cook

Color THIS!

Kids went back to school this week and will be back in the school garden next week. Yahoo!  Anyone else as excited as I am?

It’s a great day to be in the garden I tell you, and this year, we’re involving the kindergarteners a lot more than we did previous.  They’ve proved themselves.  They’re weed warriors, happy harvesters…  Why, they’re downright garden extraordinaires!  And what kindergartener doesn’t like to color?

None I know.  So I’ve whipped up a few coloring pages for the kids, complete with fill-in the blank veggie names.  Next I’ll put together some word finds and connect the dots pages and then come the quizzes.  (I’m sorry but these kids are SMART.)  There’s no reason we can’t throw a few quizzes into the mix for fun, is there?  I mean, quizzes are fun. 

Ask my elementary kids–they’ll tell you. F-U-N spells fun. Yessiree Bob I can see we’re going to have a GREAT year in the garden.  And what will we plant to begin?   Well, after the weeding and amending of soil, we’re going to plant pumpkins.  Three “hip-hip-hoorays” and a twirl and a jump–these kids are going to grow their own pumpkins!

 And then they’ll carving them, bake them, and save their seeds.  Sounds fun, doesn’t it

Sure does.  So how about you join us?  You’ll find everything you need right here.  Then stay tuned!  School garden resumes next week. 🙂  In the meantime, for those of you who want a head start on the coloring deal, check the Kid Buzz section of my blog. 

Enjoy!

 

Sustainability!

Almost.   My son and I prepared our first batch of black beans for dinner.   We followed the traditional method of soaking before cooking.   Actually, we boiled them for 2 minutes first, and then soaked them for about six hours.   And if we hadn’t been so excited about cooking our first batch of beans, we would have realized our mistake.

“We need one cup of beans,” I told him, to which he vigorously responded by dumping the entire container of beans into the measuring cup.   “No, no!” I exclaimed as beans scattered across the floor.   “Make a funnel with your hands, like this–” whereby I demonstrated how to guide the beans into the awaiting cup.

He dipped his head into the container with the remaining beans, peering at them closely.  “What do we do with these?”

Spying the small amount, I decided, “Aw…go ahead and add them.   We can put more water in the pot, no problem!”

We were so excited at the prospect of preparing our own garden’s beans for dinner, we thought of nothing else as we turned up the heat and watched our babies come to a boil.

“Do we have to have chicken, Mom?”

I gazed down into my seven-year-old’s eyes, eyes flowing with disappointment and replied,  “But you love chicken and yellow rice with black beans.”   (It really is delicious — see for yourself on my recipe section)  “It’s one of your favorites.”

“No,” he shook his head.   “I don’t like chicken anymore.  Or yellow rice.”   He made a so-so gesture with his hand.  “I kinda prefer white.”

“Anymore?  Since when?  Thursday?”   (I swear, my kids are more finnicky than cats.)

“Since whenever,” he said, as though I were unable to comprehend this simple concept.

Suddenly, caught between his changing appetite and the likelihood of whether or not I had white rice in the pantry, it dawned on me as I stared at the pot of boiling beans.  “Oh no!”   

Alarmed, he asked, “What happened, Mom?”

I turned to him and couldn’t help but laugh.  “We forgot to save some beans!”

“So?  It’s okay.  We can eat them all tonight.”  (Sweet love child that he is, he doesn’t like it when I’m upset.   Unless of course, he’s the cause.

“No, baby.”  I shook my head and smiled.  “We forgot to save some for re-planting in the garden.”

Apprehension lit up in his eyes.  “Oh…”  he said.  His gaze flashed to the hot pot of beans.   “What will we do?”

In the old days, this is where the black and white movie takes a horribly sad turn.   Uncle Ed and Aunt Mary are forlorn.  No beans to plant?  Ethel May is stricken.    What ever will we do?

Nowadays?  We go online and order more beans!  That’s what we do.

And be grateful for the ability.  A mistake like this on the prairie could have jeopardized the family’s survival, but not today, so if you’re like me and LOVE black beans, hurry!  Now is the time for planting.  Black beans are easy to grow, easy to harvest and easy to shell.  Why, even a kid could do it!  (And does, in our family.)  Beans are one of the easiest plants to sustain in your garden, so long as you remember your goal of sustainability and save some for the dirt!

p.s.  I would have taken pictures of our lovely batch of beans, but we were much too excited to even think of a photo shoot.