Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Happy St Patrick's Day!

        May your blessings outnumber
        the Shamrocks that grow.
        And may trouble avoid you
        Wherever you go.
                             --- Irish Blessing

We enjoyed a few fun crafts today, and learning that the Shamrock can be used to explain the Trinity. Which led to a discussion that sometimes people feel "lucky" to find a clover with 4 leaves. Which made certain little boys ask if you could find clover with 3 & 4 leaves exactly how high did they go up to anyway..  You'll have to settle for a post without fun pictures from our little Pumpkin Patch, because the computer with photos on it is currently in the shop getting a bit more ram installed in it..

For breakfast we enjoyed Irish Soda Bread for breakfast. I altered the recipe by using 2 T of maple syrup, adding the finely grated and chopped peel of 2 oranges. I also used 1/4 c orange juice and 1/2 c milk. I swapped raisins for dried currants, and I used half whole wheat flour. I also chose to bake it on a piece of baking paper set on top of a cooling rack on top of my baking tray. I find my scones tend to get dark on the bottom before the inside is cooked and this recipe is quite similar to scones. Don't be fooled by the size of the dough, it rises a LOT. I also took a kiwi and sliced it (skin on) into thick thirds. I used a small heart shaped cookie cutter to cut 1 heart from each slice; 3 hearts from each kiwi. We turned them into shamrocks on the kids plates. (picture to come)

The boys made St Patrick's Day crowns and they had a great laugh discussing gold at the end of the rainbow and how silly the idea was. We printed the pattern on cardstock and the kids had fun coloring while breakfast cooked. We affixed their pieces to green foam and they proudly wore them all day long, much to the delight of those who spotted them.

Then Mr Scarecrow and I helped Morgan make a fun beard. Funny, isn't it, that the child who was terrified of growing a beard wanted to do this craft? Morgan and I rolled the papers and Mr Scarecrow glued them on for us. Morgan then wore the beard complete with funny green hat around the house for a while.  (picture to come) I admit to trying the beard on too but found that the paper and glue was quite stinky, but then again I've been told my sense of smell is a tad extreme.

We had baked potatoes with broccoli and cheese for lunch, and just for fun I tossed corn on the kids and told them it was bits of gold. This led to a discussion on the Potato Famine/Black Famine. Morgan made us a fruit rainbow for lunch using watermelon, green grapes, papaya, red grapes, blueberries, and apples. He laid it all out in an arc form on a cooking tray and we munched on it while we ate. (picture to come, because his looked way better then the picture I did find..) Then, we discussed rainbows and while we were discussing what makes rainbows Morgan simply says, "Not to interrupt you or anything, but honestly guys if God hadn't made it rain and flood the world we wouldn't even have rainbows. It all started, you know, with the first one. So, I guess even though it was bad, it was really good." To which I told him he was quite insightful, because honestly that comment really was. 

I also made some Mint Ice cream (I didn't bother to tint it green, swap the vanilla for mint.. and to make it super light and fluffy and totally yummy only half fill your ice cream canister. Trust me on this one..) and chocolate graham crackers (add 1/3 c of cocoa, and for ease of rolling out roll between two pieces of baking paper then slice with a pizza cutter and place the paper with dough on it right on your cooking tray) Once the ice cream was churned I spread it in an 20x20cm (8x8) pan and popped it in the freezer for a few hours. Once the crackers were cooled I cut the ice cream into chunks and made ice cream sandwiches. I only used 1/4 batch of ice cream (I make a 1/2 batch of mixture and only churn 1/2 of that at time) and it made plenty of sandwiches for us. When you only half fill your canister you'll get super light and fluffy ice cream and it will go farther then you expect! We ate them after a typical Silverside/Corned Beef dinner. I cooked the beef in the crock. I plop the meat in, cover it with boiling water and turn it on high for roughly 5 hours (3 pounds of meat) and let it simmer away all day. We enjoyed it with leftover Rainbow fruit salad and green beans.

We also read about Shamrocks and the cute little blessing above in China Bayle's Book of Days. The, just for complete fun we hid a few golden coins around the house and let the boys look for them. They found it amusing to find coins hidden in the bathroom and on the bulletin board. 

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