Saturday, April 25, 2009


For this week's "yellow" challenge at "Unplug your kids", we began by sharing music.  We listened to one of my favorite favorite songs... "yellow" by Coldplay (listen here)  
(actually honeypie is a big fan too) 
and we listened to Bananaphone by raffi (listen here) which she has loved since she was a baby. 
We started to do some embroidery together using burlap.  I drew a banana for honeypie and she traced the lines with her needle and yellow thread.


I pulled out my copy of "The Persistance of Yellow", which is a great book, more for adults and full inspiration poems.  A very whimsical book.. always makes me smile and lifts my spirit.

"Most of my life," she says, "I've been in search of IT. And I thought that IT came inside a big box with a bow on top carefully marked and labeled and numbered. I brushed away all the 'incidental' discoveries like cobwebs. But now everything counts. Now I search for traces of miracles...and I find them everywhere."  #172

We played with "bananagrams"  and made a wonderful loaf of "yellowman banana lime bread" one of my favorite recipes for banana bread... and I've tried many! 


Its from the Cook book "Sundays at moosewood restaurant".

"Yellowman's Banana Lime Bread"

In St. Lucia and Anguilles, I made friends with some local people after repeated visits to the same beaches. I won't forget their great nicknames: Merit, Rah's Bucket, Campbell Soup, Sugar Ray, the Ram, So-lar, Freakout, Domino, Splif and Gorgeous. This tasty bread is named after Yellowman."

Yields 1 loaf.

3/4 cup brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup butter, softened
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup mashed bananas (about 3 bananas)
3 tablespoons milk (or plain yogurt)
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
3/4 cup unsweetened grated coconut, toasted
2 cups unbleached white flour
1 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon rum
3 tablespoons fresh lime juice

1/4 cup unsweetened grated coconut, toasted

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and butter a 9x5x3 inch loaf pan.

To make the batter, in a large mixing bowl, cream the sugar and butter. 
Stir in the eggs, bananas, milk or yogurt, and lime juice. 
Add the salt, ginger, and grated coconut and mix well. 
Sift the flour and baking powder together in a separate bowl. 
Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix them until smooth. 
Pour the butter into the buttered loaf pan and bake for an hour, or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. 
Cool the bread for about 10 minutes before removing it from the pan.
Meanwhile, for the glaze, combine the brown sugar, butter, rum, and lime juice in a small saucepan on low heat, stirring constantly for about 5 minutes, until it becomes a thin syrup. Pour this glaze over the loaf, spreading it with a spatula or spoon to coat the top and sides. Sprinkle toasted grated coconut evenly over the glazed loaf.

This is an absolute delicious recipe to try!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

mama earth globe cake...

In honor of EARTH DAY... Here's our mama earth cake. 
Daddy and daughter were VERY eager to eat it... 
BUT the rush job was due to the "is it done yet???".  Only made it half way with the continents... (sorry europe and asia)... and the powder sugar dusting was supposed to be clouds!
We listened to a great song ...

With my own two hands by Jack Johnson  (listen here)

"I can change the world
With my own two hands
Make it a better place
With my own two hands
Make it a kinder place
With my own two hands
With my own
With my own two hands

I can make peace on earth
With my own two hands
I can clean up the earth
With my own two hands
I can reach out to you
With my own two hands
With my own
With my own two hands
I'm going to make it a brighter place
With my own two hands
I'm going to make it a safer place
With my own two hands
I'm going to help the human race
With my own two hands
With my own
With my own two hands
I can hold you
With my own two hands
I can comfort you
With my own two hands
But you've got to use
Use your own two hands
Use your own
Use your own two hands
With our own
With our own two hands
With my own
With my own two hands

Our recent reading...

Plus I loved this week's "A chef's table" on NPR (which you can listen to online below)...

On NPR this week on A Chef's Table ... a great episode you can hear online which talks about :

"It's been said that eating is not only an agricultural act, but also a political one. But it does make sense that how we eat can make a lasting impact on our environment - the problem is figuring out what choices really matter. Paper plates? Organic Vegetables? Bottled Water? This week we examine some choices. From replacing veal with buffalo to entertaining tips that don't fill up the landfill with one-time products, we'll discuss the quandries, questions and curious solutions to "living green." We'll talk to the author of "The Ethical Gourmet," discover a winery that composts four-star meals, and talk to the Soup Peddler. "

also This week's featured books:

Ethical Gourmet: How to Enjoy Food That Is Humanely Raised, Sustainable, Nonendangered and That Replenishes the Earth
by Jay Weinstein

The Era of Choice: The Ability to Choose and Its Transformation of Contemporary Life
by Edward C. Rosenthal

Soup Peddler's Slow and Difficult Soups: Recipes and Reveries
by David Ansel, Liza Ferneyhough (Illustrator)

Serve It Forth
by M.F.K. Fisher

Simply Green Parties: Simple and Resourceful Ideas for Throwing the Perfect Celebration, Event or Get-Together
by Danny Seo

Starting with Ingredients: The Quintessential Recipes for the Way We Really Cook
by Aliza Green

Happy Earth day !

Happy earth day!!!

Hope It was wonderful!

Yesterday was  a cloudy, rainy day outside our window.... and we are sick indoors too.
Our plan of going outdoors and planting was sadly postponed ...

But in honor of mama earth, we made instead some recycled art.
Collages, painting and even some baking!!!
( We made an earth globe cake.  We will post pictures later!)

Here are some of our creations!

I made Mr and Mrs Green  
(made using wooden pegs and acrylic paints, hot glue and fabric scraps)
in their eco-friendly, energy efficient, recycled toilet paper roll car.
This family knows all about helping to save the environment!

And we made some cool house slippers using recycled cereal box tops and cardboard.
To make your own...
Here's how:

You'll need some cardboard.
some cereal boxes
a hot glue gun
a marker
feet for tracing or shoes...
I traced honeypie's feet with a marker while she stood on the box.  

I then cut the each foot print out.

I cut the top of an old cereal box into strips the long way.  About 2 inches wide.  But really depends on the size of the foot you trace.

Here's what you'll have after you cut out all. 

I measured on the strip of cereal box where my fold (under) would be.  I marked it with a marker.

I placed some hot glue on the inside of the strips and blued them under the slipper.

After I had glued both straps, it was time for some decorations.  I cut another cereal box into shapes of a flower.  Some petals and the inside circle.

And I glued them on with some hot glue.
All done.

Some house slippers!

We also painted and collaged about Our Garden, using recycled magazine papers.
(We were inspired by "ordinary life magic's" go fish.)

Honeypie paints the sky in many different shades of blue.

We sponge grass...

We paint some blades of grass and sponge in some soil...

We sponge in some clouds

and add some recycled magazine paper collaged flowers, butterflies, bumble bees, and earthworms!

It was a lovely day... though indoors!
We love you mother earth.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Weaning party and the "science" of it all...

I just recently weaned my daughter Honeypie and had a wonderful weaning party to celebrate it all.  When I say recently weaned... i mean in January/09. When I say weaning party, I mean last summer!  heh heh.  It took us a while. 
She had said back then that she was ready.  So we planned together what to do to celebrate. She wanted a "no more milky festival" and wanted to invite all her friends to celebrate with her.  
It was very melancholy on my part.  Every part of the celebration was touching for me.  We had this wonderful relationship, this soothing bonding we took part in every day.   I did not know how we were going to replace this.  I did not know if she understood what this entailed.   Since we were not sure if we were having anymore kids... I wanted to remember this time together forever.  (I think for honeypie the reality of it all did not hit till a couple of days later.  Who could not turn down a chance for cupcakes and balloons?) 
But i let her decide when... and here we are now... fully weaned.

So we set on to make some festival signs.  We drew and painted together about what this all meant.

The day of the celebration came.  We read some beautiful books together.  The book "Someday" still makes me cry every time we read it and "On the night you were born" is just wonderful too!

The day before I had made "goody bags" for her and all her friends. She told me what to make... Milky bracelets (i made them out of felt and fabric glue),   I made "milky" goody bags out of felt too and I molded mama necklaces, (a mama holding her child) for each of the girls.

We all made a "mama and child" craft together.  All the girls had to decorate their babies and mamas according to what the mamas looked like.  (hair color or texture)

The mama's shirt opened to reveal her breast to nurse the babies who were swaddled.

Honeypie made me with pink eyes!  and decorated her swaddling blanket with apple stickers and me with glitter glue.

We set a beautiful table.  

I made cupcakes for her and her friends.  Milky cupcakes and tinkerbells on toadstools!  
(yes.. those are hershey kisses)

Sooooooo.  Now the mystery and magic remained...
and what a perfect week to find it all out!  

This week at "unplug your kids" was science theme week.  So we grabbed the chance to put our great human body pop-up book to good use.
We have been reading a lot of this book lately, so...

I traced Honeypie on a large piece of paper and while we read the book together we set out to draw the different parts of the body.  I let her draw what she was most interested in... the heart ofcourse... lungs and bones.

Working on only the top part of the body this week... since we were trying to find out were human milk comes from, I drew the main body parts on different colored construction papers and we set out to cut them together.




Honeypie drew in the bronchi and bronchioles

Identifying the collar bone

Working on the spine

We started to briefly talk about joints (on the elbow)

her skull and teeth

And finally the breast.  
We spoke (as much as a 4 year old can grasp) about being an adult and woman breasts being able to produce milk.  We labeled the different parts of the breast and talked about milk traveling up a milk duct and out the nipple openings.

It is still work in progress.... 

and I must say Honeypie is AMAZED at the whole "science" of it all!!



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