computer crashed a few years ago. I reorganized the cards this summer to start using with dd and some dc I was tutoring. I still had most of them but had to make some replacement cards. Because of that I happen to have just a couple of files. I cleaned up one of those files and uploaded it in google docs as a template for you.

    I don't think the pdf will help but I uploaded one anyway. The other one is in Open Office. I'm not sure if you can use it in Word or whatever you might have.

    Here are the google doc links and I'm thinking I may need to repost this in a separate post for the search to find it... You know I'll be looking for it later! :) [pdf] [open office]

    I chose to print only the word in the appropriate color to save ink. All of the cards have the black outline, regardless of part of speech. It's not been a problem to have only the word colored and, as you can see in the pictures, the colors are fairly obvious.

    I hope this helps and thanks for your comment!

  3. Is the last pic your dd's own handwriting?

  4. Hi Juliette,

    Yes, she copied them from the cards and drew/colored the symbols above them (after putting the symbols cards over the word cards on the table). She also chose which words to put under the animals. At the end she had a few extra words/animals that didn't match up and so she removed them from the work area instead of reorganizing things. That was fine with me. She may lay them out differently another time.

    There are no caps nor periods. That is on purpose. She does use them in her free writing, etc but they aren't used in this work at this point.

  5. Thank you so much!! If I get any pictures of the kids using them I will certainly link right back to you. Thank you for sharing.

  6. Discovering Montessori,

    You're welcome! Did the files work for you okay, then? Thanks for the link back :).

    This old post shows how I organize/store the word cards in case you haven't seen it: