25 November 2011
Being that it is Thanksgiving week we decided our Five in a Row book choice would be
Cranberry Thanksgiving. Little did I know that the very state I live in produces the nations most cranberries. Wisconsin! It would have been awesome to visit a cranberry farm but unfortunately the harvest season had just barely ended when I began the book. (it will teach me to plan better!) But we enjoyed it anyway and here is a peek into our cranberry journey!
We watched an awesome youtube video showing the details involved in harvesting cranberries.We visited the Wisconsin State Cranberry Growers Association website where we learned all about cranberries, their health benefits, recipes and printed off our little activity book with recipes, tidbits, and games, and coloring pages. But as usual, the most favorite of everything was when we popped into the kitchen to make some cranberry tea and cranberry bread.
2 Cups flour
1 Cup sugar
1 1/2 teas. baking powder
1 teas. salt
1/2 teas. baking soda
1/4 Cup butter
1 egg, beaten
3/4 Cup milk
1 1/2 Cups cranberries
Mix well and bake at 350 for just over an hour or until toothpick comes out clean. We doubled this and the first loaf was gone in 10 minutes! (oh yes, we made Texas Rhode House Honey Cinnamon Butter the other day for our waffles and the kids were very liberal when they put it on their bread. But oh yum)
First we boiled the cranberries until they were soft. (8 cups water) Then we pressed them into our strainer to gather as much pulp as we could get out. Then we added the pulp back into the water we cooked them in. In went about 3/4 cup honey, 2 cinnamon sticks, and 2 cups of orange juice. We covered the pan and let it simmer about 10 minutes. It was really, really tasty.
We cannot forget about Molly's Pilgrim where we were reminded of how Thanksgiving is linked to the Jewish holiday Sukkos. We read the book and were lucky enough to even find a short
video of Molly's Pilgrim at our library. Both the book and movie were wonderful in that they provided many opportunities to talk about love, charity, and kindness. The girls had lots of fun with a new words they learned: Onomatopoeia and simile. I believe they totally understand each because not an hour has passed without one of them creating a 'sentence' using these literary devices!
Cranberry Thanksgiving takes place in the New England area which happens to be very rich in American History. We talked about 'why' those particular states are so called New England states which made our book even more interesting.
I think the second favorite activity was when they got to pour lemon juice over top of the baking soda in order to produce the 'bubbles' and learn exactly what those bubbles were. (carbon dioxide)