Sunday, August 13, 2006

Foods, Friends and Fellowship

Ok, let's do the home ed bit first, so that those who don't want to wade through all the family stuff, can pick out the interesting bits! ;0)

Today we talked about learning music - Samuel showing a real interest after a comment I made watching "How Do You Solve A Problem Like Maria?" in saying that a particular contestant couldn't sing. We discussed notes, tones, octaves etc and agreed to find a way for Roarke to teach him music (as Roarke is a trained opera singer).

In surfing the net for some interactive, aspie friendly music learning links (!) I came across this gem - Jazz Kids. It includes a jazz timeline, meet the greats, all about the instruments and most fun of all (well I thought so!) was the Bandleader section. You get to put the instruments in the sections, then see how it sounds. I had fun with this one, before (reluctantly) letting Samuel have a go!

This evening we'd been watching The Miracles of Jesus, which led to some great discussions about what the Jews believe, the Muslim faith, and evil spirits! I love it when the boys ask questions and you watch them follow some train of thought into new and interesting places that they had never visited before.

After church today we had a family come back here for lunch. It's the first real entertaining I've done since moving here - I love cooking, love cooking for people, and really relish the chance to practice the gift of hospitality. So it was a pleasure to cook for Ray, Carol, John and Dave. The kids enjoyed the company - and got over their disappointment of the "children" turning out to be in the their 20s, when said lads agreed to a game of football in the garden!

I tried out some new recipes today, as well as some old favourites.

We had the marrow soup to start, then a buffet selection.

I had marinaded chicken pieces for 24 hours in lemon, garlic and olive oil, using Nigella Lawson's method. Put two heads of garlic (unpeeled) in a saucepan and boil for 10 minutes. Then push out of their skins and puree. Then add 400ml of olive oil in a gentle stream to make a lovely white liquid. Then add juice of 2 lemons. Great thing is that you then just tip the whole lot into an ovenproof dish and cook at a high heat (220) for about 40 minutes. Scrum! Watch this space for how I use the left over liquid tomorro!

I'd also tried a recipe I'd been itching to have an excuse for - ham in coca cola! I put a 2kg piece of gammon in a saucepan with one onion (peeled, halved) and 2 litres of Coca Cola (NOT diet!). " 1/2 hours later on a strong simmer, we had the most moist, sweet, gorgeous ham I have ever tasted.

We used the liquer as a stock for some browned off mince, added a tablespoon or so of soy, and served it with rice - very nice indeed - for dinner last night.

We also had home grown spring onions, tomatoes, and potatoes in our meal. Very rewarding.

For pudding, as well as gluten free chocolate cake (with copious amounts of chocolate butter icing and spinkles - I think we ate an EU sugar mountain this weekend), we had home made lemon meringue ice cream. Another Nigella Lawson recipe. I highly recommend the book "How to Eat" which it comes from. Or if you ask me nicely, I type the recipe here! It is a seriously easy (to make AND eat) ice cream.

All in all, a lovely day with new friends, nice food, and a good service at church this morning - very challenging, and very exciting.

Oh, and I managed to pass on more stuff today via Freecyle, which always makes me feel good. And our water butts are full after the heavy rain of the past 24 hours!

Roll on next week..

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