Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Autumn Mother Nature Provocations

By Sara Rocio Raeesi-Gujani

Wow! Green has disappeared in the woods and the light has reflected a rainbow of colours back into our eyes!

All Change in the Mystery Woods

All Change in the Mystery woods: it was misty morning in the mystery woods.
The Fog hugged the trees and the tree tops disappeared absorbing all noise.
So, no sound could be heard:
No rustling leaves or cracking branches, even the birds were quiet.
Everything was still and peaceful, everything looks like a photograph.
Then, in a flash! The silent was shattered by a huge bang!!
What was happening?

(Author: unknown)

Suddenly, everything was in motion: Summer was gone! Cold days began, colour appeared in the woods, leaves started to fall, and a magical force brought everything and everyone at the Forest Preschool down to Earth.


Celebrating Bio-Cultural Diversity

All Colours of the Earth by Sheila Hamanaka invited the children to start to explore and investigate: Why the colours of the earth reflect the colours of the world?

We will start by exploring the colours of the forest and the meaning of the season. We will discuss why the leaves change colours. Then, we will explore with light and shadow play. We will study camouflage, markings, and will discuss how these might help animals survive in the wild. Further we will investigate Carp Ridge natural resources and will identify some. For example: animals, rocks, minerals, edible, medicinal, and poisonous plants. We also will be investigating the variety of construction materials used in Carp Ridge buildings.
Most importantly we will be sharing our cultural roots and/or our experiences traveling to other cities, towns, and, countries. We will investigate the meaning of our names. We will study the cultural and linguistic diversity at Carp Ridge and the diversity of food prepared in our kitchen. The children will visit the kitchen and have snack and a conversation with Cindy about food and how she decides our meals. We also will be harvesting some vegetables in our garden.
Finally, we will discuss our favourite music and will explore music and variety music instruments. We will be making musical instruments using materials found in nature.
Parents are encouraged to participate and to share ideas and materials. For example, families can create a family picture book and a family tree (add stories and the name of places visited). We can share resources (world maps, musical instruments, postcards) and any other materials related to our October celebration. For details on specific activities please visit our bulletin board and our book and resource display.
Happy Bio-Cultural Diversity Celebration!
I will back on Tuesday October 26.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Cindy's Split Pea Soup

Here is another delectable recipe from our kitchen. We leave out the "herbe de provence" and remove the bay leaf before we puree. Enjoy.

3 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, diced
1 clove of minced garlic
2 ribs celery, finely diced
1 1/2 cups yellow split peas, rinsed and drained
1 tbsp "herbe de provence"
1 bay leaf

Heat oil on medium-low heat. Add onions, garlic and celery and gently saute for about 5 minutes. Add split peas and saute for another 5 minutes. Add "herbe de provence", bay leaf and water. Simmer on low heat for about 45 minutes or until peas are tender. Add more water if a thinner broth is desired. Remove bay leaf, then puree with an immersion blender. Season to taste with "herbamare" or sea salt, and pepper (if desired).

Note: Cindy likes to add one or two chopped, cooked carrots after the soup is pureed.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Cindy's Slow Cooker Vegetable Chili Recipe

Here is one of our favourite recipes. Cindy leaves out some of the peppers as that would be too hot for the children.

1 can (11ounce) condensed black bean soup or canned black beans in juice
1 can (15 ounce) kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 can (15 ounce) garbanzo beans, draned and rinsed (lentils is an option)
1 can (16 ounce) vegetarian baked beans
1 can (14.5 ounce) chopped tomato puree or 1 can (29 ounce) crushed tomatoes
1 can (15 ounce) drained, whole kernel corn
1 chopped onion
1 chopped green bell pepper
2 chopped zucchini
2 chopped celery stalks
2 chopped garlic cloves
1 can (4 ounce) diced chilies (optional)
1 - 2 chopped jalapenos (how much heat is preferred)
1 tablespoon chili powder
2 teaspoon cumin
1 tablespoon dried parsley
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon dried basil
1 tablespoon cilantro (optional)

1 - In a suacepan, saute the onion, bell ppepper, zucchini, and celery for about five minutes.
2 - In a slow cooker, combine black beans, kidney beans, garbanzo beans, baked beans, tomatoes, corn, and the ingredients from step 1.
3 - Season with garlic, chili powder, cumin, parsley, oregano, basil and the optional cilantro.
4 - Cook for about 6 hours on low.
5 - Serve with totillas, cornbread, rice or French bread.
6 - Enjoy!
7 - This freezes well.
8 - Leftovers are good on top of nachos.