THE BEST SEASON OF ALL 2014: DAYS 21 and 22

Happy Winter Solstice!

Our first calm days were met by powdery snow! After a few weeks of warm temperatures and sun it’s a bit of a shock, but a White Christmas as a possibility is very very attractive!

dusty snow

DAY 21:

We talked about the Winter Solstice (which was a brand new information to C., D. of course knew quite a lot) and read

The Shortest Day: Celebrating the Winter Solstice by Professor Wendy Pfeffer. It’s a lovely book, introducing solstice celebrations throughout history with notes about why the day shortens. The book has a bunch of activities that kids would surely enjoy

the shortest dayWe also talked about celebrations around the world that happen during this time of year.

Too bad the sun was hidden and we could’t go out and measure our shadows we will definitely do it as soon as it clears up a bit.

DAY 22: 

We continued talking about winter solstice and what it meant for people long ago. Especially since it was so gray today, we looked for sun symbols around the house, and the first thing our eye fell on? Why of course little satsumas, that are so delicious and are forever a symbol of holiday time for me:

satsumas

bright like the sun

Natalie from Planet Smarty Pants talked about non-material gifts in this post and one our non-material gifts this season is “sharing a skill”, which means that anyone who can teach someone something special will do so during these weeks. Grandma taught kids how to make Russian Style Pancakes (blini), which are also a symbol of the sun (there is a whole week dedicated to eating blini in February/March). Kids had a blast, they mixed the batter, poured it on the pan, picked up blini with a spatula- the whole deal!

blini

D. made big ones

making blini

C. making tiny ones

whole wheat blini

tiny whole wheat ones

The recipe:

  • 1 2/3 c of all-purpose flour
  • 2 c of milk
  • a piece of butter for smearing hot blini
  • 1-2 eggs
  • 1.5 Tbsp of sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 Tbsp vegetable oil

1. Sift flour and salt into a large bowl, make a little crater in the middle

2. Break egg (s) into the crater and start stirring starting from the outside edge of the bowl.

3. Stir in milk (add water or milk as needed, the batter is supposed to be the heavy cream consistency, maybe slightly thicker) and sugar

4. Add vegetable oil, stir well

5. Pour batter on a hot pan (oil the pan if needed) and spread it so it covers the pan in a thin layer, wait until one side is golden brown, flim a blin with a spatula and wait until golden brown. Move a blin on a plate, spread some butter on top. Repeat.

6. Eat with sour cream, Greek yogurt, whipped cream and berries, or jam.

Also children made small decorations for our tree. We cut out triangles out of cardboard and kids put some yarn and beads around it for a “decorated cookie” effect.

DSC_0900

DSC_0901

Only two days left until Christmas!

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