Needing Quite Book Time

October 18, 2007 at 5:00 pm (books, Teaching)

I am having one of those weeks where I crave quite time.  I want nothing more than to curl up in a chair with a book or at a table with a crafty soming for the up coming holidays.  I usually have soming baking while I do these endevors. I find the smell of homemade bake good soothing.  I wish to get away from the chaos that children bring, along with the problematic parents that think that their child was too harshly judge.

Most days I love to teach and this morning until my 4th class was going wonderfully. If any of you work with children, wiether teaching, daycare or just have several of your own, please comment.  How are things best handled?  I ask, I repeat, I take things away.  I ahve gone so far as to remove the offending object of play for a couple of minutes to prove a point. The only thing that happens is irrate calls and no improving behavior.

Are childrens creativity so fragile that they can not sit in a chair nor keep their shoes on their feet?  Is this hampering them creatively? I know that sometimes I feel that it is killing mine, or at least my desire to create once on my own at home.  After helping, assisting, and sometimes pleeding to have the children create, I have nothing left in me to want to start one of my own. This needs to change.   I need to change.  Maybe I just want to much for them. Should I be happy with rude children who wish to injury themselves? Am I over reacting? Maybe a little.

Maybe I’ll re-arange my house so that I have a free uncluttered area that I can leave projects out, so that I can work slowly as I have time. Packing it up only makes me not want to bring it back out.  I need to start working on my portfoilo for Grad school.  Oh well enough with the venting ( though this is one of the reason why created this journal) on to something different.

I have resently finished the first four books ( out of five) in the Overlander series by Susanne Collins.  These childrens books are wonderful.  They are following the age old mythos of coming of age, finding oneselve, along with a great adventure.

The main character is Gregor, an 11 year old boy from New York.  He has to watch his 2 year old sister Boots while his Mother is working as well as take care of his aging grandmother.  Boots is my favorite character in the book.  Her speach patterns are perfect for that age, I can hear her in my head even after I put the book down saying things like “Beeg Bug, Geo-go, beeg, beeg bug!” and “Hi You” 

This is a must for all children.  There is a hidden world, lost father, working mother, children helping raise one another, a young spunky queen, lots of good and bad people who you have to decied who to stand with, and a prophsey you have to solve.  Some of the inhabbitance of the undergraound are Griant 4 foot long cockrachers, 6 foot tall Rats, Large flying bats and lightenbugs, and huge spiders all who can talk and are fighting for their place in the underword.  

I would say that 3rd grade and up could read this on their own.  The lower grade children would love to have this read to them.  Lots of mystery and excitement, not many things to frighten smaller children even though we lose some of our companions as we travel through the books.  Here is the authors website: Susanne Collins

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Questions and Biscotti

October 14, 2007 at 12:38 pm (books, recipes)

I come with a question, why is it that others find taking pride,comfort and joy horrific when they are applied to domestics? What is so wrong with enjoying fixing a healthy and pleasurable meal for ones family? Or wanting a home that is created by your own hands? If you wish to leave you insight on these, please feel free. If you wish to read a book on this topic, Yarnstorms creator has written a lovely book that is taking much heat in the general press just for this issue.

As for today I too have found Apples for Jam cookbook. It is my new love. All color code, and artist dream. I have yet to fix anything from here, but it kept me wonderful company while I waited for the mechanics to finish working on the car. This is a Must!! Check it out.

I’ll leave you today with Pumpkin Biscotti on this fall day

pumpkin biscotti

Pumpkin Biscotti : Makes approximately 15 cookies.

2 1/2 cups of flour
1 cup of sugar
1 teaspoon of baking powder
1 teaspoon of cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon of nutmeg
Pinch of ginger
Pinch of cloves
Pinch of salt
2 eggs
1/2 cup of pumpkin purée
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Sift together the flour, salt, sugar, baking powder, and spices into a large bowl.

2. In another bowl, whisk together the eggs, pumpkin purée, and vanilla extract. Pour the pumpkin mixture into the flour mixture. Give it a rough stir to generally incorporate the ingredients, the dough will be crumbly.

3. Flour your hands and a clean kitchen surface and lightly knead the dough. Lightly grease a baking sheet or line it with parchment paper. Form the dough into a large log, roughly about 15-20 inches by 6-7 inches. The loaves should be relatively flat, only about 1/2 inch high. Bake for 22-30 minutes at 350 F, until the center is firm to the touch. (Feel free to also form two smaller logs for cute two-bite biscotti; just cut the baking time to 18-24 minutes.)

4. Let biscotti cool for 15 minutes and then using a serrated knife cut into 1 inch wide pieces. Turn the oven to 300 F and bake for an additional 15-20 minutes. Cool completely.

Biscotti may be still a tad moist and chewy, so if you prefer it crisp let it sit uncovered overnight in a dry space. Serve and enjoy.

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