Friday, November 13, 2009

Martinmas and the Lantern Walk

This year we were blessed to attend our first lantern walk. This is such a wonderful tradition in Waldorf Education. The children spent the month of October painting and making lanterns. Then the other evening they got to light their lanterns and take a quite walk through dark woods to celebrate the light we will carry with us through the dark days of winter. Martinmas is a celebration of giving and selflessness. And this lantern walk was a beautiful, peaceful experience.
Listening to the story of St. Martin around the campfire before the lantern walk.

Lighting the lantern before our walk.

The ever brilliant sweater pants!

Here's another bit of quick morning sewing for you. We woke up one morning recently and it was COLD! We send our oldest to a Waldorf preschool a few mornings a week and they play outside no matter what the weather. I wanted her to be toasty so I made her a quick pair of sweater pants. This involves cutting the arms off an old sweater, sewing them together and adding elastic in the waistband. Couldn't be simpler. And like everything I make they are just a tad too big. I like growing room. Oh how I wish they made a sweater big enough for me to make a pair of these for myself.

Quick Circle Skirt

I've had this wonderful Underwater Sisters fabric by Heather Ross for a while now. It's been waiting for just the right project. The girls have been getting up early ever since the time change. Early morning often makes for good sewing in our house. The girls seem to entertain themselves well first thing in the morning. So I whipped up this skirt. I used two layers of fabric because I wanted it to be a little warmer and it gave a nice little touch of color at the bottom. It has a simple elastic waist. I've even made the elastic a little long so as she grows I can remove the stitches and make it bigger. I think this skirt took me a little over an hour. Which got us to school in our fancy new duds just in time.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

My Favorite Bread

This bread is so very good and hearty. The girls can't even wait until it stops steaming to grab a piece. It is a recipe that as far as I can tell has been passed from one mothering group to another. I think all recipes should be shared so everyone can share the love. So without further adieux here it is:

Makes 2 loaves:
2.5C hot water (about 115* F)
3.5C whole wheat flour
1/2C gluten flour
1.25Tbs yeast
1Tbs gluten (I usually put in just a bit more)
1/2C ground flax seed

Mix above in order for about 2min (truthfully with little hands helping the ingredients have gone in, in all kinds of orders and this bread always turns out)

1Tbs Salt
1Tbs lemon juice (or lime or orange any citrus)
1/3C Oil (I use olive oil)
1/3C honey (though I'll often substitute molasses in the winter for a darker more hearty bread)

Mix, then slowly add between 2.5 and 3.5 cups of flour. Add enough flour until it scrapes the bowl clean, but no more.

Knead for about 15 min--I let my KitchenAid do it for 10 min or so. Although kneading by hand is much much fun for little hands.

Shape into 2 loaves and place in greased loaf pans.

Cover and let rise until double, or slightly above the edge of the pan. Takes about 35 minutes in a slightly pre-warmed oven (don't forget to turn the oven off while bread is actually rising)
Bake 350*F for about 35 min or until internal temp is 190-200*F

My favorite soup right now goes so very well with this bread (though really what winter soup doesn't go well with bread?) I've been making a simple carrot soup. I caramelize an onion or two (or sometimes saute a couple leeks instead- not brown, just transparent) then toss in a pot with carrots and -just- cover with water. Too much water and your soup will be watery. Cook until carrots are soft. Add a touch of salt and pepper and fresh parsley if you've got it. Blend and serve. Great with above bread and a green salad.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Old, New Pants

I started knitting these pants two years ago for my older daughter. I got to the point where one leg was left to knit and I stopped. Can't remember why, maybe she got too big for them or maybe spring came. Anyhow, I picked them up again last winter thinking they would be good for kiddo number two. Again I stopped before they were finished. Well I rediscovered them this past week and three is a charm because they are being worn! I found them with a third of a knit icord. I figured if I waited until I finished the icord they would never actually get onto said kiddo's bottom. So a piece of cotton ribbon with have to suffice until I can get around to it.