Tuesday, December 15, 2009

how to bake an apple pie

all you fellow FIARers have probably figured this one out already, but one of our recent homeschool activities stems from a book we were reading entitled "how to make an apple pie and see the world". the character in this fun little book travels all around the world to gather the ingredients for the apple pie that she is making. in one whirlwind trip, she visits italy to get semolina wheat for her flour, france to find a chicken, sri lanka to make some cinnamon from the bark of a kurundu tree, england to get milk from a cow, jamaica to cut sugar cane from a sugar plantation, and then, finally, to vermont to pick apples from an orchard. abby loved reading about the little girl's crazy adventures and marking all the new places she learned about on our big map in the school room.

when we decided to bake our own apple pie, abby's ingredient-gathering adventures were a bit less enthralling. she got to go to publix -- the one five minutes from our house.

oh well. the kids had fun with the pie-baking adventures nonetheless. and let me tell you, i've made many things from scratch before, but the recipe in the back of the book was about as "from scratch" as i've ever seen. so much so, in fact, that i searched the house over for a rolling pin that i've since decided doesn't exist. in my 9+ years of marriage, i can't recall a single time that i've ever actually used a rolling pin. if i was baking bread, i just kneaded it by hand. if i was making a pie, i just used a ready-made pie crust. (each of those things has happened approximately two times in the last decade.) so once i realized there was no rolling pin to be found, we improvised and found something that worked equally as well.

we don't need no stinkin' rolling pin!

once the crust was prepared and the apples were peeled, cored, and sliced, we added the rest of the ingredients and had ourselves the makings of a delicious-looking pie.

after a short stint in the oven, we let it cool and decided that we just had to take a picture of our finished product for the blog (abby's idea...seriously!). what's so funny about this shot is that i had told everybody to stand down so i could get a good picture of the pie, but just as i pushed the shutter release, a couple of little hands found their way into the picture (and the pie!). totally unscripted...i promise!

they're little vultures, i tell you!

while i'm on the topic of our homeschool fun, i'll go ahead and share another of our recent adventures. in reading "the rag coat", we learned about a little girl in the appalachian mountains whose father was a miner. of course, the first question the kids asked was "what's a miner?". the more i tried to explain, the more they stared at me with blank expressions of utter confusion.

i knew it was time for a more hands-on learning activity.

when we finished out our basement earlier this year, we talked about cutting a window into the wall, but since we couldn't find anybody to do it for a good price (who knew it costs about a bajillion dollars to do that?!?), we left it as is. which means it's dark down there. really dark. not great when my sweet nephew, brayden, comes over and is afraid when someone turns out the lights...but perfect for "mining"!

i pulled out all the hats i could find from the dress-up box and taped flashlights to the top of each one.

jack wasn't such a fan...

...but abby took the game and ran with it! she climbed all over the furniture and boxes pretending like she was searching for coal in a mine. i had the bounce-flash on for this picture...

...but i turned it off here so you could get the full effect of the "cave" we were mining in. what fun!!

i'll be back with more catching-up tomorrow. :-)


Giann said...

I remember 'How to Bake An Apple Pie and see the World'. Wow, it has been a long time!

The Taylors said...

Yummmm, looks tasty Betty Crocker. Hey, how about posting some pics of that home school room. I need some motivation!

Anna said...

i'm so impressed with your creativity! cant wait to see you soon! :)

Julie Shaw said...

As one who bakes many many roll out sugar cookies, my heart breaks for your lack of rolling pin!!! The apple pie makes me want some!