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The Genial Hearth
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Archive for October, 2009

Food Post Friday

Friday: Homemade Pizza
Saturday: Ratatouille (take to pot-luck)
Sunday: Beef Stifado
Monday: Green Thai Fish Curry
Tuesday: Vietnamese Spring Rolls (with prawns)
Wednesday: Aloo Dalna and Pancakes with Grandma and Grandad
Thursday: Chops and White Bean Salad

I’m really trying to up our fish/vegetarian options this summer… this week actually looks to have about the balance I’d like to aim for!


(for Dipi… See, I told you I’d get to it:-) )

Hummus (essentially it’s the one from ‘The Naked Chef‘ by Jamie Oliver)

1 tin chickpeas
chilli flakes, quantity depends on who will be eating it… I generally use a single shake
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
some salt
pepper, black, freshly ground
1 clove garlic, peeled (chopped in half if it’s particularly large)
1 1/2 tablespoons tahini
4 tablespoons EVOO (extra virgin olive oil)
lemon juice, to taste

In a container suitable to blend, place the (drained) chickpeas with the garlic, chilli, salt, cumin, tahini, pepper, oil and lemon juice (I generally start with the juice of half a lemon, but often end up using a whole, unless it’s particularly juicy). With a stick blender, blend until smooth. Check seasoning, and adjust. This is pretty forgiving… I don’t measure much at all for this, and it usually works.

Serve with lightly toasted pieces of turkish bread or crudités.

This is a staple whenever we need a dip for entertaining (it’s really quick and easy, and the ingredients are always on hand—and it’s pretty much non-allergenic if we start from dried chickpeas!) I also need to remember that it is quick and easy, and I can use it for lunches! I have frozen some on occasion, and it was fine upon thawing… but I don’t know that I’d bother generally, as it is so easy—and can happily be stored covered but not in the fridge for the day (although, it does need to be in the fridge for longer storage).

Birthday Cake

InspirationBilby is now three. She had been insistent for nearly a year that she wanted a train cake.

A couple of weeks ago though, she decided that she wanted a ‘hammer cake, like Dada’s… and a Humpty’ (I made Paddington a pinata cake for his birthday, and she was quite taken with it, she’d also been looking through some of our cake books, and come across a couple of Humpty cakes).
Humpty cake

I was very pleased with the end result—even if we couldn’t find the hammer! We ended up using a softish mallet, that made no headway on Humpty (until we turned him side on:-) He was much easier to crack through his seam! )
Broken Humpty

Food Post Friday

We have mostly shifted to our warm weather menu. There’s still a few tweaks to happen, but it’s pretty complete.
Friday: Fish and chips
Saturday: Beef Stifado (possibly)
Sunday: Roast Pork with Roast Vegies
Monday: Ratatouille with Granny and Grandpa
Tuesday: Pasta Puttenesca
Wednesday: Dinner with Grandma and Grandad
Thursday: ‘BBQ’ fish, with Guacamole

The World at a Glance!

Need maps? Continent level or country level? Want country borders, or not? Want names included, or space left for them to be filled in?

I do not want to lose track of this site! I saw a link to it on one of my mailing lists, and I can see that it will be very useful in our Geography efforts next year!

It’s Done! (I think…)

Bilby has finally weaned—about a week shy of her third birthday! I had begun to doubt my ability to make that milestone…

In the end, we succeeded by taking advantage of a fluke of circumstances, where she missed nursing three times in a row (in other words, a full day… she was nursing upon waking, before bed, and before nap time). We were at a friend’s place, playing, so she missed her nap time—so she didn’t nurse. That evening, she hardly touched her dinner, and for a while now I haven’t let her nurse before bed if she didn’t eat dinner (otherwise she’d skip the food and nurse for ages. Then bizarrely, she woke in the morning and came and snuggled our knees in bed, instead of coming and asking for a feed as usual!

I took that as a signal she was ready:-) It meant that over the weekend I had to get up and get moving (the next morning she was rather more reluctant to skip the morning feed, but if I wasn’t in bed, it wasn’t such an issue). Evenings have been the easiest, a drink of milk from a cup and a snuggle and she has been happy to settle. Nap times have taken longer, and she continued to ask to nurse until yesterday (although it was only once, then). But today… Today she happily settled with a drink and a snuggle.

Of course, I need to wean her off the drink too, but she has basically been just sipping… so I’m hoping that will be more straightforward!

I have loved nursing her:-) It was easy to start with, and it has been delightful watching the two youngest with each other… and a part of me is still sorry to end it, but overall I’m very happy to move past that stage.

Options for Early Childhood Latin

(Thanks to Amber for her question! I’ve finally finished this post—about 10 months after starting it! Except that, it just keeps on growing! I’m going to post it, although I will come back to edit it when new programmes come to light—or when I remember them!)

So, the plan is that we will (have!) start(ed!) Latin more formally next (this!) year. We’ll take it slowly, but we’ll start. Of course, given that I haven’t done much Latin, I will definitely need a curriculum. That means I need to choose one.

So, what are the options?

There are a lot more than a few years ago when I started thinking about this:-) Then, there was pretty much one choice aimed at K-3.

We started our Latin journey with a term of lessons with a local teacher. Although Puggle enjoyed them, I wasn’t really happy with them, as it seemed to me the teacher wasn’t familiar with ‘kindy’ type kids and their capabilities. We did start doing nursery rhymes there, and we spent another year doing a new nursery rhyme every fortnight (all the rhymes are in the sidebar under Songs We Sing: Latin. I haven’t yet done the next step though, which is to record them all as podcasts. But, Latin pronunciation is easy! Each letter makes one sound only!)

It seemed foolish to stop latin, and so I wanted to move on a bit, but I didn’t want to get into things too heavily. After doing a pile of research, I found that there were basically three programmes aimed at about 5-8 year olds. (There’s possibly a fourth, which is even Australian, but the info on it is pretty sketchy—and from memory it may involve audio cassettes. It may also (from memory!) be very Christian, which wouldn’t work for our family… so I discounted it.)

Of those three, Elementary Latin didn’t have many reviews, and while the content makes it directed towards younger students, the little I can see suggests it’s fairly reading/writing centred. It consists of Student Workbook, a Teacher’s Edition and an audio CD.

Prima Latina had been my original choice (partly because when I began looking it was the only obvious one around). However… it seemed to be fairly workbook reliant (although I know of a number of people who have used it orally with young children—which I would have done if I chose it for Puggle this year). It is also fairly heavy religious content, which isn’t so good for us. On the other hand, I believe it’s a pretty reasonable intro to some of the grammar elements (basically, it’s the first half or so of Latina Christiana I, just slowed down). It consists of a Student Book and a Teacher’s Manual. There is also a Pronunciation CD available, and a set of Instructional DVDs.

Song School Latin only had a fraction of the reviews of Prima Latina, but it is quite new. Most reviews seemed positive, and I liked the idea of basing it around songs. I didn’t worry about getting the Teacher’s Edition, and I haven’t felt the need for an answer key (and I don’t think that’s because I have an interest in language, it is pretty obvious what the answers are). It is pretty light on the grammar side of things (it talks a little about nouns and verbs, but that’s pretty much it it), which is a weakness, but given I’m using it for Puggle when he’s so young, I’m happy enough with that. It does have the Christmas chapter in the middle of the book (and uses that vocabulary to build on, so you can’t really reposition it), and is US-centric (you know, ‘fall’, and snow in winter, motto of the US… that kind of thing)… but that’s pretty liveable. But the songs are great, and they love to sing them just for fun:-) (Bilby regularly sings the Vale song:-) And I had to make a point of teaching her the English alphabet, when I realised she was singing the Latin song so reliably:-) ) The Student Book is self-contained (it includes the CD with all the songs in both Ecclesiastical and Classical pronunciations, and I really like the range of instrumentation and styles of the songs!)

For slightly older children, there are a few more choices.

Minimus is aimed at 7-10 year olds. It gets a lot of rave reviews, although it’s apparently much more complete with the Teacher’s Resource Book—which is horribly expensive (about $100 Australian!) It seems to be often used as a supplementary text, because it’s supposed to be a fun programme. I’ve certainly seen the Pupil’s Book, and it looks to be high interest (it’s done in a cartoon form). It is structured similarly to a modern language programme, and covers a lot of day-to-day stuff (food/family/home etc). There’s also an Audio CD available.
Minimus have also published some early readers in support.

For 8-10 year olds, there are several choices. I haven’t looked closely at them all (I keep finding new ones! Here is a collection of reviews which covers more courses.)

Lively Latin has been getting rave reviews. I’ve been leaning away from it mostly because it combines History (and English?) in with the Latin (although you can apparently skip them with no dramas, it seems a bit of a waste to pay for a programme if I plan to skip 2/3 of it!) However, a friend of mine has recently begun it with her 8 year old, and they are rather enjoying it. I’m looking forward to having a look at her copy—I haven’t completely ruled it out. It’s available as an online version (download and print), CD, or in hard copy and CD.

Latin for Children probably would have been my first choice. It has got a lot of positive reviews, and looking at the sample info (which included some YouTube type footage) Puggle was very excited. I’m now a little wary though, because of some comments on one of my lists that suggest the grammar is not all it could be (as in, it contains some errors). This worries me a bit, because the comments were also applied to SSL (which is published by the same people), and I can see (well, hear) the errors in that (there are two ways of pronouncing Latin… SSL includes both versions on their CD… but they make some errors in the Ecclesiastical versions of some songs. Not an issue for me because we use the other form—and I’m confident that I could sing over the top [as I do for the alphabet song, they pronounce ‘zed’ rather than ‘zee’:-)],) it makes the charges plausible. And I’d rather go for something that will be accurate! It is also more overtly religious than SSL (which is basically just the Christmas chapter).

Latina Christiana consists of a Student Book, Teacher Manual and a Pronunciation CD.

After that? There’s about a dozen options—although I haven’t separated out which ones are ‘continuing’ programmes, and which are for beginners (although, possibly it doesn’t matter much, if they’re beginners ones, we can scoot through the early stages as a revision). I’m not looking too closely, as they are probably three years at least away from us—and who knows what else may be around by that stage?!

Food Post Friday

Friday: Leftovers
Saturday: Vegetable Lasagne (still looking for the right recipe…)
Sunday: Roast Beef and Roast Vegetables
Monday: Cottage Pie
Tuesday: Gulaschsuppe (I didn’t end up doing this last week)
Wednesday: Beef Sausages and Lentil Stew
Thursday: Summer Chickpea Salad

Food Plan Friday

Friday: Take away (probably Curry)
Saturday: Tacos
Sunday: Roast Chicken and vegies (after Grandpa’s afternoon tea—Scones, Hummus/Guacamole/Crudites, Sushi)
Monday: with Granny and Grandpa
Tuesday: Chicken Casserole
Wednesday: Pumpkin and Pistachio Risotto
Thursday: Gulaschsuppe

Loch Lomond

You can find about the song, and a midi here. There’s an .mp3 to be found here.

By yon bonnie banks
And by yon bonnie braes,
Where the sun shines bright
On Loch Lomond
Oh we twa ha’e pass’d
sae mony blithesome days,
On the bonnie, bonnie banks
O’ Loch Lomond.

Oh ye’ll tak’ the high road
and I’ll tak’ the low road,
An’ I’ll be in Scotland before ye’,
But me and my true love will never meet again
On the Bonnie, bonnie banks
O’ Loch Lomond.

I mind where we parted
In yon shady glen
On the steep, steep side
O’ Ben Lomon’
Where in purple hue
The highland hills we view
And the morn shines out
Frae the gloamin’

Oh ye’ll tak’ the high road
and I’ll tak’ the low road,
An’ I’ll be in Scotland before ye’,
But me and my true love will never meet again
On the Bonnie, bonnie banks
O’ Loch Lomond.

The wee bird may sing
An’ the wild flowers spring;
An’ in sunshine the waters are sleepin’
But the broken heart
It sees nae second spring,
And the world does na ken
How we’re greetin’

Oh ye’ll tak’ the high road
and I’ll tak’ the low road,
An’ I’ll be in Scotland before ye’,
But me and my true love will never meet again
On the Bonnie, bonnie banks
O’ Loch Lomond.