2023-24 School Year–Week Two

Ladybug read about Gnosticism in her study of the early church. She worked with secant, cosecant, and cotangent in pre-calculus. In grammar, she continued identifying the different comma rules. She started a new chapter in physics, focused on one-dimensional motion equations. In history, she read about Pope Eugenius III and the Second Crusade. She continued to read The Hound of the Baskervilles.

Chickadee reviewed the properties of addition and subtraction in math. In writing, she started constructing one-level outlines. She read more about Britain in the Middle Ages in history. In science we started a chapter on the skeletal system. She picked up her read-through of the American Girl stories with Meet Felicity. We continued reading Anne of Green Gables. We also started making recipes from The Anne of Green Gables Cookbook. For our first dinner, we started with one of the most famous items in Anne of Green Gables, “Diana Barry’s Favorite Raspberry Cordial.” We had “Miss Stacy’s Baked Macaroni” for the main course, and a side of “White Sands Scalloped Tomatoes.” For dessert, we had the other most famous recipe from the book, “Anne’s Liniment Cake” (but we substituted vanilla for the liniment!):

“Mercy on us, Anne, you’ve flavored that cake with Anodyne Liniment. I broke the liniment bottle last week and poured what was left into an old empty vanilla bottle. I suppose it’s partly my fault–I should have warned you–but for pity’s sake, why couldn’t you have smelled it?” –Marilla Cuthbert

We also celebrated “Back to Hogwarts” today, and Ladybug and Chickadee helped me prepare all of the dishes we made from The Unofficial Harry Potter Cookbook. We started the day with Oversized Blueberry Muffins with Crunchy Tops like Mrs. Weasley might have made for Harry on the morning of his hearing in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. No Harry Potter-themed day would be complete without Butterbeer like Harry enjoyed at Hogsmeade in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. We baked Hot Rolls like the ones made by Kreacher in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. For dinner, we had Creamy Onion Soup like Mrs. Weasley cooked in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. We finished with Rhubarb Crumble with Custard Sauce from Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix.

I’m so glad it’s September…bring on autumn!

Halloween in the Time of COVID-19

Halloween is the one holiday this year that looks pretty much the same to us, since our celebrations are always minimal at best. But I still wanted to make the day special, so I went to some extra effort with our meals.

We started the day with pumpkin spice cinnamon rolls. Yes, they were from a can, but they were still a treat!

I chose all of the elements of our dinner from our Harry Potter cookbook. We had braised lamb, Brussels sprouts, boiled potatoes, mashed parsnips, and butterbeer.

Dessert also came from the Harry Potter cookbook…a chocolate gateau.

We spent the day watching movies (Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, because it’s about candy, and Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone), and It’s the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown, plus we listened to my favorite Halloween episode of The Baby Snooks Show. And of course, Animal Crossing: New Horizons was played!

Another holiday in the time of COVID-19 has come and gone, but the big ones are still on the horizon!

Tasty Tuesday–A Magical Birthday Feast

It’s already been two weeks since Harry Potter’s (and J.K. Rowling’s) birthday! To celebrate that occasion, we tried out some more recipes from The Unofficial Harry Potter Cookbook. I can’t recommend it enough…we’ve loved the recipes we’ve tried so far, and it’s so much fun to have themed dinners!

This time around, we tried Gillywater (a drink made from honeydew melon and mint), hot rolls, Brussel sprouts with b├ęchamel sauce, Chiddingly hotpot (a fantastic stew with many sour notes from two kinds of vinegar and green olives!), and Sirius Black’s coconut cake for dessert (yes, I got Hogwarts paper plates from Walmart!):

No, not all of these recipes appear in the Harry Potter books. J.K. Rowling never explains what Gillywater is, so the author of the cookbook just went with something green and refreshing (which it was!). The coconut cake is also a creation from the author’s imagination, based on the fact that Sirius Black was hiding out in a tropical location, so she decided that when he sent Harry a birthday cake, it would have a tropical flavor. I really appreciate not only the known recipes from the books, but also the author’s interpretation of some of the more vague culinary mentions!

Tasty Tuesday–A Magical Feast

Happy Birthday Harry Potter!

We had a special magical feast last week, based on recipes from The Unofficial Harry Potter Cookbook. Since today is Harry Potter’s birthday, it seems like the perfect time to share our feast, which included pumpkin fizz, a new Irish soda bread recipe, creamy onion soup, beef stew with herbed dumplings, butterbeer, and an English strawberry trifle:

It was a delicious meal…we’re definitely looking forward to trying more recipes from the cookbook!