Sunday, November 05, 2006

Recipes and Reading

Today's task is to put my new recipes up for you:

There is a real mix here, granola, mushroom loaf and blonde macaroons.
As usual, my method of quantity is somewhat random and tends to be guided by continual quality control!! So please feel free to put your own measurements in along the way and be guided only be taste!!

Mushroom loaf:

You need: 1 onion, 2 cloves of garlic, parsley, about 12 - 14 mushrooms (I used plain old organic button mushrooms, but I think it would be spiced up somewhat with a mix of wild mushrooms!), cumin, broccoli (or your preferred green veg choice), a favourite spice (I used worcestershire, but you could use anything) salt and pepper, two eggs and pine nuts about a handful!

Chop the onion and garlic into fine pieces and lightly fry until golden
Meanwhile chop the mushrooms, broccoli and put into a bowl,
Beat the egg and add that, stir it all well
Add the now fried onions and garlic
Add the cumin and seasoning, then add the handful of pine nuts.

Press it well down into a greased loaf tin and bake at about 375F for about 20 - 25 mins.


You need:
1/3 cup Flax seed, 1/3 cup sunflower seeds, 1/3 cup shredded coconut, 3 cups oats, 1/3 cup wheatgerm (or wheat bran), bran (if you have the wheat germ and bran separately), abour 1/2 cup of walnuts, almonds, pecans or brazils or a combination.

Dried fruit of your choice, honey, veg. oil, vanilla extract,

Put the first set of ingredients into a shallow tray or dish and gently roast in the oven set to 375F for about 30 mins, turn them frequently otherwise they will burn in places.

Meanwhile mix up the honey (1 cup) with the oil (1 cup) and the vanilla extract (1tsp) into another bowl and mix them up. When the nutty mixture comes out of the oven, pour this over it and mix. Then replace back into the oven again, this time for about 20 minutes, make sure you watch it though so that the honey doesn't burn.

When you bring it out, add as much or little dried fruit as you wish. When it is cool store it in an airtight container in a cupboard. It makes about 6 small portions and will keep for about a week.


Blonde macaroons:

this is a vegan recipe and is classified as raw as you only very gently heat them through ensuring nothing higher than 118 degs.

I used:
2 cups of shredded coconut
1/2 cup of ground almonds
1 cup of soy or coconut butter
1 cup of maple syrup.
1/2 tsp of salt.

This really is a trial and error recipe. The first time I made these, although the final product was fine, they didn't stick as well as I would like, therefore, it might be better to add a little more butter or maple syrup, but you must just experiment. I also think that next time I may put them into the fridge before the step that is to follow......

Simply, mix it all together in a bowl and press them into small balls. Put them onto a tray and pop in the lowest oven setting you possibly can get. You are looking for a very very light golden brown to them.

They taste yummy however and the children loved them as a snack. I didn't feel remotely guilty about putting them in T's lunchbox either as the sugar content was low and also raw.

Try them and let me know what you think!!

My current reading list is bizarre at the moment, it consists of a psychology book, a fiction book and a children's book!!
I am currently reading (or trying to!)

Childhood and Society by Erik Erikson
Living to tell the Tale by Gabriel Marquez (living in the time of cholera guy!!)
The Midwife's Apprentice by Karen Cushman ( this is the children's book!)

oh and I have as my spare continually "on the go" book - The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd

I have just finished The Memory Keeper's Daughter by Kim Edwards.

Last Thursday I went to a talk at the school about the Elementary programme and one of the questions that arose from a parent was how exactly does a Montessori programme differ beneficially to a mainstream education. I just wanted to share this wonderful analogy and my own thoughts to that:
Imagine a dot to dot puzzle, you are given the numbers and the sequence, but not the connections, that is mainstream education. In Montessori, you have the connections and it is up to the child to make the dots: a young child in Montessori may not know the word square root yet, however, the child will know HOW to do a square root, WHY to do a square root and WHAT NEED there is to do square roots within the greater context of their everyday lives. In short Montessori is a holistic approach to education, the direction of applied learning skills rather than just lists of facts. I think this, for me, sums it up and I feel eternally grateful that we have been allowed this opportunity to submerge both the children and ourselves in this more organic way of learning and thinking. I only wish it were easier for everyone to do this and that Montessori principles were observed and studied during all teacher training courses. Of course the grand scheme of things is far more in depth than that and thinking is very broad and outside the box that for me, has been normal up to now, (ex-state/public primary school teacher!) but if you are ever considering thinking about Montessori even for a short time in your child's pre-school years, go and listen to some of the directors talk about the philosophy, I assure you, your eyes will be opened.

No comments: