Reading While Knitting

Nothing complicated; nothing too exciting, but yes, I do knit while I read. As well as during many other domestic activities.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Fantasy Curriculum 101

Terry Pratchett has a theory (the "parallel universe theory") that says that every possibility for everyone is happening/has happened somewhere. If that's true, then somewhere in Italy, there's a farm with my name on it. In this reality, however, I've been spending some time in the fantasy life section of the library. Mostly books about people who somehow stumbled into some farming or rural life in Italy or France, like this and this. Dilapidated houses, ramshackle gardens, eccentric neighbors.

Now that I think of it, it's kind of like my life.

Because I'm in charge of our school curriculum, I mostly try to expand on interests the kids have already. Weirdly enough, this hasn't happened with things like putting their clothes and books away, nor vacuuming. In a pinch, I can inspire dish washing. I'm not above, however, saying, "Hey! I'm really excited about this! Let's try it!!" Which brings me to our project for the year. Thing 1 and I have designated Monday as baking day. We're baking our way through Carol Field's The Italian Baker. Then Thing 1 looks up something on the internet about the region or city that the bread hails from, writes something about it, we find it on the map, and plan our future trip there. Well, okay, the last part is pure fantasy, but I want my kids to think of the world as their future playground.

We baked pane di Como this week, and like lots of the bread it required a starter mixed up the night before and left to ferment and develop. I use an old workhorse of a Kitchenaid stand mixer to knead most of the time now. After doing without it, I can knead anything, but prefer the ease of the mixer, especially with sticky doughs. Thing 1 has some trouble simply because of the size and strength of her hands, but I have high hopes for her around springtime when she'll have been practicing.

We also had some issues with the oven. I think the insulation isn't great, so the flames go a lot, and the baking stone overheated even though the overall temperature wasn't over the one called for. I think we need to get it off of the floor of the oven.

The bread was, however, yummy, and I have high hopes for the rest of the year.


At 5:47 PM, Blogger Molly Brown said...

I think I was a dog in Italy in a former life!!! There's always dogs hangin' around the vineyards! Who else who be able to teach humans how to make wine!!!!

At 7:36 PM, Blogger sewingsuzee said...

Very, very nice. Nothing like curricula that create something tasty!

At 11:34 PM, Blogger BeanMama said...

What a fun idea!! I love it!

At 8:32 AM, Blogger Charity said...

I love that idea! I always find it so inspiring to hear of what you creative moms are doing with their children.

I think in our fantasy lives, we would be each other's eccentric neighbors :0)

At 9:05 AM, Blogger allisonmariecat said...

Educational experience AND fresh bread??? Sounds like a great day!

At 6:00 PM, Blogger bfmomma said...

oh, yummy... I am so NOT a bread baker. Bread eater, yeah...

At 7:07 AM, Blogger meredith said...

if you ever decide to open a school for moms i'll be the first to sign up!


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