Wednesday, November 30, 2011

A Southern Classic Sauce: Mississippi Comeback Sauce

I've got to make this! See here for the recipe. This complex tasting creamy sauce is high calorie, built upon a mayonnaise base, but looks as if it would be delicious as a meat or vegetable sauce for occasional comfort meals.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Kitty Leisure Activities

Spoiled pets seen here:
Daily fish watching along with a short drink from the bowl by resident cat. Our betta fish hides in his castle from my daughter, but not the cat! There's a bit of cat watching from the other side of the glass as well.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Vintage Children's Thanksgiving Poetry for Those in Colder Climates


Over the river and through the wood,
To grandfather's house we go;
The horse knows the way
To carry the sleigh
Through the white and drifted snow.
Over the river and through the wood—
Oh, how the wind does blow!
It stings the toes
And bites the nose,
As over the ground we go.
Over the river and through the wood,
To have a first-rate play.
Hear the bells ring,
Hurrah for Thanksgiving Day!
Over the river and through the wood
Trot fast, my dapple-gray!
Spring over the ground,
Like a hunting-hound!
For this is Thanksgiving Day.
Over the river and through the wood,
And straight through the barn-yard gate
We seem to go
Extremely slow,—
It is so hard to wait!
Over the river and through the wood—
Now grandmother's cap I spy!
Hurrah for the fun!
Is the pudding done?
Hurrah for the pumpkin-pie?
~ Lydia Maria Child

Over the River and Through the Woods free geography lesson(grades1-2).

Repost from 2007.

Free Thanksgiving Coloring Pages

Here is a sampling:

Click here for printable and saveable pdf copies. They print out nicely.

HT to Betsy who has an ongoing list of Thanksgiving links on her blog.

Repost 2007.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

DIY Children's Futon

This was made from four pillows and three yards of fabric. See the blogspot link under the image for instructions. Openings can be left to remove pillows for washing. I think I'd use a velcro closure. I wonder if you could just sew together four pillow cases? Time to experiment.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Dish Dryer Rack for File Folder Organization

Source: via Elyse on Pinterest

Autumn Art Project for Children

This autumn scene was embellished with gold paint. See link under picture for tutorial. I ordered the Sargent Art Metallic Tempera set of six($4.25) from Blick for this project.

Image is from the site tutorial.

Natural Tree Ornaments

I happened to see these(see below) rough cut amethyst and citrine ornaments online today, and chuckled because my daughter made something similar for our Christmas tree this year. She asked to put the tree up early, so it's up and decorated, and very pink(new this year). From her ribbon scrap basket she hung up her colored mineral collection(mostly quartz), gumballs(from a tree) rolled in glitter, shells, and sea glass. A roll of tape is gone - she used this to tape the stones to ribbon for hanging. It is very pretty. I am not going to add to it. I'll leave our ornaments in the attic this year.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Animal Bread

Making this tomorrow for "cooking class"(giggle)! We'll make regular bread dough and shape it. Poppy seeds will serve as eyes.


My daughter shaped most of these today. There are snails, slugs, bear heads(as pictured above from original idea), and other shapes. Many were rolled in poppy seeds for spotted versions of the animals. I added extra oil to this recipe so that it would be easier to shape, and probably should have let it rise only once because it obscured the shapes, which I knew would happen to some extent. We'll do this again. It was fun even though my kitchen looks like a flour explosion.

Here's a student lesson at on the science of yeast.

Monday, November 07, 2011

Clothes Pin Learning Fun for Young Children

I think this was done with a balsa wood frog cut-out glued to a clothespin. I'm going to make this with cardboard. I bet I could think of some other animals(or letter/number animals) to make with a clothes pin. Great idea with many possibilities.

Friday, November 04, 2011

Non-Traditional Kitchen Designs

It's nearing the time for a completely new kitchen. We did an update about ten years ago, but now the 40 year old cabinets have reached the end of their life. Actually, we could get a little more life out of them with another repaint, but the lowers are not level and the water runs to the back of the counters. For some reason, a kitchen full of wall-to-wall upper and lower cabinets seems like an outdated design and a bit confining to me. I haven't always felt like this, but I'm going to go with a non-traditional approach to re-designing the kitchen, and see where that leaves me. It's a bit of a risk, but I plan to do it on a budget, and we can always add cabinets and counters later.

I leaning toward stainless steel restaurant work tables with no cabinets, and no full size oven or range. We'll use induction range plates and an induction half stove. Here's my Pinterest pin board with the kitchen items I may choose; I'm adding possibilities as I find them.

Thursday, November 03, 2011

Old Fashioned Soft Molasses Cookies

3/4 cup shortening (3/4 cup correct amount)
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 large egg
1/2 cup molasses
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon allspice
1 teaspoon nutmeg

Recipe here.

I substituted 3/4 cup of apple sauce for the shortening, and one tablespoon of canola oil. They were gone quickly! I also added a bit of cardamon. Soft and delicious!

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

A Manual Can Opener That Lasts!

WMF Profi Plus Safety Can Opener

I've been using this bit of German engineering weekly for about six months now. I used to get so irritated with manual can openers not working properly or breaking after a month of use. This one has lasted, and it's easy on the hands. It took a while for me to get the hang of it because it opens the outside rim edge of the can, and has to be placed onto the can horizontally. It glides around the can without much effort leaving no sharp edges. It was a bit expensive, but the price was worth it for a reliable can opener. It opens those big 6.5 pound cans effortlessly. I picked this one after reading customer reviews of various can openers, doing a bit of research on Amazon.

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I'm a homeschooling mom of two, a teen and a little. I hope this collection of mine helps you as much as it has helped us. I have an Etsy shop here: And a blog: