Great Depression Recipes: Orange Honey Sauce For Ice Cream


Well hi there,

I bet you thought I was swallowed by my weeds.   Almost.

Nothing says summer like ice cream social, but who can afford to buy those toppings.  Try making your  own.  I bet you’ll be glad you did.

Here’s another Great Depression recipe courtesy of the USDA from way back when…

Orange Honey Sauce

Ingredients:

1 cup honey

1/4 cup of finely chopped orange peel

1/2 cup orange juice ( orange juice concentrate mixed to directions is the most affordable option)

1/8 t. salt

Procedure:

Combine ingredients.

Place bowl over a pot of hot water.  (The most energy efficient and frugal method would be to boil  about 3 cups or so of water in the microwave and place the ingredients bowl above the hot water.

Don’t cook it. Just allow the ingredients to sit over the hot water for about 30 minutes to combine and mellow.  Oh, I might give it a little stir now and then just to help it along, but maybe not.  Your choice, dear reader.

After the sauce cools a little, serce it over any flavor ice cream you like.

Save a scoop for me and see you next time.

Note about the oranges: In this day and age of spraying the heck out of everything or waxing fruits,  take a good look at the orange peel to be sure there is nothing on it.  Or perhaps try an organic orange.  Of course, the term certified organic can really drive the price up.  Many farmers practice organic methods but can not be labeled as such due to the lengthy and costly certification process.  So just open your eyes and look at the fruit.  A little vegetable brush scrub never hurts either.

How To Make Strawberry Lemonade — Summer Entertaining


Thanks for dropping by. Grab an old apron from the linen closet and join me in the kitchen. Today we will be making and canning a big batch of my favorite summer party beverage.

This nifty Great Depression recipe came from that mysterious old recipe box I found at a church bazarre.

This sweet lemonade is great for summer entertaining because it mixes so delightfully with lemon-lime soda, iced tea — or any other thing you can dream up to make a party punch.

Strawberry Lemonade Concentrate

( or Strawberry Lemonade for the sugar tooth )

Ingredients:

4 quarts of strawberries

4 cups (1 quart) of lemon juice (fresh or from a jar like “ReaLemon”)

3 quarts water

5 cups granulated sugar ( or try some brown sugar for an interesting twist )

Procedure:

1. Hull and pureé the strawberries.

2. Mix all the ingredients together in a stock pot.

3. Heat to 165 degrees Fahrenheit.

Do not boil. Stir until all the sugar is dissolved to remove the gritty texture. This is a quick, short step, if I remember correctly. Although I could be wrong and I won’t know for sure until the strawberries are ripe…

Anyway,

4. Remove from heat. Stir and Skim off any foam.

5. Laddle into 5-7 quart jars or 10 -14 pint jars

Oh, you get the picture.

6. Place in boiling water bath for 20 minutes.

Be sure there is at least an inch of water above the canning jars.

Altitude adjustment: Add 1 minute more in the water bath for each 1000 feet you are above sea level.

7. After you remove the jars to cool, listen for that wonderful popping sound of your jars sealing.

Now, you have a lovely strawberry lemonade concentrate for any time of year.

Serve chilled. Due to the richness of this recipe, I suggest you cut the lemonade with water or perhaps a lemon-lime soda

For example:

1 quart of Strawberry Lemonade concentrate + 1 quart of water

or

1 quart of Strawberry Lemonade concentrate + 1 quart of lemon-lime soda

or

1 quart of concentrate + you favorite sun tea.

Other beginner canning tutorials:

How To Make Jam — A Beginner Tutorial

How To Make Jam — The Canning Supplies

How To Make Jam — The Easy Canning Process

Strawberry-Rhubarb Jam — without added pectin

How to Raw Pack Fruit With Simple Syrup

What is your favorite summer-time beverage recipe?

Computer Science Activities for the Young Mad Scientist


So your kid is into computers and you are at a loss to help stimulate this interest?

Join the club.

P1000151Thanks to my big brother, a Tech Lead at Google, I have two great free downloads for computer scientists as young as kindergarten age.

These programs are easy to use and inevitably your child’s skills will surpass your own quickly. But fear not, there are little communities of these smarty pants kids out there to help. Plus, books, online tutorials, etc.

Let’s begin:

Squeak — here is what they have to say for themselves

Squeak is a modern, open source, full-featured implementation of the powerful Smalltalk programming language and environment. Squeak is highly-portable – even its virtual machine is written entirely in Smalltalk making it easy to debug, analyze, and change. Squeak is the vehicle for a wide range of projects from multimedia applications, educational platforms to commercial web application development.

Hm…

Okay, that might as well be written in Japanese for how much I understand it.

All I know is that when my son was 5, he could use it to program a little dancing cat.

The cool thing is it will grow with your kid. The more they learn, the more they can do…including program their own little video games. Very cool.

So whether you have a 1st grader or a middle schooler, they can guide themselves through the process. Obviously, the little kid may need a little of your time to read simple words, they will take it from there. The big kid will astound you!

Click here for more info on Squeak

Alice — here is what they have to say for themselves

Alice is an innovative 3D programming environment that makes it easy to create an animation for telling a story, playing an interactive game, or a video to share on the web. Alice is a freely available teaching tool designed to be a student’s first exposure to object-oriented programming. It allows students to learn fundamental programming concepts in the context of creating animated movies and simple video games. In Alice, 3-D objects (e.g., people, animals, and vehicles) populate a virtual world and students create a program to animate the objects.

In Alice’s interactive interface, students drag and drop graphic tiles to create a program, where the instructions correspond to standard statements in a production oriented programming language, such as Java, C++, and C#. Alice allows students to immediately see how their animation programs run, enabling them to easily understand the relationship between the programming statements and the behavior of objects in their animation. By manipulating the objects in their virtual world, students gain experience with all the programming constructs typically taught in an introductory programming course.

Um…yeah… did you get that?

Again, very cool. This free download from the computer geniuses at Carnegie Mellon University is a great self guided introduction to computer science. Dig around the internet for books, communities, and tutorials.

Click here for more info about Alice

My brother points out that some of the greatest minds he knows taught themselves on a home computer. So, grab a free download and introduce your kid to the fascinating and ever growing world of computer science.

Always wanted to learn how your computer thinks through things? Try it yourself. It can be quite addictive.

Just remember to shove your kids out into the sunshine every now and then. Remind them that their minds will work better, if their bodies are in strong physical condition.

Published in: on June 10, 2009 at 3:21 pm  Comments (2)  
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Electronics Activities For the Young Mad Scientist


Well, hello there. Grab some Strawberry Lemonade from the pitcher in the fridge and join me in the basement lab/Bat Cave of my young mad scientist.

Every mad scientist should have an alias... or so I am told.

Every mad scientist should have an alias... or so I am told.

Today, we will share our favorite activities to keep the curious mind of a budding electrical engineer busy in his lab and well away from the disassembly of your kitchen appliances.

We’ll discuss the ElectroWizard series, Snap Circuits, and homemade wiring boxes.

And don’t worry about cost, I will mention a great free internet option, too.

ElectroWizard series:

I first found these little kits at Marshall’s or TJ Max or some buyout place like that after Xmas — and therefore on sale.

ElectroWizard is published (assembled, whatever) by Norman & Globus, Inc. Full price it may run around … oh maybe the $10-$15 range.

Anyway, my son first started building circuits when he was three using these nifty sets. Of course, the packaging recommends it for ages 8 and up, but that is just a suggestion. Certainly by age six, kids can easily manipulate the smaller parts and do more without your reading.

I’m a “I’ll read the direction, but you have to figure it out yourself” kind of mom.

The wires are prestripped and simply clamp into things like light bulbs or are held to a battery with a rubber band. Very simple.

The book that comes with the set includes easy picture and word directions.

The favorite of the mad scientist above is ElectroWizard: Invetions — Build, Build, Build by Penny Norman.

This particular set includes projects like motors, generators, telegraphs , relays,and even a radio. The kit includes everything you need, which pretty much comes down magnet wire, paperclips and rubber bands.

This just might be how MacGyver got his start.

Snap Circuits

Oh, where have you been all my life?!

I love this set. Buy the biggest set you can possibly afford. This thing will entertain your kid for years.

Everything literally snaps together. Very cool.

Recommended for ages 8 to 108, even you will find experiments to play with.

There are simple circuits, motors, generators, resistors, capacitors, lights, sounds…oh just everything you could want… including a solar panel.

My favorite part is that each componant has the actual schematic representaion on it. So when high school physics rolls around, this stuff will be old hat.

My favorite is the biggest, baddest set of them all. Model SC-750 with computer interface. With 750 experiments, you are gauranteed to have something for every dad blasted year of the science fair, plus Junior Academy of Science.

Click here for more info on Snap Circuits

Homemade wiring boxes:

The wiring box is an affordable way for your mad scientist to learn just what goes on behind the walls of your home.

By about 6 or 7 years old, every mad scientist aught to have his own wiring box. It is a simple rectangle made out of a 2 by 4 and wired with a plug. Using the regular stuff found in a home, like wall sockets, light sockets and switches, plus a little wire, your mad scientist will be on his way. The best part is you just plug it in to test wiring configurations. Safe and easy.

Everything you need can be found at your local hardware store and your usually your local high school shop teacher can talk you through the construction, if you are not familiar with this stuff.

Hit the library for a book on home wiring and your off.

This might be a nice time for a little safety talk and instruction on the use of basic tools, while your at it.

Free internet fun for the budding electrical engineer:

The University of Colorado at Boulder has a great simulation site. For the 4 or 5 years since I have found this gem, it has constantly grown better. More goodies to play with.

The circuits have always been a favorite at this house. It even simulates the fire my husband would cause if we ever allowed him at the wiring. Grand fun!

Click here for the outstanding PhET Circuit Construction Sim

Take time to poke around their site for other science simulation treasures.

One final note: Make sure you pitch your mad scientist out into the sunshine for some physical activity every now and then.

So, how are you going to stimulate your mad scientist this Summer?


Young Mad Scientists: How You Can Tell If Your Kid Is One


Tomorrow, I will share some summer ideas for the mini mad scientist. Today, let’s determine if you have one in your home.

You kid might be a mad scientist if:

1. She has disassembled all your appliances in the name of scientific discovery.

2. He knows one fact about sunflowers. Not that they have edible seeds, but that the seeds spiral out in a Fibonocchi sequence (0,1,1,2,3,5,8,13,21,34,55, etc.)

3. She responds to every insane mess she created, especially those requiring a call to the plummer with, “But I needed to know what would happen.”

4. He builds Lego towers with color patterns that must be “just so.”

5. She builds ridiculously complex routes out of her train set.

6. When he helps you cook, he is most fascinated by the math involved and any good chemical reactions, like yeast.

7. She can create anything out of simple office supplies.

8. He knows there is more than one good design for a paper airplane or homemade kite.

9. She can rewire your house.

10. He finds the one Ivy league physics professor lingering by the new exhibit at the science center and they build carbon nanotubes models out of tinker toys together. Afterwards, you realize that was probably the faculty member you should have asked about summer camps and scholarships. Oops.

Any one of the above generally means there’s a scientific mind at work in your home. Tomorrow, I will help you find ways to keep them entertained and stimulated this Summer.

‘Cause if you don’t help them find ways to explore the world around them, they will without fail create chaos in the name of science. So let’s give the little evil genius a little guidance and keep our sanity at the same time.

Neighborly Advice Vol. 5: Neighboorhood Gone Wild With Free Food


A. Onion Grass  B. Mint  C. Violets  D. Dandelion

A. Onion Grass B. Mint C. Violets D. Dandelion

With beginner articles on Mason Bees; Mushrooms; Crystallized Edible Flowers and Fruits; Dandelion Bread, Soup, Salad, Casserole and Wine; Violet Jelly; Sugared Violets; Stuffed Wild Grape Leaves; Outdoorsy Kid Activities, you could say we’ve gone a little wild this week. Join your neighbors for a new adventure!

Congratulations to Jen Neff, the only one to get all 4 correct in the You’re Eating WHAT From Your Lawn Quiz.

After we harvest some wild goodies, let’s head into the kitchen to make a feast from our foraged finds.  Don’t be afraid.  Open your palate to something new.  We’re all adults here.  If we are brave enough to step out of our comfort zone, then we open ourselves to a whole new world of learning, adventure and … well, free gourmet food.

In The Kitchen/ Into The Wild

Surfer Sam inspired the creative juices for this weeks edition with the following comprehensive article.

Everything Mushrooms — varieties, recipes, etc.

Langdon Cook’s new book, Fat of the Land: Adventures of A 21st Century Forager sounds like my kind of adventure. From his blog we have…

Dandy Muffins and Bread

Here are more dandelion recipes from all over…

Dandelion Fritters

Dandelion Pesto

Dandelion Soup or Dandelion Salad w/ Eggs or Italian Dandelion Casserole or Dandelion Wine

And just look at all the fun we can have with violets.

Violet Jelly

Sugared Violets

Crystallized Edible Flowers and Fruits

I am particularly eager to try the two recipes that follow as I have never tried either.

Stuffed Wild Grape Leaves

Simple Delicious Fiddlehead Fern Recipe

Waiting to be mounted to get morning sun, afternoon shade, one of my semi-homemade mason bee homes.  Attracting more pollinators means more garden goodies!

Waiting to be mounted to get morning sun, afternoon shade, one of my semi-homemade mason bee homes. Attracting more pollinators means more garden goodies!

In The Backyard Barnyard

How to Build a Mason ( Orchard ) Bee House

Beneficial Bugs: Mason Bees

Attracting Pollinators

Mason Bees

Shaw, age 6, explains how to make candied violets.

Shaw, age 6, explains how to make candied violets.

Up In The Tree House

Make Your Own Printable Birthday Cards

Candied Violets — So Easy A Child Could Do It

Sorry for the quickie edition

In case you missed the past editions, here are the links:

Neighborly Advice Vol 1pizza dough, making jam, using a pressure cooker, learning to knit, rescuing lost stitches, adding goats to your backyard

Neighborly Advice Vol 2 — kool-aid dye, spinning wool, kids’ activities, natural egg dyes, keeping chickens, line drying clothes, making applesauce, finding your sanity, pickling eggs, frugal groceries, growing peas, tomatoes and even worms

Neighborly Advice Vol 3 — grocery budgets, foraging free food, starting a garden, seed tape, hemming pants, chickens, turkeys, fruit trees, goat cheese, fermentation, kid’s activities and my favorite book sale

Neighborly Advice Vol 4 — making marshmallows, starting a garden, planting potatoes, herbs and onions, charming row markers, slow-roasted tomatoes, foraging free food, kids’ activity to-do list, 100 ways to cook eggs, tabletop gardening, and even starting an aquarium

Candied Violets — So Easy A Child Can Do It


Well, happy Friday, everyone!  My son has a project for you.

This time each year my lawn is full of violets.

Shaw, age 6, making his candied violets.

Shaw, age 6, explaining how to make candied violets.

Here’s a nice beginner cooking project that brings Spring to the kitchen. Shaw will show you how to make candied violets and how he adds them to his favorite dessert, ice cream.

Let’s begin:

1. Pick a nice sized bunch of violets from a chemical-free lawn.

2. Gently rinse them in a colander and allow to drain.

3. With the help of an adult, separate two egg whites.

4. Beat the egg whites with a wire whisk, until just frothy.

5. By holding the stem, dip each flower in the frothy egg whites. Make sure the flower is completely covered with egg white.

6. Lay the eggy flower in a little bowl of sugar. Spoon sugar from around the violet to cover it.

7. Gently shake the excess sugar from the flower.

8. Dry on a sheet of waxed paper.

French Vanilla Ice Cream with Candied Violets and pictorial instructions, of course.

French Vanilla Ice Cream with Candied Violets and pictorial instructions, of course.

Now, decorate your cup cakes or add them to your ice cream. Surprise your friends by showing them how to eat a little bit of Spring.

What ways can you think of to add violets to your food?

This week’s “Neighborly Advice” will include more advanced violet recipes for more formal use.

Join us for the fun. Let’s get picking!

You’re Eating WHAT from the Lawn?! — A Quick Quiz


What are these four food found in my front lawn?

What are these 4 foods found in my front lawn?

Here’s the deal. Name as many as you can and offer at least one use for each.

Serious and silly answers are welcome.

As this will launch a series of adventures, if you have an actual recipe using any of the above as a main ingredient, please e-mail it to kitewrite@gmail.com. That way you can get credit and be a featured recipe in the neighborhood.

Go ahead, guess! I double dog dare you.

(Neighbor Nancy reties her apron and heads out to pick a zillion of “C” for an upcoming recipe.)

Note: 5/8/09 — Oh, I am very entertained!  Get your guesses in.  Answers will be in this Saturday morning edition of “Neighborly Advice.”   Tomorrow’s theme is “Neighborhood Gone Wild”

BTW, forgive the picture, it will not stop raining here.  Lighting is terrible.

Hint — the stem on “B” is square.

How to Figure Out If Old Seeds Will Grow — Germination Test


Oh my! You have a cobweb in your hair. Were you digging around in the dark recesses of the basement again?

I see. Oh, look what you found! Some old seed packets from another year of over zealous gardening.

Will they grow?

Well, there’s only one way to find out. Give it a whirl.

Here’s how:

We will use the example of corn for two reasons.

1. Corn seed looses it’s viability quickly. So it can always use pre-sprouting anyway.

2. I passed on some old corn seeds to my son’s 1st grade class for a little hands on math and science project.

Okay, let’s begin.

Most large seeds appreciate an overnight soak to plump them up and get them ready for sprouting. I just dump them in a mason jar and cover them with water. They will really suck it up and expand so don’t fill your jar more than 1/3 full of seeds. Then, fill it to the top with water.

Grab a tray or cookie pan.

Cover the tray with a layer of wet ( not really drippy, but good and damp ) paper towels.

Spread the seeds (corn, in this case ) in a single layer on top of the wet paper towels.

Cover with more damp paper towels, because corn prefers darkness to germinate.

Keep them moist with a spray bottle of water.

Note: Be careful and read the seed packet some things need light to germinated and therefore don’t get the top layer. These are trickier because you need to give them a little spritz of water more often so that they stay damp.

Wait and watch.

Plant whatever sprouted and you’re off.

Now you know what that germination percentage means on quality seed packets. 87% germination would mean that 87 seeds sprouted for every 100 attempted.

This is also a great demonstration of turning fractions into percentages. Kids dig it.

Tada! You did it yourself.

What is the oldest seed packet in your house?

After Hours Mischief at Neighbor Nancy’s


After the work of the day is done, the serious playing begins. When you live next door to your pop. And your pop is an antique truck fanatic. Well, let’s just say that it is charmed life I have lived. Here are a few pictures of the recent typical adventures.

One of the first adventures of Spring includes a tow to the top of the hill for an exciting roll start for the poor winter weary little Model A engine.

One of the first adventures of Spring includes one Ford pulling another to the top of the hill for an exciting roll start for the poor winter weary little Model A engine.

You know, I don’t think I ever saw the Waltons try this method. Too bad they didn’t have an F-250 to do the job.

After the tow up the hill, my pop unhooked the chain and whirled around the corner, popped the clutch and the engine roared to life. Every Spring, he tries to start it cold, but after such a long period of hibernation, he always end up doing it this way. Of course, this way is much more fun.

The towing of the Model A pick-up is a signal for me. It means Summer is coming. That the garden better be underway. That I need to stock up on chocolate chips for all the cookie requests.

“Hey, Naner, I’m headed to such-and-such truck show. Do you think you could make a batch or two for my truck buddies and I?”

“Of course, Pop.”

I don’t mind, ’cause a nicer bunch you’ll never meet.

And so it goes. Parades, auctions ( that mortify my mother as she wonders what’s coming home next ) and loads of antique truck shows. The loading, the hauling, the hearty breakfast before dawn on the road at “the best little diner” in some very specific town en route.

Did I mention that my dad knows all the best food places in a 100 mile radius of our house? Bingham’s for cream puffs, Snydersville dinner for pie, and a zillion other places each with their own specialty.

After arriving at any show, the big bustle is around the trucks as they pull in and unveil the latest of beautiful restorations. After some hand shakes, how do-you-dos and chatter about who brought what, they begin to migrate.

Oh, yes they stroll around contemplating each treasured antique, but it all leads to one eventuality. Food.

Barbaqued pulled pork or chicken, vinegar fries, funnel cakes, snow cones, popcorn from the antique popper wagon, lemonade from a barrel. And let us not forget that he still has a giant bag of “chocolate chippers” in the cab of a centrally located show truck (for easy access.) Oh, it is just marvelous!

After all that, you might as well walk the hundred or so miles home, cause you’ll never get the calories off any other way.

Of course, it’s not all about the shows. There’s a lot of just local fun to be had, too.

The big question: What is the best way to take a bunch of people to the local dairy for ice cream?

The way "little boys" of any age go for ice cream.  They might go a whopping 15 mph.  Zippy!

The way "little boys" of any age go for ice cream. They might go a whopping 15 mph. Zippy!

While I no longer wear roller skates to every show and pray there’s a pool, I do still enjoy the occasional show or a ride  for ice cream.  If for no other reason, it is fun to see my father’s world.  A world where the toys are big, the food says Summer and the friends are true. It is a fantastic way to catch a glimpse of the character that is my pop.