Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Garlic Scape Pesto


Makes about 1 cup

10 garlic scapes, finely chopped(I double this amount as I had lots to use up)

1/3 to 1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan (to taste and texture)

1/3 cup slivered almonds ( I toasted mine)

About 1/2 cup olive oil

Sea salt

Note* I was very generous with all these ingredients.

ok so here I am blogging again even though I said I would be taking a break! I am making pesto today as I am sort of a lady of leisure!

These beautiful garlic scapes came in our taproot box this week and I am trying out this recipe. I am thinking I will make lots f=more and freeze it for the fall menu at Maple Tree. This batch of course will be for our family as my next batch can not have nuts in it.

Garlic scape pesto is very tasty on pasta, pizza and with any combination of tomatoes, potatoes or any other vegetables you want to give a flavour boost to. I am planning to freeze mine in ice cube trays covered with plastic wrap. Once they are frozen solid I will transfer to a ziploc bag and use a cube or two when I need it. I generally use about 4 or 5 cubes on pasta for our family for dinner. I might a 1 or 2 cubes into a soup. Just experiment with it. You will love it!

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Maple Tree 2010-2011

Great friends, great food, great party! Thank you for a fantastic year! Now that I am officially on my summer break, I will be taking a break from blogging as well. I may, from time to time, post on some of the projects that I am working on for the classroom this fall. But for now I am letting go of everything! Happy Summer to all! -m

Thursday, June 23, 2011

In the news....

So sorry I have been slow to post the link to the interview I did with Christopher Shulgan. We are in wrap up mode with the school and planning the street party. There is always so much to do and say this time of year as families are getting ready to leave and new families are joining the large family at Maple Tree.

Just before father's day I got a call from Christopher Shulgan who writes a parenting column for the Globe and Mail asking if I would mind doing an interview about the role of Dads or how I see that role in my position as a director and preschool teacher. I was happy to do the interview as I felt it would be a great way to share what I see and how I see the changing role of the dad. It was an interesting chat we had and in the end I wasn't entirely sure where he was going to go with the article he was writing. I will say this though.....after we were done talking I realized just how much I depend on my husband at home and with our children and how I could never be as productive and successful at my work if it were not for all his hard work on our home front. He really does do a lot and I know I never say thank you enough. Thank you Shawn, your amazing and I really appreciate all that you do for me, Maple Tree and our children.


Sunday, June 19, 2011

The year in review, musically speaking...........

Wow. During music class this year, this group of children has consistently met and exceeded my expectations of them. They have been introduced to and come to understand many different musical concepts. An underlying thread in all types of music is the idea of contrast. We have explored high and low pitches, fast and slow music, sound and silence, loud and soft. A more subtle concept is the distinction between loud singing and shouting. When we work with our speaking - whispering - shouting - singing voices, the children love to be given license to shout, but they also know how to sing at the appropriate times instead.
Beyond basic contrasts in music, we have learned to echo rhythms and melodic fragments, as well as reading simple rhythmic notation, and interpreting melodic hand symbols. The children have also been introduced to the beginnings of ensemble playing, following a conductor and listening to play their instruments at the correct time in the song.
If you ask your child, however, I doubt you will get such a long list of what they have learned at music this year. I expect that you will have heard them singing new songs at home, and I hope that they will tell you that they love music! I have certainly loved teaching them.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Sharing the gifts

I often say this is the best time of the year. It is the time when the children starting connecting everything and putting it all together. I am starting to write in the project books that some of our second year children keep. It is a personal note from me to them and it is a bit of a refection of our time together.

Last night I brought the project books home with me to write the notes. I was astounded by all the work, words and colour on the pages. To me this is like Christmas. It is when the gifts start coming in our classroom.

Among the many things our children are doing at present, they have completed their map projects (17 in total--thank you Ms. Stephanie it was a huge amount of time on your part). The children are freely writing and illustrating their own stories. We are making jam. We are starting our time line work and looking at dinosaurs.

We are also getting ready to say goodbye.

Please enjoy these stories and savour them. They are a most beautiful gift.

Monday, June 13, 2011

This Week....

This week we are making pancakes for lunch.

Finishing up Map projects.

Painting lady bugs at the art table.

Digging for dinosaurs.

Enjoying the new specimens at the nature table.

What are you enjoying this week?

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Revamping the Cosy Corner

Today I was running an errand and I came across the loveliest child size arm chair. I could not resist it and so I bought it and brought it back to the school and immediately revamped the cosy corner. I didn't say anything as I wanted to see how long it would take for the children and teachers to notice.

The children were the first to notice and one child just came right over and sat down and crossed her legs and picked up a book to read quietly. One of the other children said, "Wow, Ms. Michelle, now it really is the cosy corner"! I must admit when I heard this I felt bad. I hadn't realized that it needed to feel or be more cosy. I am committed to keeping it that way from now on. I just need to figure out how we will put a protective seat in it for all those wet pants that will want to sit in it in the fall.

Monday, June 6, 2011

mmmmmmmm jam


It is probably not so much of a secret that we are making Strawberry jam for father's day. My girl came right home today and announced to her Dad that she was making that for him for his special day.

Her dad told her everyday was special. Then she went and got out the face paint and promptly painted a series of clouds and a sun on her forehead and a fairy on one cheek and a bird on the other. When I said is that really a good idea right this minute, my girl said, "Mom, how will I know how to do it when I get bigger and I am in musicals if I don't learn now". I had to turn away, giggling the entire time. So funny she is and it lifted me up today on this rainy afternoon.

So back to jam. We made jam today from lovely spray free valley strawberries. We will be making more jam tomorrow and I am hoping we will be able to set up work on the shelf somehow, making your own toast with jam. That work I can guarantee will be so popular!

Making jam with the children was a bit more work on my end. Just a tiny bit. They crushed the berries and measure the lemon juice and sugar and did all the stirring. I just did the cooking part which only takes one minute and then I poured the jam into hot sterile jars.

I must say that our orange juice making work that we put out early in the year really helps. The children were able to squeeze juice out by hand with our glass reemer with ease and they took such pride in knowing they could do it.

Tomorrow I wil post about our beautiful handmade leaf rubbing cards to accompany this beautiful gift.