While I'm busy cleaning out my house in anticipation of this weekend's yard sale, I'm going to clean out my brain and dump it in this post. Here is a list of short things that I meant to post about, but never did for one reason or another.
- If you happen to grind your own wheat, you should really invest in some soft wheat to use as pastry flour. I've been using mine to make pie crusts (and anything else that calls for white pastry flour) and it is very yummy. But don't make the same mistake I did. A while back I posted on the Ordinary Time facebook page that I had a pie crust disaster. I think I figured out the cause. Because when you make pie crusts, everything should be cold to keep the fat from melting and not mixing well with the flour, it is NOT a good idea to grind your soft wheat and then use it immediately to make pie crust. It doesn't work. (If you don't grind your own wheat, you have to understand that the flour is warm when is it freshly milled.) You should also know that even if your flour is chilled, the whole wheat will take a significantly less amount of water to mix the crust together than white flour. I think this probably adds to the yumminess of the crust... because it's just a bit shorter.
- A while back we grilled chicken and used a Sriracha BBQ sauce recipe I found over at Owl Haven. Sriracha is a hot chili sauce that we affectionately call "Red Rooster Sauce" here because of the rooster on the bottle. The sauce out of the bottle is very spicy, but the BBQ sauce wasn't spicy (we all actually wished it had just a little more heat) and had a wonderful flavor. I highly recommend trying it.
- Is there any way to constructively give advice to a parent in a grocery store when you see she is having trouble with her toddler and you KNOW what you have to say can help? No, I didn't think so either, so I didn't. Some days I can't wait 'till I'm a little old lady and can say whatever I want. Nicely, of course.
- I have these illusions that summer will be filled with long, lazy hours when I can indulge in long periods of reading or sewing. Who am I kidding? There is very little difference between our summer schedule and our schedule the rest of the year... except perhaps I get less done because I'm mentally functioning in vacation mode for three months. I think I need to re-evaluate my internal perceptions of what I expect out of summer.
- There are several stages of the learning to read process. The first is when the child starts to sound out simple words, the second is when they can read easy readers, laboriously sounding out each word, and the third stage is when they learn to read fluently. In my experience, this can only happen with lots of practice and the key to getting this practice is to find a book (or series of books) which the child is interested enough to read to keep slogging through and thus build up enough practice. I can name nearly every book that was the key for each of my readers. For some it happened earlier and it was an easy reader (Piggle and Who's a Pest by Crosby Bonsall) for others it was later and a chapter book. TM is the later version, but the books I've finally found that have really grabbed his interest are my old Alfred Hitchcock and the Three Investigators series. I read the first one to him and he loved it and is now willing to read every third page to me. I predict that by the end of the book he will be reading fluently enough to read the rest on his own.