Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Rosy Rhubarb Swirls

It's that time of year when rhubarb is plentiful and people try to give it away by the bucket full.  I planted a few plants a year or two ago and I am finally able to get a few cuttings.  I thought about making a pie or a crisp, but those ideas didn't entice me to turn on the oven.

I was reading some old cookbooks the other day and flipped to these little treats.  Honestly, the recipe seemed simple and weird at the same time.  I couldn't fathom how these swirls would turn out when you poured that much liquid syrup over them!

I will try almost anything and thought we should give it a whirl.

I have to say that we all were impressed!  The boys all wanted seconds and I caught a few girls trying to poke their fingers in the pan to get the sweet syrup that had stuck to the bottom.  I am not sure if it is the flaky biscuit, the hint of orange, or the tartness of the rhubarb that give these swirls a refreshing taste.

We will be definitely rolling these out again!

Here is a list of ingredients you will need:

3 cups rhubarb, finely diced
4 teaspoons baking powder
1/3 cup lard or rich cream
2 1/4 cups flour
2/3 cup milk

syrup recipe:

1 1/4 cups water
1 1/2 cups sugar
orange rind


First, you need to sift the flour and baking powder together and knead in the lard.  I didn't have lard or rich cream, so I opted to use shortening.  When you have worked the dough, pour in the milk and mix.  You may need to use your hands-  I thought this resembled a pie crust mixed with a biscuit.

Next, roll out the dough to 1/4 inch thick.

Spread the chopped rhubarb over the dough and roll up.  I cut eat slice about 1/2 inch thick or about the thickness of my thumb to the first joint.  I know this is so scientific...

Place in a greased baking dish.

In a pan, mix the sugar, water, and rind.  Bring to a boil and make sure the sugars are dissolved completely.

Pour the syrup over the slices of dough.

Sprinkle with sugar.

Bake at 350 degrees for about 30-40 minutes, depending on your oven.

Cool and serve.

Do you have any great rhubarb recipes?

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Sunshine Craft

We are gearing up for Summer! 

Flip flops, hot sidewalks, cool pools, juicy watermelons, and melting popsicles are images dancing in our heads.  The children are getting anxious to spend afternoons running through the sprinkler and picking mulberries off the tree for a snack.  Sunblock, swim trunks, and bug spray have all been located and labeled. 

We are ready!

The sun, however, is not!

It's a cruel joke-  Mother Nature is a tease!

We will have sunny weather and then the next day a cool front puts out dreary gray and cold misty days. 

So, we decided not to dwell on the weather.  We can't change it, so we need to learn how to deal with it.  We created a bunch of suns to hang in the windows and brighten our space. 

I used simple shapes-  circles, triangles, and squares for the activity.  We also used warm colors to create a little heat.

To make a sun you will need:

  • construction paper-  red, yellow, orange
  • scissors
  • glue
  • potatoes or sponges
  • paint-  red, yellow, orange
  • glue
Here is how we made our sun:

  • glue the "ray" triangles around the circumference of your circle
  • dry
  • display!

Enjoy the sunshine!

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Simple Potato Stamps

Who says potatoes are only for mashing or frying?

I love the versatile potato, because it is wonderful for simple crafts too! 

One of the ways I enjoy using a potato for crafts is to create stamps or prints.  You can make these as fancy or simple as you would like.  For the preschool crowd, I usually stick to simple shapes and make plenty to share. 

The children love painting with potatoes for several reasons:
  1. You get to play with your food!
  2. You get to choose what shapes you want to use!
  3. The potatoes are generally easy to grip for small hands.
I love using them because they are relatively cheap and I don't have to store tons of special stamps or sponges.

  • To make a potato stamp, you will need a potato and sharp knife.

  • I half or quarter my potatoes, but it depends a lot on the size of your shapes you want to create.

  • Carefully, cut out the desired shape.  Try to keep the shape flat.  If you keep the bottom flat, you will have better quality prints and they will be more consistent.

  • Paint or stamp with your shapes.  I prefer to add paint to the shape and dab it a few times on a scratch piece of paper first.  This will help you get even coverage and a better print.
Happy printing!

Fingerprint Flower Bouquets

"April showers bring May flowers" is a mantra that I repeat over and over to myself this time of year. 

You know on those "days"-  dreary and rainy and dreary and rainy. 

It helps keep the children sane and promises me of better things to come.  Sometimes we just need a sunny outlook to make it through the day, or the week, and even the month!  I feel like a downer, but it has been a wild Spring and a little pop of color really can make a difference to our moods.

For a Springtime craft, have your little one use their digits and a little creativity to fashion a bouquet of buds that won't wilt in a day or two.  This craft was a lot of fun and each child added their own flair to the flora.  Remember to have fun and just create.  

I don't know if we have any future O'Keefe's painting in my kitchen today, but there are a few masterpieces worthy of hanging on the Frigidaire.

To stem out and make these posies, you will need:

  • paints or stamp pads
  • paper
  • colored pencils or markers
We took our plain pieces of paper and drew stems and leaves.  Then we added petals and more with our fingerprints.  Here are a few pictures of our creative process:

I would add more, but I don't know how many pictures of finger painting you want to view...

What did you create today?