Tuesday, May 17, 2011

The Back Burner

There are seasons in life when new chapters begin, and others are put aside, neatly, on a burner, in the back, which is hardly visited at first, with hopes of renewed time in the days to come. Our family has started one of these chapters, we have transitioned into home schooling. Over whelmed at the thought of taking such responsibility on at first, I now see it as a very natural extension of my parental privileges. I secretly wait for a moment of panic, for stress to settle in, but for some reason, educating my children at home simply works.

I am often asked about the "whys" and "hows" of home educating. I can tell you of negative experiences at public school, or perhaps harried schedules, but in the end, it's the possibilities I am after. The unity it creates in our family, the real life learning there is so much more time for.

We've spent afternoons fishing with cousins.

We've read in the sun. On comfy chairs. With a pretty darn cuddly class pet close by.

We've cooked a whole bunch, too. In a matter of days, the girls are cooking me eggs for breakfast and quesadillas for lunch.

As for dinners, well, it's been the perfect time to pull out family favourites, leaving culinary explorations on the back burner.

Here's an example of what's on the menu.

Whole roasted organic herbed chicken, probably with a garden salad or some sort of vegetable dish.

Baked potatoes stuffed with all sorts of enticing things, like steamed broccoli and a homemade cheese sauce. An omelet might be on the side.

Homemade refried beans, Spanish rice, guacamole and a crisp salad has quickly become a number one choice.

I love to make fresh pasta lasagna, entirely from scratch right down to the marinara. Oh, and I make a bechamel rather than using ricotta or cottage cheese. Mmmmm. Left overs are the best, so I make a good amount.

Chicken souvlaki, Greek salad and roasted potatoes is a staple, too. I make tzatziki with fresh ingredients. I can't get enough of this!

Soup. Nuff said.

Some days we eat pancakes and fruit... as in any busy home!

What are your family favourites?


Spanish Rice

Serves 4

2 tbsp olive oil

1 shallot, chopped

1 1/2 cups Time Wise brown rice, or Basmati rice, if you prefer white rice

2 1/2 cups quality chicken stock

1/2 tomato salsa, any heat level (I do love the hot stuff!)

1/4 tsp salt

Heat a saute pan (if you have a lid for it, if not use a large stock pot) over medium heat. Add the oil, then the shallot and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring once in a while to prevent browning. Add the rice, toast it in the oil for about a minute, then pour over the chicken stock and salsa, season with a little salt. Close the lid, bring to a boil, then turn the heat down to low. Cook until done, about 15 - 20 minutes. Fluff rice with a fork, then serve.

1 comment:

Brenna said...

"but in the end, it's the possibilities I am after. The unity it creates in our family, the real life learning there is so much more time for." I love this! What beautiful motivation!!! :)