Sunday, February 20, 2011

Lessons in a Picture Book Pt 3

This week, we continue to explore Eric Carle books. This week: Walter the Baker. I really do love Carle's style, the stories are simple and I can expand on them easily, the colors are bright and hold's even L2's attention.

We love a book about cooking. "It like Daddy! He cooks, like at Daddy's restaurant!" My boys have their own aprons and tools, including knives from Pampered Chef.

Monday: We won't jump right into cooking this week, as you might think. This book has another important message in it. How we treat people. My boys are generally sweet and caring, but we all need reminders sometimes. When Walter's rolls fail to please the Duke and Duchess, they throw them at his feet and banish him from the city in the wall. So, we are going to build a wall, and make our city inside it. This will have one of two outcomes: L1 will invite his brother to join us, but L2 will knock things down causing anger and frustration. Or, L1 will disallow L2 into the wall, which will end just as badly. I am hoping that by intentionally creating these situations, I will be in a better frame of mind to help them work through the issues that have become frequent in our home. In the story, a cat knocking over milk is the beginning of the end for Walter. So, it really does all lead to a great chance to work through this typical sibling behavior.

Tuesday: Making Pretzels! Yay! I am going to give this recipe a try, though if you have another that you KNOW works, I would love to try it. I am hoping it holds up well enough for the boys to really try and create their own shapes.

EDIT: This recipe is faulty in wording. I am trying things out to see if I can fix it, and contacting original author.

Gluten Free Soft Pretzels Recipe

Pretzel Ingredients:
  • 2-1/4 cups warm water
  • 2 TBSP brown sugar
  • 1 bag Pamela’s Gluten-Free Bread Mix including yeast packet
  • 2 TBSP olive oil
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 butter or margarine, melted
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tsp powdered cinnamon
Pretzel Directions:
  1. Whisk together 1-1/4 cups warm water, brown sugar, and yeast in a small bowl. Allow to sit for a few minutes until bubbles begin to show yeast activity.
  2. Pour Pamela’s Gluten-Free Bread Mix into a large bowl. Stir in olive oil and the yeast mixture until completely combined.
  3. Cover with a damp towel and allow to rise for one hour.
  4. Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper and divide dough into twelve pieces.
  5. With wet hands, roll each piece into a “snake” between six and eight inches in length. Lay the snake onto the parchment paper, then gently flatten the dough with wet fingers until about half previous height.
  6. Pick up one end of the snake, so that half of its length is lifted from the cookie tray. Twist the dough 360° and gently lay the end down again. Pick up the other end of the dough and give it a full twist in the same direction. Smooth any rough spots with wet fingers.
  7. Repeat with each section of dough, so that both cookie trays have six pretzel twists on them.
  8. Cover both trays with plastic wrap, and allow the dough to rest for another 30 minutes.
  9. Preheat oven to 450°.
  10. Mix remaining cup of warm water and baking soda. Using a pastry brush, gently paint the twists with the baking soda mixture.
  11. Bake twists for 8 to 10 minutes until golden brown.Brush with butter and sprinkle salt.

Thursday: Once Walter gains the approval for his pretzels from the Duke and Duchess, he makes a giant basket of them to share with the townspeople. Thursday we will be taking our treats to a play date to share with our friends. There are many allergies/sensitivities in our group, so I hope they will be well received. 

We also have a bit of a bonus Lesson in a Picture Book this week: Over at Little View of a Big World we have been wandering Seattle with Larry the Dog. This week we plan to visit the Freemont Troll, tour a chocolate factory, and eat some yummy Thai food. L1 will have his camera, and we hope to share the adventure with you!

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