Aprons and a Plan

Today has been a nasty, snowy, windy day here in central Utah.  Great time to spend some quality time with the kitchen.  The girls and I put our new aprons to good use (made by Grandma!)

aprons

As I spent the afternoon in the kitchen, I thought about one of my goals for 2012:  make a pie every month.   I know it’s a strange goal — after all, I usually am trying to restrict goodies and use less sugar.  But pie is a special kind of dessert.  It always seems to me to be more work than a cake, and especially if it is a fruit pie, more wholesome.  It is also old-fashioned and (in this family) consumed in a single sitting.

I realized that of all the things on my goal list for last year, this was one I had accomplished!  We have eaten some wonderful (and not so wonderful) pies this year.  So my plan is to share my pie resolution with you.  Here it is:  make a pie every month during 2013.  Share it with the group of us here on this site.  I am already excited to begin for 2013.  About the 15th of each month, I’ll post about the pie I made, and you can leave recipes or links in the comments to the pies you made.  Sound good?

Here’s my plan so far:

  • January — Honey Pecan pie (I’ve never made a pecan pie, and I object to corn syrup)
  • February — Grape Pie (the recipe says it is a lot like a gooseberry pie — I’ll have to try it!)
  • March — Lemon Meringue Pie
  • April — Old fashioned Indian Cream Pie (doesn’t the name say it all?)
  • May — The Best Rhubarb pie (with my mother-in-law’s secret ingredient)
  • June — Cherry pie (or some variation) for cherry season
  • July — Peach pie (the summer’s first peach pie is the best!)
  • August — Pear- maple syrup pie (I think I can get pears by then, and I’ve never made pear pie.)
  • September — Apple pie, of course!  Maybe an apple-raspberry, or apple-?
  • October — This could easily be another apple pie — apple season is wonderful or banana cream, Shandy’s favorite
  • November — Pumpkin pie with home cooked squash
  • December — Cranberry pie –now to choose my favorite recipe

Of course, the list is likely to change.  Still, I’m excited to share my pie creations with you, and see what you have to share as well!

Kids in the Kitchen: Key Lime Pie

One of my goals for 2012 was to make a pie each month.  Even though I had already made pumpkin pies in December, I decided to make one last pie to top off the year — a key lime pie.  Mom had given me a whole bunch of limes, and I had some willing helpers to help juice them.  Key lime pie is so terribly easy, I couldn’t help but make one.

Lucy and Max juiced the limes.  Limes juice easier if you microwave them for 20 seconds before slicing.

juicing limes

My recipe calls for only egg yolks.  I showed the kids how to separate eggs just by lifting the yolk out of the bowl of egg white.  This is the most kid friendly way to separate eggs, even if it is MESSY!

max separating eggs

After beating the three ingredients together, we poured the mixture into the pre-baked shell (a Crisco crust, this time.  I like butter crusts, but sometimes just want the crispness that Crisco provides.)  Bake for 10-15 minutes, and when the pie is cool, top with whipped cream.  YUM!

Here’s the recipe:

1 pre-baked pie shell

1 can sweetened condensed milk

4 egg yolks

1/3  cup lime juice

whipping cream for serving

Beat egg yolks until combined, then add sweetened condensed milk and mix thoroughly.  While continuing to beat, slowly add lime juice.  Pour into pie shell and bake in 350 degree oven for 10 to 15 minutes, until pie is softly set.  Remove from oven and cool completely before serving.

Come back tomorrow for the 2013 pie challenge!

Candles in the Dark

I would enjoy winter more, even the snow, if it didn’t include so many dark hours.  This is one way we brought some light into our home this week — after breakfast!

candle and fruit bowl

candles with fruit bowl

Candles and a wood fire — just trying to stay warm until summer!  Hope you’re having a good, warm day and a happy family wherever you are.

 

 

Reason to Homeschool #239

Reason #239:  You don’t have to share the sledding hill.

lucy on snowboard

 

eden and max

 

Share one of your favorite reasons to homeschool in the comments!

Risk Taking 101 for Parents of Homeschoolers

Yes, that is my 9 year old in that picture.  Yes, it is high and steep.  Yes, I am brave (and she is, too.)  Managed risk taking is a skill we value in our family.  Since I took this picture, and began writing this post, so much has happened that saddens me to think about the huge risks we take every day, usually just by doing things we take for granted.  We risk when we get into our automobiles, and yet we rarely think that this could be our last ride.  Parents risk every day when they wave goodbye to their children at the door of the schoolroom.  So if we live with so much risk, why would we encourage our children to be risk takers?

  • Risk takers enjoy life more.  A person who cautiously doesn’t dare to try a new sport, learn a new task or climb a little higher doesn’t get the thrill of achieving his goal and seeing the view from on top.  You cannot achieve if you do not start.  Just because you start, doesn’t guarantee achievement, but non-starters never achieve.
  • Risk takers are high achievers.  Those who have risked and achieved goals in the past have more confidence toward the next challenge.  They are able to reach higher and gain more.
  • Risk takers find fulfillment.  Knowing that you did something you set out to do leads to fulfillment and happiness.

How can we help our children to be risk takers, but in a controlled, managed way?

  • Help your children evaluate the risk.  Is the risk is a tumble down a sandstone hill, as shown in the picture above, or is it a life-threatening chance?  What are the benefits to be gained?  If the benefits outweigh the risks, why not take the chance?  Even very young children can be taught to think in this way, and choose which risks are worth taking.
  • Ask your child about how he feels while taking the risk.  As he climbs higher on the jungle gym, don’t just demand that he descend immediately.  Ask if he feels safe.  Be there to assist if necessary, and help him to be careful, but don’t insist on his complying with your feeling of safety.
  • Sometimes it’s better not to look.  I have a 16 year old that just received his first driver’s license.  While he has driven many hours with me beside him in the car, I am better able to cope with his driving when I am not alongside him.  I am not sure I even make him safer by “co-piloting” the vehicle.  After all, when he cannot rely on me for a second opinion, he is forced to rely on his own sense of caution.  Our children need to be able to feel safe inside their own bodies and with their own decisions, and sometimes this involves a parent turning a blind eye.

While none of us can guarantee safety throughout our lives or our children’s lives, we can live each day to its fullest, living confidently and happily in the present.

Is risk taking something you encourage for your family?  How do you cope with the emotions brought on by letting go? Please leave me a comment below.

And Winter is Finally Here

We’ve been in the “blahs” of winter without any snow . . . until today.

snowy tree

Snow season has finally arrived.  Ready for some snow shoeing or cross country skiing anyone?  Just one of the ways I plan to enjoy the season this year.

sandbox snow

Hope you’re have a great start to winter.